On Thursday, July 1, Kashmir Boutiques will open its doors at 760 C Street SE, starting at 11 a.m. Many of you will remember this was formerly the space of Antiochia, a Turkish linen and housewares boutique. No one remembers it better than Robyn, the store manager, who showed me around the space ahead of the store’s grand opening. “Look at how this wall pops,” she gushed! The Mediterranean blue wall makes an appealing backdrop to the rainbow of colors and textures from around the world.
The Mediterranean-inspired hues and the beautifully tiled point of sale emphasize the world-come-at-your-door feel of Kashmir’s offerings: Beautiful crewel handmade jackets, each one-of-a-kind, embroidered shawls made of merino wool, and dresses and accessories from all over the world: a journey of visual stimulation in all sorts of eye-popping shapes. Rubber necklaces by an Australian designer. Swarovski Crystal-studded necklaces handmade in Guatemala. Bracelets made of piano strings that look decadent and molten, and move with your body.
Originally, Pat and Javid were vendors at the outdoor market at Eastern Market. From there, they popped up “pretty much everywhere,” reminisces Pat, with a laugh. In addition to having a store in Baltimore, where they live, Pat and Javid had booths at many markets and maker shows around the area, followed by years of working with museums around the country such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Textile Museum in DC, The Smithsonian, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Historical society and more. Even when they made their home at Union Station, there was much movement: The boutique was in the lower level, close to what was Papyrus, for a while. Their final home, before closing due to the pandemic in March of 2020, was at the lower lever arcade, close to anchor tenant Victoria’s Secret– a beautiful space that felt “like a fishbowl, but in a good way,” according to Robyn. Pat, Javid and Robyn are all looking forward to calling the space at 760 C a permanent home, and they cannot wait.
Robyn, who’s been with Kashmir for over 10 years and considers Pat and Javid like family, is just incredible. In the time we spent together, she is able to pick out items for me to try out that fit me perfectly– she has a gift. As a matter of fact, Pat tells me that people would come by the Union Station store just so they could be styled by Robyn. All of the pieces on sale at Kashmir have been hand-picked by Pat, Javid and Robyn– and many include special collaborations that cannot be found anywhere else. Robyn’s already sold me on an incredible trench coat with a bubble hem that makes it look as though you’re walking on a cloud. I told you she was good.
If you want to toast the grand opening of Kashmir, swing by on Thursday, July 1 starting at 11 a.m. There will be bubbly drinks, both alcoholic and non- on hand until they run out.