Shinola Opens a Pop-Up in D.C. and Sets Out to Expand Nationally

Detroit-based watch and leather goods brand Shinola opened a temporary pop-up shop on 14th St. N.W. in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night—in advance of its permanent D.C. flagship set to open in the Logan Circle area in February.

The temporary location carries the breadth of Shinola’s product offerings, including its heritage-inspired watch collection, bicycles, bound journals, and raw-leather bags, wallets, and pouches.


Inside Shinola’s new Washington, D.C., holiday pop-up 

The nation’s capital, said Shinola CEO Steve Bock, has always been on the company’s radar.

“It’s clearly one of the most important cities in the U.S.,” he said, adding that the bustling shopping and restaurant row on 14th Street—an area known as the 14th Street Corridor—is “the kind of quirky location we look for. It’s perfect for us.”

The brand will debut a store in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood on Friday and plans to open a shop in Chicago next month. At least two additional U.S. locations will follow in 2015.

Shinola, which has become the hippest face of Detroit’s recovery efforts (the city declared bankruptcy in 2013), manufacturers all its goods in the the Motor City, though watch parts are made in Switzerland, then shipped to Detroit for assembly, because “they simply can’t be made here,” said Bock. 

“Detroit is a huge part of who we are,” Bock said. And the city clearly loves its homegrown watchmaker: Shinola’s retail store in midtown Detroit will net “around $9 million” in sales in 2014, reported the CEO. The company’s Tribeca store in New York City, in contrast, will bring in approximately $3 million.

Watches sit in front a photograph shot by Bruce Weber.

The company has recently collaborated with some fashion heavy hitters, namely supermodel Carolyn Murphy—Shinola’s new women’s design director—and photographer Bruce Weber, who shot its most recent campaign.

And in 2015, it will debut the first line of leather goods by Shinola’s new leather gurus, Richard Lambertson and John Truex, formerly of Tiffany & Co. and luxury bag collection Lambertson Truex. 

To say the company is in growth mode would be like saying chocolate is a beloved food—a major understatement. “It used to be just two of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off,” jokes Bock. “Now it’s 320 of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off.”

JCK Magazine Editor