By Angela Bobo
Do you have that friend that travels the world and has amassed an amazing and unique wardrobe because of it? Thanks to the founders of online retailer DOKU, that dream of a specially curated global closet can become a reality. We got the scoop from the Arlington-based co-founder Akila Hunte on why this new website is a win for the NoVA fashion scene and when you can expect a pop-up store in our area.
Q: What prompted you to start this online boutique in Arlington?
I went to undergrad in D.C. along with our co-founder. After college, we moved to Arlington and really loved the area! We started traveling together and discovered so many amazing designers. However, once we returned to the states, it was really hard to place orders with the designers as a customer. Either the shipping rates were outrageous or the designers didn’t have a secure way to purchase their items. This is was the birth of DOKU.
Q: How do you decide what designers to carry?
Our mission is to give emerging, indie designers a platform to retail their clothing outside of their local markets. During our recruitment efforts, we want to see that prospective designers have participated in major shows in their local market (i.e, Ghana Fashion & Design Week, Altaroma Fashion Week, Lakme Fashion Week, etc) and are contributing something fresh and new to fashion. We also look at their aesthetic to determine if it would be a good fit for the various types of women that we target. Since our customers’ style runs the gamut, we make sure that every designer we bring on board will fit one of the various style persona(s). Additionally, we request samples from each designer prior to stocking their items to ensure that the finish and quality craftsmanship is present.
Q:Why do you think this site will interest the Northern Virginia shopper?
Women in Northern Virginia are some of the most well-educated, well- travelled women in the country. As a result of their exposure to various cultural influences, a desire for access to a global closet has emerged. Who doesn’t want to be able to easily purchase a designer dress online that they saw while on traveling on business in Accra?
Q: When do you expect to host a pop-up in the area?
We will be partnering with some local bloggers to host an event in Early Spring 2015.