When Alicia Abbington found out that her hip boyswear brand, Garçon Mèlaninè & Co., was among the three small businesses that won Tysons Corner Center’s first DreamStart competition—a Shark Tank-style program that provides an incubator for up-and-coming companies—she admits that she cried. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Abbington, who, as a result, was able to open a pop-up boutique in August at the retail destination. “Tysons gets so much foot traffic. You see people from everywhere.” So, who does she credit for helping her land a top spot? Son JJ, of course. He joined her when she presented her concept to a five-judge panel who would decide the winners. “He got up there and said, ‘I’m the face of Garçon,’” she says. “Honestly, I think that’s what sealed the deal. … He’s my muse and told the story without telling the story.” Visit the shop, and you’ll find plenty of pieces perfect for your fella—comfy pants, trendy jackets, and personality-filled tees. Here, her back-to-school picks for your little dude.
Camo Windbreaker, $37.90
“These are perfect for that in-between weather and are a must-have for active children. They can run and be comfortable, and the pieces are very versatile. You can pair them with shorts for a casual play date or elevate the windbreakers with denim. Plus, kids love the color combos.”
Statement Tee, $15-$28
“These T-shirts are breathable but so fashionable. You can wear them with sweatpants and sneakers for an on-the-go look. They’re also cool layered underneath a jacket. The kids love them—the Speaker of the House, No Filter, and the Pardon My Swag, the latter of which sold out but people want me to re-stock.”
On Point Pins Collection, $20-$35
“The collection teaches your kids unity and that we’re equal together. It comes in hoodie sweaters, bombers, and sweatpants. The pieces all coincide and they’re easy for kids to play in: They’re balls of energy.”
Novelty Sweatshirts, $30
“We have an Out of this World sweatshirt that we pair with green sweatpant shorts. It works with a pair of Nikes or sneakers for that trendy look. It’s perfect for fall because kids don’t have to layer the sweatshirt—they can just wear it on its own.”
Cargo Sweatpants, $27
“They were among our top-selling pieces over opening weekend. They are sweatpants but with cargo pockets. They’re easy to dress up, and they’re an alternative to denim. My son, for example, has denim pieces, but he doesn’t love to wear them. Denim is not as comfortable for him—probably because I try to stick him in skinny jeans. He’s always running and jumping, and wants to be able to move. But these pants are elevated enough to pair with a jacket or T-shirt and still look put together.” 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., Tysons Corner, garconmelanineandco.com
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