Swahili Dreams for Stylish D.C. Professionals
Young professionals working in the D.C. metro area face a unique style dilemma. We need to be poised to face the political, business and legal environments that identify our city, while also being prepared for the after-work happy hours, dinners and cultural amusements (which are often just as important to carving out a fulfilling career). I often find myself swapping pumps, changing blouses and touching up my hair and makeup in my car to make myself appropriate for an after-work function. For the style-inclined, it’s a skill to find a balance between good style, comfort and looking professional.
I recently went to a pop up shop at the Science Club for Maono, a young company that, I think, speaks to D.C.’s unique blend of politics and power with passionate professionals. With perfectly tailored clothes and beautiful quality-made bags, I felt this brand was truly trying to cater to the ambition and youth that characterize D.C. Francesca Ruberti, director of operation at Maono, told me a little bit about the up-and-coming company and picked out some of her favorite items from their collection.
DC on Heels: Can you tell me a little bit about how and why Maono was started?
Francesca Ruberti: Maono was launched in 2011, by Syga Thomas, CEO and founder. The word “Maono” in Swahili means “vision” or “dream.” Mr Thomas, after traveling in several countries, conceptualized his first high-end clothing line for young professionals with the aim to give back to the local community. By shopping with Maono, people make a direct financial contribution to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, providing our youth with the support and guidance they need to succeed – Syga thought the word Maono was very inspiring in representing his dream.
DCOH: Why did you choose to be in D.C.?
F.R.: Maono was launched in Washington, D.C. due to the area’s unique cultural blend of fashion and power. The District is a playground for some of the world’s most influential minds, working together to create lasting change. What then could be more appropriate than outfitting the power-players to make a good impression, all while allowing them the opportunity to bring up a new generation of game changers?
DCOH: What kind of men and women are Maono designs made for?
MAONO is an essential gear for the classic, young professional man and women. With an exclusive feel and price point that you can’t get anywhere else.
DCOH: Can I try on before I buy?
F.R.: Now you can. Schedule an appointment and come by our office for a quick shopping experience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DCOH: Do you have any products in particular that are your favorites from Maono or that you would like to highlight?
Francesca’s Bag ($220): Bold and beautiful, the limited edition Francesca is a classic silhouette with modern detailing. A large zippered center divider pocket keeps the interior separate and organized, allowing for a sleek exterior free of pockets and clutter. Handcrafted in Italy from sturdy premium leather, this spacious tote is perfect for weekends, travel and commuting to work.
Joy’s Wallet ($68): Glossed finish, mock croc calf leather. Featuring an outside zipper coin pocket, an interior ID window, multiple bill compartments and 15 card slots. It goes from day to night in a snap! The timeless clutch zip wallet is practical and luxurious. If you are looking for a wallet to contain your life … here it is! Colors: yellow mimosa, red temptation, black diamond, white pearl.