Minimal, color-coordinated and zesty, these Washingtonians have covetable wardrobes that match their unique personalities.
Fresh from receiving her yoga instructor certication this Real Housewives of Potomac star and restaurant co-owner is focused on her journey of self-discovery—luckily her vibrant and practical wardrobe will keep her looking great along the way. Even though she’s a reality TV star for a franchise that pits wealthy women against each other, Ashley Darby prefers modesty. “My mom was a single parent and didn’t always have the means to buy me the best clothes,” she says. “So I found ways to feel good about what I wore without being extravagant.” A peek inside her closet reveals looks from Zara (multiple locations in DC, zara.com) and Karen Millen (1259 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC, karenmillen.com). She likes approachable designs. “Being fashionable is achievable—you don’t have to wear Carolina Herrera to look great.” She says her look is “zesty, youthful and super eclectic.” Her biggest style obstacle might be sharing a closet with her husband and Oz Restaurant and Bar (2950 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA, ozarlington.com) co-owner. “He is a neat freak and I’m not,” she condes. Sounds like a reality TV episode in the making.
In a city known for being one of America's most international, Donald Syriani has you out-globaled. An engineer by day and stylesetter, DJ and artist by night, he travels the world acquiring music and fashion, which he customizes to make his own. Sultry samba plays while traffic lights blink on 14th Street below. They bathe Syriani’s contemporary two bedroom U Street condo in red hues, perfectly blending with his color coordinated home. “Black and red are powerful and mysterious,” he says. They are also his calling card—from fashion to turntables, black, red, gray and white are de rigueur. “They are elegant,” he explains. He admires elegance. “I just got back from Brazil. There is an amazing hotel in Rio de Janeiro called Emiliano that has a collection of elegant music that I compiled and brought back.” Syriani speaks six languages, including Portuguese. When this IvyConnect and ASmallWorld ambassador travels, he wears a dishdasha in Oman, a kurta in India and a long-sleeve guayabera in Cuba. “The smart thing to do is to modernize the style with your own, but be respectful of the culture,” he says.
SKIP AND DEBBIE SINGLETON
You wish you had an integrated closet system as chic and precisely organized as these two partners in life and business. The co-founders of virtual brokerage rm DC Living Real Estate (dcliving.com) and DC Design House (dcdesignhouse.com) moved from The Palisades to a modern Georgetown waterfront condo in order to simplify. They decided to maximize space in their 2,000-square-foot Water Street condo by working with Bo Georgetown (3320 M St. NW, DC, bo.com). One month and 13 custom closets later, their combined live work space was aligned with their essentials only ethos. “It’s not about organizing, it’s about freeing up time to spend with people around you,” explains Debbie. “We work life into our living but we don’t live to work,” adds Skip. As for the closets, Skip admits, “I had some input, but that’s Debbie’s passion.” Organizing the shelving might be the only thing this couple, who just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary, don’t do together. “We’re best friends. We work together, work out together, shop together and we like all the same restaurants,” says Debbie.
Photography by Jen Eun