Join the National Basketball Association. Open a restaurant. Launch a clothing line. Release an album. For four Washington men, these are all acceptable answers to What did you do this summer?
Each sports the season’s No. 1 trend: color. Playing with brights is huge, says Sam Lobban, a buyer for menswear retailer mrporter.com. You can get away with anything in the sunshine.
The Athlete: Otto Porter
At a whopping 6 feet 8, Porter’s stature is nothing to sneeze at. Nor are his basketball skills: The All-American forward at Georgetown University was the No. 3 pick, taken by the Washington Wizards, in the Thursday’s NBA draft. When he’s not on the court, the Missourian-turned-Hoya enjoys playing video games, watching TV and attending soccer matches. In other words, being your typical 20-year-old.
He shows off on the steps of Georgetown’s Healy Hall in an indigo Levi’s work shirt ($195), Brixton Cerro leather belt ($52), Junya Watanabe pink linen shorts ($450, mrporter.com), a brass-plate leather bracelet by 18 Waits ($115) and Nike sneakers.
The Designer: Skyler Javier
During the day, Javier fights blazes for the District of Columbia Fire Department. In his spare time, the 26-year-old College Park, Md., native sketches and sews patterns for his nascent menswear and accessory line, Native Danger (nativedanger.com).
Set to debut online and in stores this September, the fall 2013 collection includes contemporary knits and graphic tees designed by the self-taught fashionista.
Javier produces the line out of his work-live studio in Washington, where he’s shown here staying cool in a Strategy striped tee by French Connection ($48, piperlime.com), slim-cut jeans in Big Sur yellow ($78, Bonobos.com), G Shock by Casio G5600 white watch ($150), Nike Air Max 1 Essential Total Crimson Squadron Blue sneakers ($100) and a pair of Griffin eyeglass frames ($99, warbyparker.com).
The Chef: Aaron Silverman
Potomac, Md., native Silverman, 31, learned how to cook at McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., and Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York. In September, he’ll use the know-how he gained at these legendary spots to open Rose’s Luxury, a restaurant on Capitol Hill’s Barracks Row. Expect such eclectic American dishes as popcorn/lobster soup and pasta with strawberry sauce.
Aaron plucks herbs from the garden at his Capitol Hill home in Hartford’s classic linen shirt ($170, mrporter.com), a Massimo Dutti linen-blend sweater ($60, on sale at massimodutti.com), Bonobos jeans in aspen spruce ($98, Bonobos.com), Ben Sherman Pril slip-ons in white linen ($65, piperlime.com) and Murdoch’s square-frame acetate sunglasses ($220, mrporter.com).
The Musician: Jonny Grave
Grave admits he first started playing guitar because he thought it would impress the ladies. Born and raised in Silver Spring, Md., the 25-year-old blues man eventually landed a regular gig at his hometown Quarry House Tavern before recording his first album at age 19. His latest record, The Hammer (No. 6 in his discography), includes covers of folk standards as well as original songs.
In addition to other regular appearances at local bars, the singer performs weekly at Madam’s Organ in Washington, where he kicks back in Jean Shop Rocker jeans ($260, mrporter.com) and vintage western wear, including a Bronco brand western shirt, Tony Lama cowboy boots and Stetson hat.