Ike Behar Brings Quality Shirts, Suits to M Street BY C ORRIE DYK E
Family-owned business Ike Behar has set up shop on M Street, bringing luxury shirts, ties and suits to Georgetown. From readymade to full-out custom, the Behars know tailoring: they’ve been in the business since 1957. The company their father brought from Cuba is now under the care of the three Behar brothers, Steven, Alan and Lawrence. Ike learned his trade in a Cuban custom tailor shop before coming to the U.S. in the early 1950s. He then went off to the Korean War. When he returned, he worked for a custom shirtmaker, then convinced five others to join him in a venture that became his signature company. In 1969, Ike was introduced to a tie man named Ralph Lauren. Ike soon put Lauren in the shirt business and the two worked together until 1982. In early ’81, Ike was encouraged by his wife Regina to make a shirt with his name on it. “She’s really the founder of the brand you see today,” Alan said. The business is headquartered in Miami, where the shirt factory sits directly behind the corporate offices. Ike Behar began to fill a gap in the market for high-quality products, beginning with specialty stores around the country, the first on King Street in Charleston. Their first customer was Bergdorf Goodman, followed by Neiman Marcus. Today, they have been in Neiman’s for more than 30 years. “We’ve seen our 500 go to 100,” Alan said, referring to the small specialty stores booted out by Louis Vuitton and Kate Spade. “So we’re really going to where our customer was and is, and giving them the whole world of Ike Behar.” The entire line can be found in the Georgetown store, including Italian-made suits, made-to-measure suits from Canada and
full-custom, full-canvas suits made in Chicago
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Georgetown Office Lawrence and Alan Behar
by Oxford. Custom shirts can be made. The store also has sport coats. A wall of colorful shirts and ties brightens the warm wood of the Georgetown store and someone is always in the front to greet you. Lawrence will be staying in D.C. to run things. “We just want them to feel at home and spend time here,” Lawrence said of the M Street store, which has a flat screen and a drink table in the back half of the shop. “One of the things our father still instills in us today is the integrity of the product and to stand for the values that were started many years ago,” Alan said. Other full-line stores are in Charleston and Chicago. Charlotte will open soon. Their smaller shop is in Saks New York and a storewithin-a-store was recently built out at Macy’s Herald Square. “The big thing for us is bringing back that small town feel and being a part of the community, Lawrence said. “We’re surrounded by big companies opening and we’re sending a message that were not all gone.”
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However, your existing DC credential will remain valid until its expiration date and will still be accepted to enter federal buildings and board airplanes. ONE CITY DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
View the list of acceptable documents at dmv.dc.gov @dcdmv
Ike Behar, 2900 M St., NW, 202-808-8715, IkeBehar.com.
INS AND OUTS IN: Ann Hand of Washington, D.C., will relocate to 3236 Prospect St., NW, in June from its MacArthur Boulevard store, where it has been for years. The location seems perfectly appropriate for Ann Hand, called “the Nation’s Jeweler,” as it is across from Café Milano and Peacock Café. Hand began creating her American Collection more than 25 years ago. OUT: UTB Boutique, an adult toy store at 3147 Dumbarton St., NW, has closed as quickly as it arrived in January. The store – its name stands for “underneath the bed” – continues its online retail business. Slated to take over the space next to the Bank of America parking lots is a sandwich shop.
The Georgetown Ike Behar features the company’s full line of suits, shirts, coats and ties.
GMG, INC. May 21, 2014