“Next in Fashion” designer Deontré Hancock talks creative inspiration, profound loss and what’s next after his time on the hit Netflix show.
Read Our May 2023 Issue
Looking for our full print issue? Log in or become a member today to view this month’s issue in clickable PDF form.
CURATORS OF STYLE. There’s a moment at most cover shoots when everything clicks into place and I’m left buzzing with energy from what we’ve created. Our May shoot was no exception, but the reverberations were more powerful than usual. I attribute this to a combination of the sheer volume of talent we had in the same space that day and a shared excitement for the vision of our Style Issue.
Our cover subjects — D.C.-based designer Deontré Hancock, best known for his role on the second season of Netflix’s “Next in Fashion,” and stylist and multihyphenate Lana Rae — are stunning representations of the city’s dynamic fashion scene. In the seven-and-a-half years I’ve been directing the magazine’s cover shoots, I can without a doubt say this was the most creative we’ve ever been with wardrobe selection. Model and stylist Rania Younis pulled out all the stops for Rae, her co-stylist for the day, with one of the funkiest collections I’ve ever seen.
A cape adorned with teddy bears draped over a sequined gown and an ’80s-inspired set covered in vixenish red lips and paired with bicep-high red gloves (major Grace Jones vibes) were among the final looks selected. Hancock crafted a handful of eclectic looks for the shoot, ranging from a white-and-green embroidered short suit fit for a garden party to an edgy, free-flowing denim outfit covered in electric blue loose threads. Selecting which of these imaginative options best complemented one another was by far the most fun I’d had on set in a while.
The dynamic setting, newly opened boutique hotel The Morrow in NoMa, was the perfect backdrop for the many vibrant moods dreamt up by our team. From countless bold poses struck by the duo on the rooftop, directly outside aptly named cocktail bar Upstairs, to the statuesque Rae sauntering along the bar counter at Nicholas Stefanelli’s new restaurant concept Le Clou (in platform boots and rocking her signature pompadour, no less) — each shot by photographer Tony Powell celebrates the collective freedom we have to curate our own personal style and our city’s vibe.
We’re excited to share our gorgeous 108-page May issue with readers, highlighting 20+ local style setters and their impact on the District — plus so much more. Readers, thank you for your continued interest in and support of local storytelling. We’ll be releasing May content every day over the next week-and-a-half, so keep checking back for new stories from our Style Issue.
Style + Grit: Stylist Lana Rae Seizes Every Opportunity
Stylist and multihyphenate Lana Rae talks taking every opportunity, working through pain and getting creative on her many projects.
An Unbreakable Bond: Meet the Mother-Daughter Team Behind Mindy Lam Jewelry
Mindy Lam and Kai Sia on what it takes to run a successful family business, why D.C. is their safe haven and the importance of originality.
Daikaya Group Owner Katsuya Fukushima on Flair, In + Out of the Kitchen
The multi-restaurant owner talks style in food, dream collabs and new food ventures in D.C.
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli Talks Ever-Evolving Style
The Le Clou chef speaks on style in and out of the kitchen.
Tex-Mex Spot La Tejana’s Owner Shares Her Favorite D.C. Eats
La Tejana’s Ana-Maria Jaramillo visits these places when not working her different ventures around D.C.
On the Sunny Side Up: Inside the Upcoming I Egg You Storefront
Scott Drewno brings a chef’s touch to elegant fried-egg sandwiches.
Moon Rabbit Brings Baijiu Plus a Night Market to The Wharf
The chefs of Moon Rabbit innovate in several ways: using baijiu in their drinks, hosting festivals to celebrate AAPI month and creating initiatives to stop AAPI hate.
Pretty Bitter on Style Evolutions
From coming out to taking feminizing hormones to adopting a monochromatic wardrobe and more, Pretty Bitter give their stylish takes below.
9:30 Club Replica The Atlantis Opens May 30
Ahead of the highly-anticipated opening, District Fray has the inside scoop on what to expect at this intimate nostalgic venue.
DMV Sounds: May 2023
We put together five of the best local show options this May in the DMV.
Designer Ron David Dresses D.C. Bold + Bright
The designer on Ron David Studio, local style icons and what fashion looks like to him in D.C.
Designer Casey Rowe on Building a Name in Fashion
The custom designer talks tailoring, the fashion industry and the value of a well-fitting suit.
DC Fashion Week Founder Ean Williams Puts District Style on the Map
Williams provides insight on the upcoming trends for this summer.
Stylist + Model Rania Younis on the Art of Looking Fabulous
Stylist, model and owner of Shop the Runway Rania Younis talks trust in styling, her business ventures and trends in D.C.
Consummate Multihyphenate Maya Oren’s Style Tells a Story
The multihyphenate talks personal style, signature pieces and how she views style in D.C.
Getting Dressed (Up) with DCFashion Fool
Learn how Barnette Holston makes fashion work for him and his tips for dressing your best.
Reading List: May 2023
What to read this month according to Adams Morgan staple Lost City Books.
Film Picks: May 2023
Our film picks include classic horror, Oscars snubs and musicals in museums and world class theaters this May in the DMV.
I Will Follow: May 2023
Who to follow on Instagram and TikTok to make your life better.
Photographer Vina Sananikone Talks Function + Form
Sananikone shares her wardrobe must-haves (hint: pockets are required).
Your Guide to AAPI Month in D.C.
Your guide to celebrating the many cultures of this diaspora in D.C., in May and year-round.
The Most Potent Medicine: D.C. Creatives Talk Mental Health
Three D.C. creatives on how to support, engage and collaborate during Mental Health Awareness Month.
15 Ways to Explore the City of Falls Church as a Local
Our Local Tourist column explores the thrills of D.C.’s many neighborhoods. This time, we zoom in on the City of Falls Church.
Members Only: Wolf Trap’s Morgan Elwell Talks Shop + D.C. Go-Tos
We are so grateful for the people who help make District Fray possible, so we’re highlighting them in our Members Only series.
Game Time: May 2023
Soccer, basketball, football and baseball picks for May in the DMV.
Running in Style: Pro Tips from D.C. Running Experts
Local running experts clue us in on the best apparel for this season’s exercise.
Beginner’s Guide: Give Your Bike a Glow-Up This Spring
Here’s a shortlist of accessories and ways to trick out your ride, so you can celebrate National Bike Month in style.
Players’ Club: Catie Merino on Fray Leagues + Her Favorite D.C. Things
We love our DC Fray players, so we’re highlighting them in our Players’ Club series.
Mystics Guard Ariel Atkins’ Personality Shines Through Fashion
The basketball player on how D.C. influenced her style, the design process for her new clothing line and how she customizes her uniform.
Wizards Point Guard Monté Morris on Wearing What You Feel
Morris shares the meaning behind his new clothing line.
Wizards Sharpshooter Corey Kispert Explains Style On + Off the Court
Kispert talks about NBA dress code changes and fashion influences.