At first blush, there’s not much rhyme or reason to the vibe of the newly opened Capitol Hill street style boutique Estate on 10th Ave, which sells clothes from young, mostly American street style brands in the $40 to $200 range. A yellow tent sits in the middle of the shop, above it towers a large wall made of vintage speakers. In the background plays a version of the traditional American folk song “In the Pines” — produced by WZRD, Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius.
David Lee is wearing a chic emerald green suede jacket over a black hoodie. From the black leather lacquer to the big metal spikes: Everything about his shoes is shiny. Business partner and shop manager Tommy Devera is dressed more casually: a brown hat, a black Carhartt hoodie, and Bonanza work boots.
“It’s a mix,” Devera says about the new store. “We have something for everybody, whether it’s your 14, 15-year-old hypebeast kid, the so-called hipster Capitol Hill kid who buys vintage, or the girls that like the LA look.”
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“A lot of guys who come in here are (from) Microsoft, Amazon,” Devera continues. “These are the people that want to be accepted by something like our store. We’ve had this conversation recently, about people feeling like they aren’t part of something. We wanted to create a space where, yeah, we have cool shit, but we’re not going to push you away because you’re not part of our [world]? I’ve always hated that about streetwear stores and stores in general, where you have that ‘oh, you don’t dress like us so you shouldn’t be here.’”
Over a decade ago, Devera and Lee met at a store that was what they want Estate to be today: Welcoming. The legendary Seattle clothing store Zebra Club, where Devera was a business partner for a while, was the kind of “inclusive” streetwear shop they were looking for.
“Going into Zebra Club, Tommy was always super cool, and we’d have really good conversations,” Lee says. Lee — “the kid from the South End always coming to Seattle to buy clothes from shops nobody had heard of” — later opened his own fashion stores in Tacoma and Southcenter.
In 2015, he moved north, up to downtown Seattle, where he planned to open the first Estate store. The location was ideal: Hardwood floors, brick walls, old charm and the former site of the Doc Martens store Lee used to shop at when he was in his twenties.
There was just one catch: The building, on 2nd and Pike, was for sale. The owners assured him: It had been on the market for years. It wasn’t going anywhere. “Three weeks after the store opened, the building sold,” Lee says. On borrowed time, he operated his shop until he had to move out in 2018.
Lee found a new site on Capitol Hill, in the mixed-use, re-branded Jack apartment building, formerly the Modera. Having lived on the Hill on and off for over ten years, Devera and Lee both remember when the newly constructed building wasn’t even here yet. “This was a sunken parking lot for a long time,” Devera says. “where people used to get their car stolen (laughs).”
Last month, the duo, with the help of a business partner, opened the new Estate without much fanfare. CHS reported on some of the financial issues that swirled around the partnership but while speakeasy By the Pound faded away, the partners were able to get their lease issues on 10th Ave squared away. New landlords at the
Modera Jack helped.
They now have big plans for the 2,000-square-foot retail space. “Retail is kind of secondary to the aspirations for the space,” Lee explains, motioning to the large loft space upstairs, Estate’s office and design studio — where they work on the designs for their eponymous in-house brand.
“The bigger picture is for this to be a creative hub for all of our friends that have creative interest in fashion,” Lee says. “They either work in fashion or just kind of live the lifestyle and have great ideas, but have a hard time of getting past that first step of taking their ideas into tangibles. [We want to give people] the outlet.”
The dream is for the shop to be a central point for other fashion creatives who want to use their expertise in graphic design or printing equipment. They have a vinyl cutter and screen printer can help with assembling patterns for future fashion designs and could even point designers who want to produce their own fashion collections in the right direction.
They also want Estate to be a “cool space for cool events” like installations and pop-up shops and collaborations with brands.
“We have this cool LED screen here,” Lee adds. “I’m a huge Game of Thrones head. I’d love to watch the finale and throw an event in here. Just like anything we can think of to get people together and have a good time.”
Estate is open at 1420 10th Ave. You can learn more on Instagram @shopestate.