Lost Boys: Fearless

by Elise Diamantini

With Kelly Muccio in charge, Lost Boys find their way.

The very moment Kelly Muccio, owner of Lost Boys in Washington D.C. realized her heart was in fashion, she quit her job in private finance and was on an 8 a.m. bus to New York the next day. “I’ve learned that in order to be successful, you have to be fearless. So many times people won’t do something they really want to do because they’re scared. Once I realize that fear is what’s holding me back, I put it behind me and dive in. My most successful events, projects or new collections have spawned from being fearless.”

Upon arriving in New York, Muccio knocked on the door of every fashion company she could think of and was hired by the president of menswear for Tommy Hilfiger. “He basically told me that if I worked for him, he’d expose me to every aspect of the industry and I’d leave with a master’s degree in fashion.” She went on to launch men’s and women’s apparel for Victorinox and then moved to Los Angeles to launch a women’s couture shoe line. While in California, Muccio was injured in a bad accident which brought her back to the D.C. area to rehabilitate. “While there, my guy friends kept asking me for style advice. I loved helping them and felt like D.C. was becoming this cool city, so I decided to stay and open a personal styling business. I quickly realized that I needed clothes to pull from, so in order to get all the great collections, decided to open a store.”

Lost Boys opened in 2008 and Muccio describes the edit as “what I’m personally digging for men that season.” She stocks brands like Gilded Age, Band of Outsiders, Shipley & Halmos and Rogan. “I opened with the intention of selling men’s basics, but better. I try to make every man look like the best version of himself. I love that moment after I’ve styled a guy when he looks in the mirror and sees himself differently. He sees himself the way I saw him when he walked in. Because when a guy walks in, I don’t see him in what he’s wearing, I picture him wearing the clothes that I would style him in.”

Muccio says the store’s assortment is shifting towards fashion thanks to the local guys’ newfound interest in menswear. “I’m freaking out because I’m bringing in brands like John Varvatos for the first time ever! We’re selling things like light washed denim from Gilded Age. It’s crazy because I tend to stock dark and dressy and this was the first time in four years that I bought a pair of light washed jeans. But they sold because they can be dressed up for work or worn more casually. The pendulum is swinging back to a dressier look, but I love how casual is fusing with dressy. So even though it’s trending back to classic, guys aren’t afraid to infuse an edgier piece into the look.”

On Black Friday 2012, Muccio launched The Black Room, a private styling space upstairs from Lost Boys. Muccio says that The Black Room grew from her clients private styling requests. “I’d shut down the store and hand-pick looks for them. It became so popular that we were closed for appointments more than we were open. When I heard the floor upstairs was available, I knew I had to open a special styling room there.” For her Black Room customers, Muccio sources product from Lost Boys, as well as from New York and Italy. “I’m able to offer my Black Room guys really special things that no one else has by calling in favors from my designer friends. It’s so much fun because I order something I saw in a fashion show for a customer that I might not ever buy for the store. There was one season where Rogan made a waxed cotton canvas suit with barbed wire detailing under the collar. I have a super edgy client who I knew would want it. The suit never made it into production but there was a sample, so I called Rogan and got the sample for my customer.”

In addition to private styling sessions, The Black Room gives Muccio the space to host more extravagant events. Like her latest fashion vs. foodie throwdown between Shipley & Halmos’s Jeff Halmos and Sam Shipley and Rogue 24’s R.J. Cooper. “Sam and Jeff are total foodies and told me that they would cook against anyone. So I said to them, ‘Really? Anyone? Ok, meet James Beard Award winning chef R.J. Cooper!’ It was such a fun evening. I love to create one of those ‘remember when, elbow rubbing’ nights for my guys. Something I’ve learned is that everyone loves to feel inspired and likes to go to a place where they can take a break from their world. People walk into Lost Boys feeling one way and my goal is for them to walk out feeling like they’re having the best day ever. People want that extravagance and want to feel like they’re being showered with love and attention. It’s my joy to be the one who makes that happen for them.”

Fast Facts

* Established in 2008
* Location: Washington, D.C.
* Size: 2,400 sq. ft. (Lost Boys is 1,200 sq. ft and The Black Room is 1,200 sq. ft.)
* Top brands: Gilded Age, Rogan, Band of Outsiders
* 100% men’s
* 100% branded
* Key retail pricepoints: wovens $195 to $365, suiting $895 to $1,700, denim $225 to $395, outerwear $695 to $2,000 *Pricepoints are higher for suiting and outerwear at The Black Room