When you visit Timothy Lowery at his home–a condo perched high above his very own fashion kingdom, otherwise known as CityCenterDC–he may offer you a cup of tea (Twinings only) served in his Hermes china. He may put on a record for you from his vintage collection (Rat Pack vinyl is a favorite). Or he may offer you a seat in his Eames chair, just one of the pieces that gives his space a mid-century-modern-meets minimalism aura. But, it might just be the two glittery statuettes that stand at attention in his office that grab your eyes first.
There aren’t many Emmy winners walking around DC, but Lowery, who–along with DC-based creative firm Design Army–has won several Emmys in the commercial category for CityCenterDC’s toe-tapping, uplifting “Find Your Joy” and “District of Joy” campaigns. And, as the general manager of CityCenterDC, Lowery has certainly found his own joy, overseeing the curation of CityCenterDC’s mix of retail, restaurants and events that turned a former surface parking lot into a luxury mecca for the region’s fashion and foodie sets.
Lowery moved to DC from New York City prior to CityCenter’s opening in 2013. He’s served as a director with the global commercial real estate investment firm, Hines, for nearly 20 years. Since then, the destination has welcomed brands from Chanel to Christofle and Tiffany & Co. to Tesla.
“There was no high street fashion experience here [until CityCenterDC] like there were in other markets,” says Lowery. “These brands really want a presence in DC … and one thing CityCenterDC does so well is create a sense of place for them. It’s not just about buying a Chanel bag, it’s about the experience of buying a Chanel bag.”
Of course, to oversee the city’s most fashionable destination means having a fashionable person at the helm. Lowery fits the bill.
Named “Most Fashionable” back in his high school days, he continues that tradition today, earning titles like Washingtonian’s Style Setters and DC Modern Luxury’s Men of Style in recent years.
Lowery says his style leans toward a classic look, but that simply means you’ll rarely find him without at least a tailored jacket on.
“DC is such a conservative town so there’s certainly, for me, an element of that in my own style,” says Lowery. “I have such an appreciation for streetwear but that’s just not me. I wear a lot of suits. All my suits are custom. I love ties. Lots of ties, lots of shoes. And I really love watches. Growing up, my father was a minister. I seldom ever saw my father out of a suit. In my formative years, that was my perception of a man. A dapper, well-dressed man in a suit. I’ve always been someone focused on dressing well.”
Here, Lowery invites us into his home to share some of his own personal fashion and design favorites.
All that glitters
Lowery’s Emmys–awarded for the “Find Your Joy” and “District of Joy” campaigns–are housed in his office, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking CityCenterDC below. He says CityCenterDC really found its place when it started to focus on experiences for its clients. “We’ve created this fashion experience in the heart of downtown DC.”
Mid-Century Mad Men
The classic Herman Miller Eames Chair and Lounger is just one of Lowery’s mid-century modern pieces. A Saarinen oval table and tulip chairs serve as his dining room; and Florence Knoll sofas and Wassily chairs sit in his living room. Why mid-century modern? “It’s part of a bygone era and to me it never goes out of style. It symbolizes the epitome of style of that era. When you had those amazing designers and architects all working together to create this signature look.”
Coffee table books play a large part in Lowery’s decor, including books by artists and designers who inspire him. A favorite style icon? “Anything Tom Ford does is just amazing. He inspires me in that he wears a suit and he knows how to accessorize it. It fits well. I love watching Tom Ford and those kinds of people who are currently icons and how they dress.”
A fashion lesson Lowery says he’s learned: If you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it. He saw this Prada coat with a shearling collar when window shopping in New York City four years ago. The store was closed and he decided to add a day on to his trip just to try it on. He loved it, but decided to hold off. But, he says, he never forgot how much he loved it. Fast forward to a trip to Paris this year and he happened upon it in a store. “I bought it,” he says with a grin.
Lowery has a closet filled with custom suits. “That’s pretty typical for DC. The most important thing about a suit is the way it fits. I don’t pull a suit off the rack and wear it. A well-tailored suit is what makes a man look the best.” His accessories, like shoes, watches and glasses (see his eye-catching Morgethal Frederic specs in his portrait above), help to round out Lowery’s signature look.
Blue Suede Shoes
“My partner and I used to go up to New York in mid-January to shop for shoes at Bergdorfs and Saks. I saw these blue suede Louboutin boots and couldn’t stop thinking about them. I went back two days later and got them. Everytime I wear them, I get compliments.”
Lowery is a watch collector. He has about 30 in his current collection, including three Cartier watches. “When CityCenterDC was first finished, I bought myself a Cartier watch. That was what I awarded myself.” The most special though, is a watch he has from his dad. “He got this when he was over in Europe during the war. It’s a Swiss watch. I had it refurbished with a new alligator band.” One watch he doesn’t own? An Apple watch. “I love the beauty of a watch, the classic nature. My watch is part of my assertion of style. It’s how you differentiate yourself.”
Lowery has a number of antique finds in his home, like this bust of the Greek god Apollo he picked up at an antique store in St. Michaels. “Half its head was missing but I loved it so much. I literally bought plaster and filled in the crack. I love Apollo because he’s the god of the arts. He’s the one who ascribes the power of the arts. It means so much to me because I found it. It’s one of my prized possessions.” Another prized possession? His Breitling timepiece (pictured here next to Apollo).
With the mid-century modern aesthetic, it should come as no surprise that Lowery and his partner are big Mad Men fans, which is reflected in the vintage bar set. Lowery’s collection of barware includes a vintage Tiffany & Co. decanter he got at a Union Market Joseph Ireland pop-up; a Dorothy Thorpe vintage martini pitcher; a Georg Jensen cocktail shaker; Baccarat martini glasses; and Christofle tumblers, a tray, bowl and ice bucket. “Setting up the bar has been ongoing. Some of those pieces are probably a decade old. I love vintage. You can’t replicate them.”
Time for Tea
Lowery got his Tom Dickson tea set in London and pairs it with his Hermes tea cup. “I love Tom Dickson because it’s modern. When you think of tea you think of those dainty British looking tea sets, but I love this one because it’s so modern.” Lowery drinks a cup of tea for breakfast every morning.
Off the Cuff
My partner found these vintage Art Deco cufflinks and button dress set in an antiques store in Georgetown as a first anniversary present. They’re made of Krementz abalone, gold and platinum inlay. They were missing the fourth button/stud, as only having three was common in the 1920s. so My partner worked with the shop owner to find just the right matching fourth button/stud for it so I could use it with my more modern wardrobe. Little did he know, at the same time, I was buying him a vintage decanter from the same antiques shop for our first anniversary!