We travel because we love the experiences that we gain. We love the people and cultures that we encounter, and despite the hiccups that may come, we often leave filled up and rejuvenated. This is what Professor K.J. Hughes had in mind when he launched D.C.‘s cultural hub, Manifest.

More than just a fancy place to get a haircut, it’s an invitation for Black people, especially Black men, to just be and experience the luxury they deserve. Professor Hughes says these spaces have been lacking, so he created one of his own.

“Through my travels, I’ve taken note of the cultural appropriation that goes on, where there’s all kinds of urban and obviously Black cultural additives to a lot of things that folks are now calling luxury, but we’re not necessarily at the table to determine whether it’s luxury or not,” he tells Travel Noire.

Manifest is where that narrative stops.

But Professor Hughes isn’t telling you what luxury looks like or how to experience it. He says it depends on you and your needs. Manifest just serves as the backdrop.

“I want you to feel refreshed. I want you to feel appreciated,” Hughes says. “Whatever it is that you walked in here lacking, hopefully, we added a little bit of that back to your cup.”


“We’re all striving to kind of be our best selves and that’s tiring to do day in and day out. So, to walk into a place that’s not asking you for a bunch and telling you a bunch of rules… We literally have our palms up saying ‘how can I make your day?’ That’s what we’re here for.”

Black luxury can start in one of four barbers’ chairs or by grabbing a cup of coffee at the bar. It can also be found through products sold at Manifest or through its Out of Office experience, which allows you to learn more about Black subcultures in places around the world where you least expect. All you need is the menu; drinks are inspired by Black people in Costa Chica, Mexico, and jazz clubs in Japan.

“Manifest is that place that I hope when people come in, they leave with something more than they came with and not just a physical good. Everything that we do is about educating, elevating, and having meaningful conversations.”


For more information, visit www.manifest.us.

Related: 10 Essentials All Black Men Need When Traveling The World