ARTICLES

BOUTIQUES WITH HEART – SECOND LOVE

“Here! Decorate this cloth heart with puff paint for a quilt to be donated to the Tennyson Center!” We just walked into Second Love for Highland Square’s First Friday and already the store owner gave us a glass of wine and an offer to contribute to the boutique’s philanthropic pursuits. “We would love to”, Lauren grabs the paint tube, sets her glass of wine down, manages to get paint everywhere but the heart… art is not our forte.

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But store owner, Angie, does not mind. She beams at us while we try to paint a heart we can be proud of for her generous donation. “Supporting local businesses and the community is our passion”, Angie tells us. This quilt for the Tennyson Center is part of Second Love’s bigger project for the month of February, which is a blanket drive. They collect blankets from customers to give the kids who would otherwise have to do without at Tennyson.

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Touched by her generosity and breadth of compassion for the community, we also could not help but notice the quality of the items in the resale store. “Wait a second, is that a Burberry rain coat?” Lauren, defeated by the puff paint project and resuming her calling of shopping asks. “Yes! It’s $200.” Trying not to choke on our wine, we examine the coat thoroughly. It is in mint condition, despite being previously owned. Angie tells us why resale is a great option for both buyer and seller saying, “one of our missions is to hopefully play a part in helping the environment by decreasing the demand for new and mass produced clothes. So, the items we find have so much life and character left in them that when put together with a discerning eye are beyond anything you will find ‘new’.” She is spot on. A Burberry coat for $200 does not exist in regular retail. Then again a boutique with wine, heart, and a truly charming owner is hard to find as well.

For more information about donating to or shopping at Second Love, visit their webiste:http://secondlovedenver.com/

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WESTWORD WHITEOUT FASHION SHOW

Still under the archaic opinion that Denver does not have any time to spare for fashion? Westwordhelped us prove you wrong on Thursday night.

For every fashionista, the McNichols building was the place to be. But, Westword did not just stop at to-die-for-designs, they also had fully stocked bars and burlesque dancers in all white (who can deny a good time with that combination in tow?).

Thanks, Westword, for putting on such a spectacular event and setting the bar even higher for local designers, and future BDD events. Image

COMMON ERA

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b. shigley

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MONA LUCERO

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D’LOLA

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BDD DOES BROOKLYN

BDD traveled to New York recently and took the opportunity to see what Brooklyn could teach Denver about style. There was a lot to see, and we popped into every boutique we came across. Awed by the abundance of inspiration, funk, and fashion – we narrowed our post down to three boutiques. What do they all have in common? The idea that style is an investment and quality reigns supreme.

“In Brooklyn, the men (and women) are very stylish in a ‘non-fashion’ way. They don’t follow any particular trends. It’s about creating individual looks, combining old and new” – Kai D.

KAI D. UTILITIES
The level of intimidation walking into a Brooklyn boutique announcing yourself as a small Denver blog is… overwhelming. It was hard to even approach Kai D. (owner of Kai D. Utility) because his store is so remarkable. The store is packed-full with vintage nick-nacks to accentuate his hand-made apparel, but nothing compares to the focus wall he has set up with clothes and photos tacked to a board. “Work Hard Stay Humble” stands out in black and white in the middle of the clothes-collage.
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Positive sayings like this are scattered all throughout the store. We mustered up the courage to approach Kai D. for an interview and we could not be happier we did – it turns out that his modest yet strikingly remarkable designs are not just a reflection of his creativity, but his character as well.
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What has been most challenging about owning your own store?
The most challenging aspect is to maintain relevance to the
customers’ lifestyle and yet stay true to a consistent point of view.  The
customers today are very savvy and they demand the best value and they are
very critical of everything from fit, quality, design and materials.  It’s
hard for a small store to cover all the range of products and rotate them
based on the seasonality to keep the store fresh.

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Why did you choose Brooklyn?
Last year, I reached out to many ‘artisans’ that are creating products
locally (not just fashion but also in food industry and interior designs),
and I found all the ‘makers’ are based in Brooklyn. I think Brooklyn is
home to many ‘makers’ such as myself and there’s a certain sense of
community spirit that really inspires me.

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How do the fashions you see in Brooklyn inspire you?
The men (and women) are very stylish in a ‘non-fashion’ way.  They
don’t follow any particular trends.  It’s about creating individual looks,
combining old and new.  I also like the aspects of a certain ‘rugged
masculinity’ that is unique to the Brooklyn area.  Having said that, I
think Brooklyn is constantly evolving and I can see influences of
tailoring, workwear, military, and streetwear all blending together.

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Bird is packed with bright, tight fashion from Missoni, Hervé Léger, and Stella McCartney, these shops have everything a young society girl needs to get through a season full of brunch dates and party hopping. – New York Magazine 

BIRD

Bright would be an understatement. Walking into Bird feels like walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but the candy is clothes, and taste is your golden ticket. The boutique is filled with light and color.

We were immediately drawn to a royal blue clutch that felt like butter and snakeskin (weird combination, we’re aware, but that is the verbal form of what our tactic senses were going through). Again, the concept of quality was entrenched in every item. The clutch was so delicate and yet held its form like only designer bag can.

“There’s absolutely nothing trite about Hickoree’s, where everything is just a little bit better than it needs to be” – New York Times

HICKOREE’S

If Bird dresses the city girl out to have a good time while still kicking some ass in the professional world, then Hickoree’s dresses her very hip boyfriend. Equally as colorful, Hickoree’s manages to maintain an eminent masculinity.

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Hickoree’s started as an online store that focused mainly on durables. Now, it has expanded into one of the most coveted men’s denim stores. It offers Japanese denim at American prices, and the we were reminded once again how much of an emphasis Brooklyn boutiques place on quality.

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CONSIGNMENT

Even thrift stores in Brooklyn ooze style. We found this faux fur, knee-length coat for $40 and a Canali tux jacket for $90.

FUR

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GUEST BLOGGER – HENRY JAY – EPISODE 1

Henry is a big city transplant who has lived and played in international, metropolitan cities throughout his life. His first impression upon moving to Denver was not so much the lack of individual fashion sense per se, but rather the lack of a community and culture of style like those found in most other cities. He is hoping – along with Best Dressed Denver – to be a part of the collective movement to raise the level of fashion debate in this great city.

Suit SupplyDear SuitSupply, Welcome to Denver!

We are all bargain hunters. Whether you believe it or not, think back to the last time you purchased any item for less than the value you inherently attributed to it; that inexplicable feeling of beating the big guys by scoring a new pair of sunglasses for half-off, or that drastically underpriced (and adorable) brunch coat, even the Burberry trench coat you found at a thrift shop… That, is bargain hunting. And if you nodded just once, you are also a bargain hunter at heart.

However, as a man who prefers the cut of Ralph Lauren Black Label suits and the comfort of English handmade shoes, “bargains” are hard to find – especially here in Denver. That is why I feel compelled to write about the newest store coming to town: SuitSupply.

SuitSupply is a Dutch (Netherlands) company that has had an online presence for the past five years or so, and their retail stores are quickly expanding throughout the world with their extremely well-priced and well-crafted suits and suiting pieces. But don’t just ask me. SuitSupply has received awards from New York Magazine (best place to go shopping for suits), GQ Magazine (coolest new store), and The Wall Street Journal (number one for suits).

What makes the suits so good, beside their sub-$500 price point? Well, SuitSupply products are made using Italian fabrics from the Biella region such as Vitale Barberis Canonico, Carlo Barbera, and Cerruti. Their garments are made using traditional methods of craftsmanship, meaning the inside of the suit (the “structure”) is made of cotton reinforced with horse and camel hair. This approach results in a natural tailored fit.

Despite this traditional approach, SuitSupply targets the modern – even risky – businessman. With challenging patterns, slim-fits, and subtle details (like functional cuff buttonholes), this store is the perfect place to try a daring look. Further, what really sets SuitSupply apart is its impressive retail staff, each of whom are required to attend the proprietary “SuitSchool” in order to be the masters of finding the right look for any ocassion or body-type under the sun. Coupled with its in-store tailor (who will also tailor old suits for you), SuitSupply just may be what Denver needs to jumpstart a more sophisticated male fashion palate.

Now you see why I am so very excited that SuitSupply is opening a Cherry Creek location later this month to bring its U.S. store total to six. The only other cities that currently lay claim to a SuitSupply brick-and-mortar store are: NYC, Chicago, Philly, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. Good company, if you ask me. Denver, are you finally on the map?

BDD will be in attendance at the store’s press opening and will report back on that event – with pictures – shortly!

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Photo Credit: http://thebestfashionblog.com/tag/suitsupply

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MEET KATHY BACON

Best Dressed Denver is about more than just fashion. It is about heightening our community’s awareness of how our individual actions is noticed by-and can have an effect on-others. In our case, the action of deciding what to wear is what we highlight, but what about the other small, daily choices? The choice to smile at the Environmentalist holding the clipboard, even if you aren’t going to stop to save the planet; the choice to stay two hours late at work so your coworker can get home for his daughter’s birthday.

Those choices matter. They have an impact. And while we would love to chronicle the tiny yet tremendous effects, we did the next best thing: found someone who does. Meet Kathy Bacon. Kathy is the host of a radio show on Mile Hi Radio called Pay It Forward. The show highlights people all over the world who are making a difference in their community. In her own words:

when you listen to Pay it Forward radio, you are guaranteed to hear good news, you will hear stories and ideas of individuals who want to make a difference and how they actually put those ideas in motion

Kathy started Pay It Forward Radio just three years ago, but her roots in philanthropy extend further than that. In 2005, Kathy brought Dress for Success to Denver. A non-profit organization, Dress for Success seeks to help women who are going through the interview process with their attire. The group gives not just clothes, but helps introduce an otherwise unattainable confidence to help all women reach their full potential and succeed.

Kathy’s fusion of fashion and community service is a magnetic combination. It is one she will continue to cultivate with her new project, Fashion Forward Radio, set to broadcast on Today’s Woman Network Sundays at 11 AM. When we met Kathy, there were many things that were striking about her – her kindness, her attentiveness – but what was most inspiring is her genuine enthusiasm for the endeavors of others. That is why we are pleased and honored to announced that Best Dressed Denver will be a guest on Fashion Forward Radio on January 22, 2014.

For more information on Kathy Bacon, visit: http://kathybaconsworld.com/

For podcasts of former Pay It Forward interviews, visit: http://www.milehiradio.com

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