Top Shops to Buy Raw Denim in Denver, Colorado

Denver is a city on the rise. Thanks to its income-based tax structure, the city has weathered the recession better than most American cities so while the rest of the country has been getting back on its feet, they’ve been busy expanding its museums, arts centres, parks, public transit and airport for the past several years. That expansion has very recently brought about a new wave of art, restaurants, boutiques and yes, raw denim.

To give you a sense of how fast it’s growing, the second oldest, yes – oldest, store on this list just celebrated its first anniversary. With Colorado’s recent legalization of marijuana they’re only going to become more of a destination.

It seems only natural that raw denim would be a good fit in a town founded by gold miners and I’ve got the feeling this guide can only cover the first few pioneers of many places that will soon call Denver home.

Steadbrook

Baker – 46 S. Broadway, Denver, CO 80204

Steadbrook front

If someone had told me that there’d be Vintage Label Momotaro‘s in South Denver a year ago, I’d have called them a liar. Well I’m happy to say the three guys at Steadbrook have proven me wrong. For the past seven months, Mackey Saturday, Dustin Pace, and Nathan Kilpatrick have been serving up New Wave Americana clothing and world class coffee to an ever growing number of fans.

Steadbrook Interior

The space itself was once the wing of a used book store, but the drop ceiling and the narrow shelves of yore have been swapped for Scandinavian minimalism in a vast open space with wood floors, white walls, and a sky high ceiling. The result is a vast open showroom with a coffee bar up front and apparel deeper into the store.

Steadbrook Raw Denim

The denim on offer ranges from 3sixteenRailcar Fine GoodsJapan Blue, and of course Momotaro. Other mens labels include Norse ProjectsI Love Ugly, and Denver’s own Jiberish. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg at Steadbrook, expect to see many more big hitters in their next few seasons, plus the introduction of coffee that’s roasted in-store – how cool is that?

Steadbrook Coffee

Steadbrook

Fancy Tiger Clothing

Baker – 55 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

Fancy Tiger Clothing Front

Fancy Tiger Clothing has been a men’s and women’s mainstay for almost eight years now. Husband and wife team, Matthew and Jaime Brown, opened the store in 2006 to showcase the products of local artisans. The concept was a huge success to the point that they outgrew their original space and relocated a couple blocks up Broadway to their current showroom in 2010.

Fancy Tiger Clothing Raw Denim

The new store maintains the identity of the original while expanding into everything from local jewelry, home goods, apparel, and a selection of denim from Baldwin and Naked & Famous.

Fancy Tiger Clothing Interior

Fancy Tiger Clothing Display

Berkeley Supply

Highlands – 4405 W 43rd Ave, Denver, CO 80212

Berkeley Supply Storefront

We typically use the “One Man Brand” title for denim companies, but it’s also more than apt for Eli Cox and his store, Berkeley Supply. Weighing in at only 168 square feet, the shop is compact and cozy, evoking a one-room hunting cabin from Cox’s home state of New Hampshire. There’s wood everywhere – there’s semi finished plywood floors, denim sitting on piles of chopped cordwood and tree stumps and the shelving and trim in an unfinished pine.

Berkeley Supply Raw Denim

Don’t mistake small size for small selection though; everything at Berkeley is made in USA and he’s got denim from TellasonRogue Territory, Taylor Stitch, Railcar Fine Goods, and Colorado’s own W.H. Ranch. He also keeps a good stock from Americana favourites Filson, Red WingTanner Leather Goods, Field Notes, Topo Designs, and Archival Clothing.

Berkeley Supply Interior

Berkeley Supply also sits smack in between two bicycle shops, Pearl Velo and Avery County Cycles–the trio is known affectionately as The Tennyson Collective – so whether you looking to get kitted up or tuned up, Berkeley is the place to go.

Berkeley Supply Interior

Berkeley Supply Display

Not denim, but worth a visit:

Topo Designs

RiNo – 2500 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205

Topo Designs Front

If you’ve paid attention to the menswear/Americana resurgence at all in the last year, you’ve no doubt heard of Colorado based bag company, Topo Designs. The 70’s mountaineering revivalists have been going strong since 2009 but really hit their stride in 2013 as they jumped from a handful of stockists to now over 100 all around the world. To meet the demand, Topo moved shop from Boulder to a bright new flagship store in Denver’s RiNo neighbourhood this December.

Topo Designs Bag Display

The multicolored wares across the main wall make the place feel like an alpine candy store and the way stuff’s flying off the shelves does little to suggest otherwise. They’ve got the full Topo line on offer – including apparel and accessories from their new Oyo label – in every shade you can think of, including a few exclusive collaborations, along with a handful of camping odds and ends and a selection of menswear magazines. It feels like the romantic ideal of what REI or Patagonia might’ve been in the late 70s.

Topo Designs Accessories

Even thought the store’s barely passed it’s one-month anniversary, it feels like the Topo team is going to anchor this section of Denver for a long, long time.

Topo Designs Display

Topo Designs Rack

Winter Session

Five Points – 2952 Welton St., Denver, CO 80205

Winter Session Outpost

source: Winter Session

Occupying the non-technical side of Denver bags is Winter Session, a leather and canvas showspace and studio in the Five Points neighborhood. The company started in 2010 as a side project making wallets and messenger bags between Roy Katz and Tanya Fleisher out of their apartment in Chicago. Their skill and design soon grew the operation to much more than a hobby and they moved back to their home state of Colorado last year to pursue it full time.

Winter Session Studio

Winter Session Studio (source: Winter Session)

Roy and Tanya have since added on four more employees and they all work out of their showroom, churning out everything from dopp kits to tote bags to aprons. Stop on by for a look at their wares or just a gander at some master makers practicing their craft.

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Winter Session goods (source: Studio 9720)

 

Update 6/30/14:

Armitage & McMillan

Lower Highlands – 1550 Platte St. Suite D, Denver, CO 80202

best of denver denim - 24

With only three months under their belts, Armitage & McMillan is the most recent arrival on the Denver scene. Run by  Daniel Armitage and Darin McMillan Combs, the eponymous duo bring years of menswear experience to their Lower Highlands storefront.

They both grew up in Oklahoma, but soon got their start flipping vintage ski and mountaineering gear in the late 90s. From there they went to New York City where Darin worked as a buyer for both Smith + Butler and The Brooklyn Circus while Daniel served as the operations manager at Unis. But they both longed to return out west and came back just this year to open the store.

best of denver denim - 25

Unis’s clean, functional aesthetic has carried over into the intimate space. The denim currently on offer comes from APCNorman Russell, and Noble Denim with plans for expansion in the near future. Beyond jeans, they also stock the likes of Steven AlanSaturdays NYCSave KhakiBillykirk, and The Hill-Side.

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best of denver denim - 27

Did we miss any of your Denver favorites? Sound off in the comments below.

David Shuck

David is the Managing Editor of Rawr Denim. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

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  • 1337pwnsie

    hell yea…great shops, great people, great big hole in wallet

  • dtho100

    I think the people of Colorado are looking to buy something other than denim at this moment…

    • Richalicious

      LOL ” hey man….. i could really go for a cookie right now “

  • Lucas

    There’s also Cedar & Hyde which carries Baldwin & Imogene & Willie for both men and women, and they also have a few pairs of Taylor Stitch. Located inBoulder, CO about 25 min from Denver. There is also Nod & Rose in Boulder which carries Norman Russell. Both shops are on Pearl Street Mall.

  • Fancy Tiger Clothing

    GOLDYN in Denver has Raleigh denim.