By Amy Speer
Colorado-born Vanessa Barcus is Denver’s conduit to the fashion world. Her high-end boutique, Goldyn, is nestled in the historic Olinger building, a former mortuary renovated into a trendy hotspot in the up-and-coming lower Highlands neighborhood.
With designer labels Helmut Lang, See by Chloé, Current/Elliott and Rebecca Minkoff, you would think Barcus discovered a couture pipeline running under the 123-year-old space.
Founded in 2007, Goldyn started out as an online boutique through which Barcus curated a perfect assortment of “downtown cool meets uptown chic” labels. The brick-and-mortar store opened in 2011.
Although Goldyn’s contemporary fashion roster includes designers from all over, it gets a little Colorado couture flare as Barcus sprinkles in hand-picked local designers. This store is your Goldyn ticket to Denver’s hottest looks, and since we’re partial to Colorado, here’s a glimpse at a handful of local designers.
Zoe Twitt: Say hello to Zoe Twitt, a part-time Denver resident. Twitt, an actress, was inspired to create clothing that made her feel comfortable. Her ethereal-meets-edgy label led WWD to name her among the world’s top emerging designers. Twitt also has a collection of handmade, rock-crystal jewelry.
Gabriel Conroy: From black-satin vests to draped-collar jackets, Conroy brings a certain edginess to classic designs in organic materials. Conroy began his career as a Denver Center for Performing Arts costume tailor; now, he designs couture gowns for clients. His background and degrees in art and fashion make him a master tailor and fit expert.
CarolAnn Wachter: Drawing from her background in painting and sculpture, Boulder-based designer Wachter is known for her wearable, elegant silhouettes. She blends quality craftsmanship and classic forms with nostalgia and romance, using nature to inspire her.
Franklin and Swann: Nothing says Colorado like a Franklin and Swann crystal bullet necklace. Designer Lauren Starrett combines traditionally feminine crystals with classically masculine bullets to create a cohesive design. Interestingly, both elements in her jewelry come from passions she shared with her father — sharp shooting and gem collecting.
Reliquiae: A fossil is arguably one of nature’s most unique statements — certainly a one-of-a-kind find — which is why Reliquiae designer Lisa Wells uses the remains of sea, animal and plant life to create her alluring jewelry.
Kir Collection: Boulder-based designer Kirsten Boedecker brings together a stunning feminine line of statement rings, chandelier earrings, layered necklaces and chic bracelets. The collection combines sterling silver, 18-karat gold and semiprecious stones with hand-carved mother-of-pearl.
Grey Sunshine: From Western-inspired clutches to Colorado-casual handbags, Grey Sunshine delivers rugged appeal and chic design. Colorado native Dana Van Daele uses only Colorado leathers to create these clutch-worthy designs.
JJ Scholl: Refined commuters will want to make their trip with a JJ Scholl. Jenny Lee Walsh, a highly regarded freelance stylist and branding consultant, created these versatile cases for the fashion-conscious, practical-modern traveler.
Elc Mens: This Colorado label delivers “swagger with a tip of the hat to the men of a bygone era.” Simply put, this lineup turns men into heartthrobs. Combine Elc’s supercasual clothing with brown roper gloves, a Humbolt pipe or an Ellingwood keychain and you might have the next Marlboro Man.