True fashionistas are always on the lookout for something unique. So when Gigi Guerra, Lucky magazine editor at large, visited the Vail Valley to write January’s shopping report on ski towns, she couldn’t help but seek not-your-run-of-the-mill clothing canteens.Guerra noted that Vail, a “rapidly expanding ski haven, which feels more like Switzerland than Colorado, has an ever-growing roster of indie-label-filled boutiques.”Each with its own something to offer, Gorsuch Limited, Roxy, the Swedish Clog Company and W Couture in Vail, Mountain Lovers in Avon and Well Heeled, Artelana, Christopher and Co. and Lacy’s in Edwards, debuted in the January issue of the magazine dedicated to shopping.As she began her shopping tour, Guerra couldn’t resist stopping at the Swedish Clog Company with its inviting chalet-style storefront tucked away in Lionshead Village. She loved what she found inside as well – metallic and hand-painted floral clogs in an array of styles.
“It’s exciting when customers come in here and enjoy our store and it’s fun when an editor of Lucky comes in and you can see the excitement in her eyes and hear the enthusiasm in her voice,” said Chris Manning, who owns the store with his wife, Tessa.The metallic clogs, he said, are what’s hot right now. What the Swede house is known for are its colorful hand-painted Tessa style slip-ons, designed in Vail and made in Sweden. One of Vail’s trademark items, the one-of-a-kind Tessa clogs are what vacationing customers return for year after year, he said.Guerra took home a small Nordic-style sweater and some very furry cow clogs, Tessa said.The handful of emerging designer garb offered at W. Couture in Vail Village, like Circle by Mara Hoffman, hand-dyed dresses and the supersoft Pegah Anvarian cashmere wraps, also caught the clothes lover’s eye.
“She was just looking for really different places,” said manager Beth Brush. “We have a lot of couture wear and a lot of well-known designers from all over the world, items that you’re not going to find in the mall, clothes that you’ll see when you’re in L.A. and New York. The unique boutique carries black-tie wear or if you’re looking for something special to wear to a fancy event.Guerra’s research even led her downvalley to Mountain Lovers in Avon and to shops in the shopping mini-Mecca of Edwards. Mountain Lovers in Avon is a true gem. Owner Janet Wright, a former accountant, opened the resale shop in May. Wright handpicks all of her merchandise online, touting designer goods – St. John, Chanel, Versace to name a few – without the hefty price tags, as Guerra points out. A killer ruby red sequined Richard Tyler couture dress, originally $2,700, goes for $400. A fabulous pair of green suede John Galliano boots with ribbon detailing, originally $2,000, go for $525. And the merchandise is anything but mainstream, an ode to Wright’s personal style.
“I feel really lucky,” Wright said of being featured in the magazine. “I think she was looking for unusual shopping experiences and unique stores.”What did Guerra buy? Three designers handbags, Wright said.The bold, graphic imagery of the world’s largest collection of vintage ski posters at Christopher and Co. in Edwards made the Lucky list, as well.”Gigi was just kind of wandering around and found our store,” said manager Scott Burgess. “I think it was just the fact that it’s unique. There are less than a hundred vintage poster galleries that belong to the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association in the whole world. And I think that it was visually appealing. We just had a lady come in today with the ripped-out page of Lucky who said she came in because she saw this article.”
Vail received mention for its shopping among the likes of Aspen; Sun Valley, Idaho; Park City, Utah; and Jackson Hole, Wyo.Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14641, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado