Ark Industries has a long standing tradition of small business and entrepreneurship going back to the founder Noah Benjamin’s great grandfather, Chas Benjamin. Chas got his start driving a wagon around the prairie’s of Calgary selling clothing and dry goods to the settlers and natives across Alberta. This later led to Chas opening a men’s wear store in Calgary in the 1920s. It is this history and passion for clothing that is apparent in Ark Industries products and philosophies.
Ark Industries was founded in 1995 after Noah spent year’s buying and selling vintage clothing to earn money while in school. Their first few products were all made from second hand fabrics and re-worked vintage clothing. Built on a philosophy of re-working vintage and quality materials when they can has resulted in an incredible line of re-worked vintage Japanese dresses and Ipad sleeves made from recycled leather. Look for their beautifully worn re-worked leather jackets coming this Fall.
Stop in and check them out in person!
Every once and a while we stumble upon a new line of clothing that I have a hard time hiding my excitement for and Birds of North American is definitely one of those lines. The first thing that struck me when looking at this line were the classic cuts and the vintage feel of the designs.
Wagtail Dress $186
This Canadian based line was founded in 2007 by Hayley Gibson. Hayley found her interest in clothing at a young age leading her to pursue a degree from the Ryerson University’s Fashion Design program in Toronto.
Tyrannulet Tunic $152
All of the clothing is produced and manufactured in Montreal.
Jaeger Pant $152
“In Birds of North America you will find elements from Hayley’s childhood on the West Coast of Canada such as school uniforms, boating paraphernalia, antique furniture and institutions like schools, music conservatories, libraries and hospitals.”
Chachalaca Horse Print Dress $168
Not only are the designs a perfect fit for the store but the designer’s philosophy regarding the fashion world syncs perfectly as well. Click here for Hayley’s take on women’s sizing in the fashion industry.
Every week we will be debuting a new design from this collection starting with the Tick Tick Dress pictured below. This 100% cotton dress is prefect for any occasion. It can be worn casually with tennis shoes or worn to an event with flats or kitten heels in just about any color. Did I mention it has pockets?!
Tick Tick Dress $186
Make sure to check out our Instagram feed to see when the next style hits the floor.
FT: You’re making lingerie. Why underwear and how is this different from your other fashion endeavors?
RAT: It all started when I scored about 5 yards of lace at a garage sale. It was a really pretty floral and I wanted to do something cool and less traditional with it. I had always been a bit frustrated with the fit of most underwear and couldn’t find cute lingerie that I felt comfortable in until I came across some Gap Body underwear a few years ago. The first pair was loosely based on their fit. That comfortable fit along with my love of lace and vintage, brought about the underwear.
FT: There seems to be a real ignorance or just outright disregard for comfort and fit in the lingerie/underwear market. You would think the industry is dominated by men who are not wearing the product but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Have people gotten tired of being told what they should wear and realized they can have their cake and eat it too?
RAT: I think there’s a time and a place for underwear that doesn’t show a panty line, I am not a fan of visible panty lines, however I am also not wearing skin-tight skirts everyday. I think there is something much more sexy in a fantastic pair of underwear that flatters and shows off the body in a more seductive way than just the lack of material. People have asked me if I ever do thongs and I think, “what’s the point?” I have much more fun designing something that will be seen.
FT: Is music a part of your process? Tell us more.
RAT: Music is definitely a part of my creative process. One of the reasons that I insist on having a personal studio space wherever I have lived is so that I can break out and dance with nobody being the wiser (with the extraordinary exception of my old roommate in Brooklyn, who shared a studio and dance breaks with me!). My ipod is constantly playing anything ranging from Reggae to Mexican rap, from chicks who rock, to an occasional Spanish lesson. My dream is to have a “Dance and Make Pants” party, integrating my two loves.
FT: You spent some time in New York refining your skills. What brought you back to Denver?
RAT: I really did love Brooklyn and met some amazing people there, but I went to New York for FIT, so when the program ended it was just sort of the right time to come home. It’s kind of funny that I did way less fashion in the city that’s known for it, but friends and family affect my ability and desire to create, and they were all mostly here. It was just too much a struggle to try and build a brand there.
FT: New York is still a place of massive creative output and design resources like FIT. Given the cost of living I would assume there’s a unique advantage to a smaller more modest city in that it affords you the time to commit to your creative endeavors. In other words, cheap rent means less time working, more time making. Thoughts?
RAT: Yes, that’s exactly right. I am soooo lucky to have the family that I do. Both of my parents are artists, my mom’s a jeweler and my dad’s a ceramicist, so they understand the struggling artist thing and have always been supportive of me. My dad still tries to convince me to get “a job” all the time though, because he is from a generation where you couldn’t make a living on art alone. I know plenty of people especially here in Denver that are doing just that, and it’s inspiring. The problem with the fashion industry here is the lack of resources. I miss the New York garment district for sure, you could find absolutely everything in a 3 block radius. But, at the end of the day, my quality of life is way better here and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.
FT: You’ve recently taken the Creative Director position at the Denver Design Incubator. Tell us more about this project.
RAT: It’s been a very intense and educational few months at the DDI. I took over in October and have been working on rebuilding our membership and resources for local designers. My background in pattern making has enabled me to build new partnerships with creative folks in Denver and it’s interesting to see just how much design is taking place here. It’s grown a lot in the 3 years that I was away, and I’m hoping that the DDI can be a place to bridge the gap between design and production. I would love to see more lines made in Denver and think this is a very real possibility.
FT: Any specific lines that you’re excited about that you can share?
RAT: So many greats. I recently discovered “The Portland Collection” and am excited about the revamp of the classic Pendleton, integrating the old weaves with contemporary designs. There are some great bags in the collection too. I also just went to a trunk show at Goldyn and was introduced to a wonderful line called VPL (speaking of visible panty lines). The fit and use of straps and hardware in their bras are just perfect. My favorite local designer right now would have to be Carol Ann Wachter out of Boulder. She has some great new pieces that are sort of classic with an edge.
FT: We met back in 2006 when RAT and Fancy Tiger were just beginning and Denver was somewhat a different animal. Where is Denver going?
RAT: I love Denver and I think that we are getting to be a more fashionable city. Fancy Tiger has been a staple boutique for me here in Denver. You picked up my line in the beginning, which was great and really exciting for me. I remember you asking me how many you could order of one of my designs and I sort of freaked out and didn’t know what you meant. That’s when I realized the importance of production and that if I really wanted to be a serious designer, I needed to learn how to make professional patterns from my designs. The experience in New York has definitely inspired me to share this education to help designers bring their own designs to fruition. RAT was born from my artistic background, making more one of a kind pieces and undergarments for a wider range of people. Now I am focusing on a more sophisticated collection called Minus the Dart, where I will be using my pattern making skills to make apparel for men and women. This transformation I think is natural for any designer, going from one-offs to a cohesive collection. I am happy to see more and more talented designers who have strong collections coming out of Denver.
Rebecca will be featured this Saturday February 9th from 6pm-9pm at Fancy Tiger Clothing with an evening devoted to her gorgeous undergarments and bloomers. RSVP Here!
You know the type. She is trendy, smells good, hair and nails are done, and she is hard to shop for. I am here to help!!
1. OLO Perfume – Fresh from Portland, these scents are earthy without being hippy. Notes include tobacco, vetiver, bergamot and jasmine. My favorite is…well…the variety pack because I can’t pick just one. $28
2. Brixton Dahlia Hat – The perfect hat for the fashionista. Wide brimmed and floppy, it is the cherry on top of a perfect outfit. $68
3. Billy Kirk Medium Carryall – Every fashionista needs a go-to carryall. This one by Billy Kirk is perfect for travel or everyday use, it fits most laptops and tablet devices, and a small child or pet. $308
4. 1Oak by Sara Agate Ring- It is fashion forward and sparkly and she can defend herself with it. Enough said. $78
From top to bottom, left to right: IT Skinny Cords $98, Knitted Dove Twin Birds Grey Cardigan $94, Knitted Dove Riley Tweed Coat $130, Tulle Olive Shirt Dress $72
From left to right: Brixton Dahlia Hat $58, Tulle Black & White Fringe Scarf $26, Brixton Dahlia Hat $58
From top to bottom, left to right: Preloved Elm Turtleneck Sweater $128, Gentle Fawn Charcoal Capital Coat $210, Tulle Single Breasted Mustard Coat $98, Knitted Dove Wonderland Tweed Skirt $84
Spitfire Sunglasses $36
DENVER COLO – FKNG – RADO! Enough said. Stop by and get your hands on one of these Fancy Tiger Originals in men’s and women’s sizing for just $32 and show off your Denver love.
We are pleased to welcome local jewelry like Cosmic Thread to the store. This wearable geometry is the creation of sisters, Taryn and Megan Slawson. Stop in to see the full collection.
From top to bottom, left to right: Wood Bangle $75, Complementary Angle Necklace $110, Capacitors in Parallel Necklace $150, Infinite Series Necklace $120
Though I am sweating as I write this, people keep telling me that summer is ending soon. The nights are already feeling a little brisk, perfect for layering! Here at the store we are slowly but surely pulling out some of our fall merchandise. Here’s a look at some of my favorite pieces to help to transition into fall.
For the Gents-
(From Left to Right)
Tweed is the best part of fall. This Top Man blazer done in Herringbone, a very fancy chevron tweed, ($198) is perfect for a late summer or early fall wedding and will transition well into the winter as well.
I could live in this super-soft vintage wash pull-over from Suburban Riot, $54. Perfect for layering without adding much bulk. Plus, who doesn’t love a boy in blue.
As always, we have plenty of button-downs to help you transition into Fall. The Fort Grey shirt by Brixton is especially handsome for fall, $68.
For the ladies-
(From Left to Right)
The Bazaar Legging by Gentle Fawn, $44, is the perfect blend of leggings and tights. They are warm enough for winter, but are footless, perfect for boots or flats.
The Gillian Dress, $98, by Dear Creatures, was made for a Colorado Fall season. You can wear it now, during the day, and at night with tights and a blazer.
On Friday, August 24 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Denver fashion designer Fallene Wells will launch her fall line Modern Nouveau at the event Modern Nouveau: Fall Friperie at Walker Fine Art Gallery, 300 W. 11th Avenue.
In addition to featuring Wells’ Parisian- and 1930s-inspired collection of interchangeable pieces, the event will highlight local Denver storeowners and designers with the pop-up store Swank and presence of the I Heart Denver store. Swank will feature local vendors La Samara Studios, Kitty Mae Millinery, Ink Jewelry and Ru Fabricates just to name a few.
Wells’ designs will be available for purchase and order at the event. Guests will enjoy music by DJ Matthew Brown while experiencing the fashion display and shopping local designs. Please visit www.fallene.net to purchase $35 tickets. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Mile High Red Cross. Limited tickets are available.
Those of you familiar with our Found Objects line already know we love giving old things a new life. Our recent forays into the heart of all things recycled has bestowed upon us a selection of vintage frames we’re very proud of. Unfortunately, my knowledge of vintage eyewear is limited and so the pictures will have to speak for themselves.
FAKE DIAMONDS TEES
This printed tee line was recently recommended to me by my friend Ethan of local bands Flashlights/Mancub. I like his music so much I figured his taste in apparel shouldn’t be overlooked. Please welcome to the store Fake Diamonds, the apparel line of Denver designer Dillon Morton. Fake Diamonds is a perfect fit for Fancy Tiger Clothing…simple and sophisticated. The tees are American made and super comfy with a slightly looser neckline. I’ll be wearing one today. Here’s a teaser…
Hello Fancy People! Today we are talking about sustainability and fashion. Obviously, the pairing of these two words, ‘sustainable’ and ‘fashion’ brings to mind images of hemp sack dresses and ugly shoes. The fashion industry traditionally has not been an ally of the environment. And, likewise, people who try hard to be sustainable in their fashion choices are often shunned from the fashion world. The fact is that we must come together and work to reduce the impact of the fashion industry, as well as out own personal impact. Americans throw away 12.7 million tons of clothing every year.
Layers Squared Spider Top $124
The process of making your wardrobe more environmentally friendly may sound intimidating, but it does not have to be. Take small steps to become more aware of the garments you buy. One of my favorite eco-friendly lines here at Fancy Tiger is Layers Squared. The company is out of Portland, OR, and in true Portland spirit it utilizes plant-based fibers including cotton, bamboo, tencil, silk, hemp and soy. Though these fibers may sound crunchy, the fit and style of Layers Squared is classic and very flattering. The tops that we’ve received from Layers Squared utilize an organic cotton, bamboo and silk blend; which translate to an incredibly breathable textile.
Layers Squared Diamond Top $108
Tune in next week for more sustainable fashions from Fancy Tiger!
Layers Squared Diamond Top $108