Terri Garbarini, owner and fashion curator of Garbarini, has been a pillar of the Denver fashion community for thirty years. Before leaving on a trip to New York, she took a few minutes to talk with us about Garbarini's larger digs in Cherry Creek North, fall fashion trends and why the store is participating in CNN's Celebrate Fashion Show on Friday, September 19.
Westword: Terri, tell us about yourself. here are you from?
Terri Garbarini: I was born in Colorado and with the exception of several years attending various art schools and colleges, I have otherwise lived here my whole life. I finished my BFA at CU Boulder and worked in clothing stores part time while in school. When I was pursuing my masters in art (painting) and art history, I decided to quit school and open my own store. It happened rather suddenly -- and here I am thirty years later.
When did you first discover your love for fashion and how did you get into the business of fashion?
So, I have been obsessed with art, interior design, architecture, antiques and style my whole life -- not necessarily fashion. But fashion became one of my creative outlets.
Tell us about Garbarini: What was your inspiration for opening the store and how has it changed over the years?
I've been in business thirty years. I moved my store from Larimer Square to Cherry Creek sixteen years ago and it was the best thing. I realized immediately this was the perfect location for my store -- and it just keeps getting better! I get to completely reinvent the store every season, with new styles, new lines colors. I love it, and I love going to New York twice a year. Plus, I have met the most amazing, interesting women throughout the years. It's a fun environment to work in. People are usually very happy when they are in the store shopping for beautiful things. Why is it important for Garbarini to be a part of the Celebrate Fashion event?
I think the Cherry Creek fashion show is obviously very important to support and encourage, and nurture and be a part of. What is your take on the state of fashion in Denver?
Hmmm...state of fashion in Denver? From a retail point of view, Denver keeps growing and becoming more sophisticated -- with people moving here from large metropolitan areas like N.Y., L.A., Chicago -- and that brings a higher level of fashion awareness. We have also seen an explosion of travelers from all over the world. Both have really helped us sell more cutting-edge fashion.
I do worry about this: A lot of the newer, younger Denverites shop online! Every week someone new wanders into my store and they can't believe the huge, amazing selection. They say, "I have lived here for a few years and didn't realize Denver had any great stores! " And when I ask where they usually shop they say, "Online" or "when traveling" People really need to support their local stores, especially if they want the fashion climate to evolve into something more exciting! Keep reading for more from Terri Garbarini.
Who are some of the designers that shoppers will find when they shop at Garbarini?
I am one of the largest women's boutiques in Denver. We carry many of the most recognized contemporary designers: Diane Von Furstenberg, Halston, Vince, Theory, Nicole Miller and Tracy Reese. All the top premium denim lines, and lots of unique and undiscovered labels -- jewelry, hats, vintage-jean belts and leather jackets. We are also known for our shoe selection.
We also have gifts, books, fragrant candles and the most eclectic music playlists; from reggae to jazz, electronica, hip-hop, bossa nova, pop, world beat, Latin. We want to create a unique shopping environment. And we have parking -- a must in Cherry Creek! What trends can we expect to see this fall?
Coats! Plaids, longer skirt lengths, separates and architectural shapes.
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Cherry Creek North's Celebrate Fashion will take place on Friday, September 19 at the Fillmore Plaza. Tickets start at $60 and all proceeds go to the Denver Health Foundation; purchase tickets at Denver Health Foundation.com.