Samuel Schimek's newest pop-up incarnation, I ♥ Denver, opened its doors over the weekend in a newly painted second-floor suite at the Denver Pavilions that's been slicked up with serene ice-blue Scandinavian highlights befitting a city about to welcome IKEA and H&M into its retail fold. Unlike the previous Pavilions pop-up, YesPleaseMore, I ♥ Denver is Schimek's project alone. Working without a partner this time, he's focusing closely on showcasing Denver-centric designers and their creative symbiosis with the city where they live and work.
Past experience shows that the Pavilions location attracts a lot of tourists; therefore, the store is packed first and foremost with things they'll buy and take back home with them: Fashion-forward urban T-shirts touting the Denver experience from such local graphic designers as Adam Sikorski, Andrew Hoffman, INDYINK and Schimek himself. The beauty of this kind of merchandise is that locals will also be proud to wear this gear.
But there's also much more, from the fabulous affordable modular furniture by Scott Bennett of Housefish to selected local artworks sold in collaboration with Denver's Illiterate Gallery. Denver-made fashion and jewelry design, stationery, prints, housewares and handbags also line the shelves; Schimek says more than fifty designers are represented in all right now, with double that number expected by the end of May. And unlike most retail stores, I ♥ Denver puts 70 percent of all sales right back into the artist's pocket as part of its mission to support Denver's creative economy. Here's a look at what's in store right now.
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I ♥ Denver is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, Suite 264; go to the website for information.