Art News

Buffalo Exchange's Todd Colletti Out After Sexual-Assault Accusations

This Buffalo Exchange store is closed for an investigation.
This Buffalo Exchange store is closed for an investigation. Kyle Harris
Secondhand fashion chain Buffalo Exchange has removed Todd Colletti, owner of the Colorado franchise stores, from his duties and association with the company after an Instagram account called Buffalo in the Room recently began posting stories from people accusing him of various crimes and misdeeds. The Arizona-based company has pledged to investigate the claims. But in the meantime, the Denver Police Department is also looking into accusations.

Posts accused Colletti of everything from sexual and physical assault to distribution of cocaine and alcohol to minors, creating a "cult-like environment" with drug-fueled underground parties in the basement of the shop at 51 Broadway, sexually harassing his workers, refusing to pay bar tabs and making misogynistic, ableist, racist and trans-phobic remarks to customers and employees.

Some of the graphic and detailed stories allege that he provided cocaine and coerced employees into using it after-hours, then took them back to his home for hot-tub parties, where he sexually assaulted them.

The survivors are anonymous, as is the person or people running the Instagram site, who told Westword that around seventy survivors have offered testimonies about Colletti's predatory behavior.

click to enlarge The Buffalo Exchange store at 51 Broadway. - KYLE HARRIS
The Buffalo Exchange store at 51 Broadway.
Kyle Harris
Several people reached out to Westword to confirm the stories that they had shared on the site.

One woman who requested anonymity says that she was sexually assaulted by Colletti in August 2017 and held in his home for over 36 hours, during which time she was repeatedly sexually assaulted. "This is a repeated pattern of behavior by Todd and often 100 percent excused or ignored by his male employees who aren’t affected by it,” she told Westword.

Neither Buffalo Exchange headquarters nor Colletti have responded to requests for comment. But as of early today, July 28, the Buffalo Exchange Colorado Facebook page has this message at the top:

Effective immediately, Todd Colletti has been released of his responsibilities and associations from The Buffalo Exchange of Colorado. Our stores will be closed Tuesday, July 28th until further notice, impending investigation.

We have strongly believed in the values of community and are left heartbroken. The hearts of our staff mourn alongside you. We want to thank you all for your support through the years and in believing in our message for the Denver and Boulder communities.

We will resolve these issues and invite you to join us in moving forward [to] build a more positive community. We'll be in touch soon.  
The Buffalo Exchange of Colorado stores at 51 Broadway and 226 East 13th Avenue in Denver, as well as the Boulder store at 1813 Pearl Street, will be closed until Saturday, August 1, according to a letter from the company posted on the Instagram. Employees will be paid for the hours they were signed up to work.

And the Denver Police Department has confirmed that it's interested in the allegations. "We are aware of the Instagram page," says a DPD spokesperson. "If anyone on that page would like to report what happened to them or what they witnessed, we encourage them to call 720-913-2000."

This story has been updated to reflect the Denver Police Department's involvement.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris