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Reader: Long Live FashioNation, Sacred Home of Alternative World

Reader: Long Live FashioNation, Sacred Home of Alternative World
Sydney Italiano
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Need some good news? Read all about how FashioNation, a Denver mainstay for more than three decades that has been suffering like most local businesses during the pandemic, became a viral sensation in recent weeks, thanks to TikTok and teenagers around the world.

Sydney Italiano, daughter of founders Paul and Pam Italiano, decided to make a quick TikTok documentary about the shop now located at 1594 South Broadway, starting with how it was founded back in 1987 as a safe place for punks, goths and other alternative kids to safely explore their identity through clothes. And today, that remains its mission — a fact now recognized by fans around the globe.

Says Pam: 

What a wonderful story about a wonderful store!

Adds Eireann:

I LOVED this store, but never had the money for anything in it.

Comments Errin:

So cool! In the ’80s, I used to drive from Florissant to the Capitol Hill store to get Dr. Martens! And then hit Wax Trax, of course...

Responds Nicole:

 Those were the good old days! I haven’t been there in years, but makes me want to go check out what those kids are into these days.

 Recalls Tiffany:

Some of my favorite dresses were purchased in that shop. I am happy for them! I want them to thrive; glad they found a way to stay open for all of us! One of the owners gave me a discount card when I served him at Leela when I used to bartend there, and he was so kind. Love this place, love to see it prosper. 

Notes Bill:

And don’t forget Babysitter's Nightmare in the back. Great place. Great people.

Concludes Johnny:

Long live FashioNation, sacred home of the alternative world.

"We have people from Romania and Spain and London all saying they want to come visit us. It’s definitely reached worldwide — it’s insane," says 21-year-old Sydney. "When people see us in a little small business hanging out, they just lose it. We’re just being ourselves. That's all we're doing, is just being ourselves."

And as new shoppers are discovering, FashioNation just wants to help them be themselves.

"Someone came in and said, 'I feel safe here,'" Sydney recalls. "It was her first time, and that was what she said to us. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh. We may be scary-looking punk rockers, but we'll take care of you.'"

Have you been to FashioNation lately? What's your favorite mom-and-pop store in Denver? Post a comment or email editorial@westword.com.

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