Mitchell Binder of King Baby Studio at Cry Baby Ranch.
Mitchell Binder of King Baby Studio at Cry Baby Ranch. (Photos by Suzanne S. Brown, The Denver Post)

Western fashion retailers and designers roll into town each January for the wholesale apparel market at the Denver Mart. But since the public isn't invited there, Larimer Square merchant Roxanne Thurman welcomes favorite vendors and customers to her store to see what's new. Highlighting her latest show at Cry Baby Ranch was Mitchell Binder, designer and owner of King Baby Studio.

Binder's jewelry is worn by rock stars and country-western crooners, bikers and bad boys. And, apparently, hip Denver types, who swarmed around the displays.

Pedro Munoz, left, owner of Stallion Boots, with Mary Beth Jenkins of Denver and retailer Nathalie Kent of Santa Fe.
Pedro Munoz, left, owner of Stallion Boots, with Mary Beth Jenkins of Denver and retailer Nathalie Kent of Santa Fe.

"We're an American company — everything is made in our studios in Nashville and Santa Monica," Binder said of the hand-crafted collections in the business he started about a decade ago. He was wearing some of the pieces King Baby is known for: a chunky skull ring of carved bone, a silver pendant on a leather cord, multiple bracelets. Motifs include crowns and hearts, crosses and wings. In addition to necklaces and rings, there are bracelets featuring thick silver links, braided leather or beads. Materials include jet, bone, tiger's eye, and when some shine is desired, crystals and cubic zirconia.

Seventy-five percent of the line's customers are men, and the styles for women are as sweet as the men's are tough. Bow and flower motifs dominate in the Queen Baby line, but women are also fans of the skulls, the designer said.

Binder said his connection to the Western side of fashion is building, with such performers as Luke Bryan wearing pieces from the line.

Belt buckles have been added to the collection, as well as pieces with American Indian and eagle motifs. "If I'm making stuff I like, I don't go wrong," he said. "So far, people seem to like it."

Suzanne S. Brown: 303-954-1697, sbrown@denverpost.com or twitter.com/suzannebro