Buffalo Exchange has always been a beacon of unusual fashion finds. From vintage fur-lined coats to current basics and designer labels, the ever-evolving selection remains wide-ranging. The retailer has enlisted designers from Colorado-based art collective Famous and Forgotten to craft eight one-of-a-kind repurposed pieces — inspired by Buffalo’s eclectic Boulder staff — that will be up for sale in the store starting Dec. 7.
“When I first met Sutton (Black) and Damian (Pierce), the designers of Famous and Forgotten, I was instantly inspired by their intention to repurpose existing clothing into one-of-a-kind garments,” said Sarah Colbert, manager of Buffalo Exchange. “Buying second-hand clothing is important, especially during a time where consumers are shopping fast fashion at such a large quantity.”
To kick off the collaborative design project, Colbert, Famous and Forgotten designers Black and Pierce and Buffalo Exchange employees started by combing through the shop’s inventory.
“Each employee at Buffalo Exchange pulled a couple articles of clothing off the sales floor that they felt emulated their personal style,” Colbert said. “The designers asked us to pull items we would like to see manipulated and/or combined somehow. Looking at all our pulled pieces on a rack together was very much representational of the diversity and creativity we have on staff.”
Buffalo Exchange — a privately owned, family-operated resale retailer — has 50 stores in 19 states across the U.S. and is headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., where Kerstin Block opened her first store in 1974.
It is Colbert’s hope to collaborate with more designers in the future to bring additional rare and custom-made clothes to the Boulder location at 1813 Pearl St.
“The Buffalo Exchange in Boulder is not only offering conscious consumers a space to purchase second-hand clothing, but has become an incubator for emerging artists and designers interested in taking second-hand clothing and creating something entirely new,” Colbert said.
Previously, Buffalo Exchange has offered repurposed pieces by partnering with designers Wavy Jane and June Threads, but this is the first time staff members have had such a significant input on what specific items were selected to undergo transformations.
“Customers can expect to see an array of products such as shirts, hoodies, pants, jackets, accessories using all different types of recycled garments and other fabrics,” said Black, co-designer of Famous and Forgotten. “We’ve done everything from as simple as painting a leather jacket, or printing on a thrifted shirt, to cutting two burton jackets to combine them into one.”
The store will celebrate the debut of this new mini-line with a pop-up for Famous and Forgotten from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Designers will be present and available to answer any questions. Music will be provided by a local DJ.
“I often refer to Buffalo Exchange as Boulder’s closet,” Colbert said. “We have so many regular customers that frequently shop with us, sell clothes and ultimately embrace what we are so excited about — second-hand, sustainable fashion. I absolutely love when customers come into the shop, try something on outside of their comfort zone, and walk away feeling like they’ve just helped our planet in a small impactful way.”
Black said, “Personally, the most rewarding part for us is the fact that we are able to make clothing to ‘individualize yo’self’ and stand out in a crowd. It’s nice to have something new from something old, giving each new garment a piece of life that it might have lost. It’s also nice to be able to work with another creative individual who has the same passion to create. F and F wouldn’t be the same without both working parts.”
If you go
What: Famous and Forgotten Pop-UpWhen: 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 7Where: Buffalo Exchange, 1813 Pearl St., BoulderCost: freeMore info: buffaloexchange.com