Oakland's Fashion Mecca and Santa Fe Vintage: 17 Small Businesses to Support in the West
Fashion in the modern West is a savvy mix of tried-and-true classics (vintage Wrangler jeans and Hermès scarves) and straight-off-the-runway looks from Jacquemus and Khaite. The result is the platonic ideal of cool-girl style—on-trend and timeless.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Hear the term “outdoorsman” and think bearded, disheveled, and flannel-wearing? Let Mountain Dandy turn that archetype on its unkempt head. This Jackson Hole, Wyoming store specializes in artisanal men’s products: Think everything from Fair Isle socks, to all natural mustache wax, to needlepoint croakies and flasks. (A particular, peculiar favorite? Whiskey-scented dish soap.)
Although you certainly don’t need to be of the male persuasion to peruse, or appreciate, Mountain Dandy. Art abounds—it sells ceramics by 19-year-old Jackson native Theo Hirschfield, who is somewhat of a TikTok sensation (at press time, he had almost a million followers for his pottery videos.), as well as fiber sculptures by L.A.-based artist Karen Tinny. Then there are the items that are classics in any cozy home: cashmere blankets, candles, and fireplace accessories. —E.T.
Sante Fe, New Mexico
Modern General Feed & Seed was founded in 2015 by local Santa Fe restaurateur and farmer Erin Wade. Located in the city’s Railyard neighborhood, the brightly-lit space is decorated with natural wood finishes and dotted with contemporary furniture and decor. There is a cafe that serves fresh smoothies, juices, toasts, bowls, and pastries and flanking the seating area, visitors will find a range of books and kitchen supplies for sale. Wade also stocks locally-made, eco-conscious apothecary items, as well as gardening tools, glass barware, ceramic dishware, and handmade wooden bowls and spoons. –Brooke Bobb
Sante Fe, New Mexico
Twenty minutes from downtown Santa Fe, adjacent to the town’s small local airport, there is a mysterious-looking, unmarked warehouse space. For vintage-lovers, particularly those attracted to old Americana, the inside of said building is a mecca. Founded by the late Scott Corey, who spent more than 30 years collecting, Santa Fe Vintage is a treasure trove: rare vintage denim from Levi’s and Wrangler, antique quilts and cowboy hats, beaded Rodeo costumes, old vinyl albums, Victorian slips and dresses, a plethora of silver and turquoise accessories, and on and on. It’s possible to spend an entire day (or two) sifting through the shop’s offerings, which are now overseen by current owner Teo Griscom. Though Santa Fe Vintage has an online shop, the warehouse is by-appointment only and visited frequently by well-known stylists and vintage enthusiasts alike from around the country. In short, Santa Fe Vintage is a true hidden gem in the Land of Enchantment. —B.B.
Los Angeles, California
You will be just as dazzled by the art as the fashion at Just One Eye, a concept store in Los Angeles’s burgeoning Sycamore district. A scrap metal John Chamberlain sculpture greets you at the door of the impressive gallery-like space, while a Damien Hirst daisy painting casually decorates the back wall. And that’s not to mention the Murakami.
Store owner Paola Russo’s discerning eye for art is more than matched by her taste in designer clothes. High-fashion collectibles from Gucci, Celine, and Prada hang alongside pieces from exciting new names—Y/Project, Grace Wales Bonner, and the like. Perhaps the store’s biggest claim to fame outside the blue-chip artwork though, comes courtesy of a Hollywood A-lister: Just One Eye boasts furniture designed by Brad Pitt. —Chioma Nnadi
Since opening its doors in 2007, Oakland concept store McMullen has been a one-stop shop for high-end womenswear and independent lines from around the world. Filled with eclectic finds from the likes of New York designer Christopher John Rogers, Lagos-based label Maki Oh, and Copenhagen up-and-comers Saks Potts, the boutique reflects the quirky-cool tastes and distinctive personal style of its owner Sherri McMullen, an accountant turned fashion buyer. “I started my business because I wanted to curate a positive environment for women and empower them through how they dress,” McMullen told Vogue. As well as being a passionate advocate for young designers, McMullen is committed to giving back to organizations focused on women, children, and the arts; she often uses the brand’s Instagram to support small businesses beyond the world of fashion. —C.N.
San Francisco, California
Former Vogue editor Emily Holt opened the first iteration of Hero Shop in San Francisco’s vibrant Tenderloin back in 2016. With more than a decade’s worth of experience on the New York fashion scene, Holt brings a forward-thinking retail sensibility to her hometown that is at once laid back and ultra stylish. The store–cum–cool community center is home to such labels as Brock Collection, Marni, and Gabriela Hearst, while also housing one-of-a-kind yet affordable treasures: Think, hand-embroidered vintage sweatshirts from the L.A.-based line I Stole My Boyfriend’s Shirt. With a second location in Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, Holt is expanding that warm and inviting vision. Here you’ll find exuberant floral tableware from Milanese fashion and lifestyle purveyors La Double J alongside quietly exquisite jewelry by Californian jewelry designer Sophie Buhai. —C.N.
Owner Jennifer Streit had shops in Berkeley and San Francisco before she opened her current location in Ashland, Oregon, a small town just past the California border that’s known for its Shakespeare Festival. Prize supplies all the little details that make a home sing: hand soaps from Hawaii, Japanese dishcloths, and colorful Parisian candies. Those in search of a super-soft swan stuffed animal or a vintage Hermès scarf will also likely be in luck. Prize’s stock varies seasonally, and that’s exactly what makes it the perfect stop: there’s always something new to see—though charming cards and an array of fine jewelry can be counted on as constants. —Ella Riley-Adams
Portland shop Frances May opened in 2008 as a collaborative effort between Pamela Baker-Miller and her grandmother. They started with eight designers—Samantha Pleet and Rachel Comey among them—on two small racks. Now, the shop showcases more than 65 designers, as well as menswear and an apothecary. The year 2020 saw a number of shifts: First, much of Frances May’s business moved online (though Baker-Miller notes she has always nurtured a web presence). When Portland erupted in protests, the shop’s West End windows hosted artist-made Black Lives Matter posters. At the end of the year, Frances May moved into a new space where sparkly Collina Strada water bottles stand illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows. Baker-Miller says she’s grateful for the way Portland fosters small businesses. “It has a really tight-knit community and it really champions all of its industry.” —E.R.A.
On the main street in Ketchum, Idaho, is Huck & Paddle, a small, cozy store that specializes in Western home goods. They sell hand-painted wooden canoe paddles, wool blankets, glass match cloches, and a plethora of items involving cowhide. Yet it’s far from kitschy—owner Emily Stoddard describes the aesthetic as “mountain modern” with a bit of “eclectic cabin.” And due to its proximity to Sun Valley ski resort, Huck & Paddle also has quite a cult following from the town’s locals and the fashionable visitors that pass through it. —Elise Taylor
Step (virtually, that is) into the Etsy shop of Her Name is Mud and you’ll find an uplifting assortment of handmade ceramic jewelry and other odds and ends for the home. These pieces come in a blushing array of soft hues and are decorated with kind reminders to savor small moments, as well as little mantras like “be brave” and “stay true”. The woman behind these joyful creations is Krista Coons, who has a self proclaimed “healthy obsession for color” (her studio floors are covered in millennial pink penny tile) but is also taken by warm, earthy tones. The desert surroundings in her home base of Mesa, Arizona, act as an endless source of inspiration for Coons. —Madeline Fass
While exploring Twin Urchin’s Etsy shop you’ll find a warm, sunlit collection of vintage pieces sourced from the islands of Hawaii. Sun worshipers, minimalists, and vintage decor lovers alike will find joy in Twin Urchin’s selection of chunky gold baubles, clamshell shaped trinkets, and amber glassware. Find something you like, and you can expect your treasure to be packed using reused and recycled shipping materials. For those of us who don’t get to call Hawaii home, browsing Twin Urchin’s online shop from wherever you are is incredibly soothing, and if you stay long enough you might even end up with a souvenir for yourself. —M.F.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Drawing inspiration from ’70s-era style, Southwestern landscapes, and a touch of modernism, Sarah of Sarah Safavi Jewelry crafts beautiful metal jewelry, including dome-shaped rings and textured hoops. Safavi also creates patchwork patterns with earthy slab stones and fashions them into drop earrings and token necklaces, and she uses turquoise to adorn bolo ties for customers in every corner of the country. Available through her Etsy shop, Safavi dreams up her jewelry just outside her home in Salt Lake City, where she uses silversmithing, lost wax casting, and lapidary techniques in a studio that she and her family built right in their backyard. —M.F.
In the north end of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, a city that is no stranger to wet weather, you’ll find Freemans raincoat shop, founded by Scott and Brittany Freeman and their friend Alex Frank in 2013. The in-house clothing label consists of their signature rain jackets and a handful of additional men’s wardrobe staples like crewnecks and T-shirts, as well as a fine selection of goods like illustrated greeting cards, apothecary products, and a line of scented candles also made in Seattle. The Freemans believe that producing products locally is the most important aspect of their business, and they are heavily involved in every step of the design process, from fabric procurement to production, as well as stocking the shelves with brands that align with the value system through which Freemans was born. —M.F.
Downtown Bozeman is quaint. The streets are lined with a mix of modern coffee shops, eateries, boutiques, and even a few rough-around-the-edges Western bars. With the city’s proximity to nature, many pass through Bozeman on their way to Yellowstone, but really, Bozeman is not a pass-through kind of town. While visiting, a perfect afternoon has to include a visit to Meridian, a boutique on Main Street that opened in 1993 and features a thoughtful selection of denim, ready-to-wear, and accessories from independent designers and more established brands, like Rag & Bone, Mother, and Frame. —Rachel Besser
Located in the heart of Aspen, Paris Underground offers a dazzling array of eclectic and fanciful treasures for the home. Fueled by a personal passion for mid-century modern French antiques, Laura Blocker opened her store in 2001 and has been expanding her offering ever since.
The store mixes antiques of every era sourced directly by Blocker. To wit, a pair of Pierre Guariche for Airborne chairs sit next to a caviar server in the spirit of Franco Lapini. Local Aspen area homeowners and tourists alike visit Paris Underground to give personality to their most beloved spaces. —Rickie De Sole
Colorado retailer Max Fashion is known for its sharp mix of big name-brand classics and up-and-coming designers. The store’s founder, Max Martinez, stocks some of fashion’s most covetable labels, including Bottega Veneta, Celine, Dries Van Noten and Gabriela Hearst, but he also remains true to the Colorado lifestyle. Martinez invests in more casual pieces too–at Max you can find some of the world’s best cashmere sweaters and coats. His loyal staff (his store manager has been with him for 26 years) and clients have made him a community staple. Don’t let the ski town fool you, this shop in the heart of Aspen could just as easily be on Fifth Avenue! —R.D.S.