Blue in Green is bringing its denim to Denver and adding color to Colorado’s retail scene.
The 16-year-old SoHo, NYC-based men’s shop, which is best known for being a trailblazer in bringing hard-to-find Japanese denim brands such as Samurai, Momotaro and Pure Blue to the U.S., is planning to open its second store, in Denver early next year.
Geoffrey Chorbajian, who co-owns Blue in Green with founder Yuji Fukushima, recently relocated to Boulder, Colo. which prompted him to start looking for a second retail location in earnest. “When I first got involved with Blue in Green [around 2017] the ultimate goal was to open another store but we just weren’t in the right position at the time and then Covid hit,” he told Rivet.
After nixing the idea of opening in Boulder (“It just wasn’t the right place for it,” he said), he set his sights to the state capital 30 miles away. “I started to do some research in Denver. Denver is a huge city, one of the biggest U.S. cities. They’ve got four major sports teams. There’s a lot happening in Denver, and you can tell they’re really hungry for stuff like this,” he said.
His visit to Denver Fashion Week proved his intuition to be correct. “I got to meet a bunch of people there and I’m looking at what everyone’s wearing and everyone’s got a lot of really cool gear on but you know they’re not getting it in Denver,” he said. “Most of that stuff is probably bought online.”
After a yearlong search he finally selected a brand-new 1,050-square-foot space in the city’s RiNo (River North) Art District, which is known for its nightlife, art galleries, street murals and worker and residential population of craftspeople.
The space is currently a blank shell but Chorbajian is aiming to have the location open by January. He has also begun actively searching for a general manager to help him run it, which he said is somewhat daunting. “We’re not just a store. Blue in Green is a community—we’re about the people. It’s a movement and so you’ve got to make sure you have someone that believes in that and agrees with it and supports it and embraces it,” said Chorbajian, who started his association with Blue in Green as an avid customer years before he became Fukushima’s business partner.
“We want the store to look like it’s Blue in Green. It’s going to feel like it’s Blue in Green,” he said of the planned but still to be finalized décor and stock assortment. “All the things you love about Blue in Green will be there. But while it’s going to be similar [to] the New York store, it’s going to have its own character.”
That distinctiveness will include carrying many of the same brands as the East Coast mother—though not all of them—and a few Denver-only exclusives. “All the information in terms of brands will come in due time as we get closer to opening,” Chorbajian said.
He added that he thinks his new home state is a perfect one for robust jeans sales. “After leaving New York, I was living in the South for a few years while my wife was finishing her degree and I just remember thinking, ‘God, this is the worst climate for denim,'” he said. “But now here I am in in Colorado. This is actually the best environment for denim. I mean, you can wear denim all year round here. Easily. And people do!”