Here's a Colorado Cinderella story: what began in 1933 as a Denver hosiery store became Colorado's largest, privately held clothing retailer in 1992.
Siblings Hannah and Jack Levy, German émigrés, opened Hosiery Bar at 707 16th Street in 1933. In 1936, the store became Fashion Bar after the purchase of a nearby dress shop, and the Fashion Bar chain was born.
Fashion Bar continued to expand during the 1960s. In 1963, Fashion Bar stores opened in Boulder and Lakewood's Westland Shopping Center. In February 1964, the company announced plans for the construction of a new downtown Denver shopping destination at 16th and Tremont Place, designed by architect Richard L. Crowther.
By September 1966, the company's 15th store had opened at the Bear Valley Shopping Center. During the 1970s, Fashion Bar diversified its brand, opening specialty shops for men ("FB Men" and "L'Uomo"), young women ("Stage"), women 35 and older ("Hannah"), and children ("Young Set"). FB Design carried furniture and household designs.
When Fashion Bar turned 50 in 1983, the company boasted a fleet of 83 stores.
Fashion Bar's co-founder, Hannah Levy, passed away in 1984, and Jack H. Levy, died in April 1985.
After the deaths of its co-founders, Fashion Bar made plans to expand further west. Two stores opened in the Los Angeles area in 1988.
On June 2, 1992, the Levy family was bought out by Houston-based Specialty Retailers for $14.7 million. Specialty Retailers began shutting down the 71 Fashion Bar stores in 1995.
The last Denver-area Fashion Bar stored closed on January 31, 1997.
Photos and architectural records of Fashion Bar can be found in the Richard L. Crowther Architectural Records (WH1504)