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.
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)
Marc, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories! We have more undigitized photos of Fashion Bar in the Richard L. Crowther Architectural Records (WH1504) and Box 343 of the Rocky Mountain News Photo Collection. Both are available to view in DPL's Western History and Genealogy Department (5th floor, Central Library).
I'm not finding the facebook page! Can you provide a link?
Remember the commercial, "Your Fashion Bar is showing."
Catchy slogan! Thanks for reading and sharing, Lottie!
What a nice review of a grand story. I will just mention John Levy, Jack's youngest son, who was the last to hold the stores together as we all watched the retail business change so much in the late 80s and early 90s. John stayed to the bitter end and was directly involved in the dismantling of this great Colorado success story.
Sandra, thank you for reading and commenting. And thank you for mentioning John Levy, who gracefully took the reins during a rough period in the retail business. It's great to see so many people commenting on this story--Fashion Bar was truly a beloved store.
My family were and are very close with the Levy's and my father worked at Fashion Bar for many years as their men's clothing buyer. I fondly remember visiting their stores (particularly U Hills) as a child and lament that such a wonderful piece of Denver's history is gone.
Thank you for sharing your memories with us, Brian! Know that Fashion Bar lives on at DPL's Western History and Genealogy Department.
Those were the days. 26 years from sales to VP. To the Levy family and to the FB family my thoughts to all. always and in all ways Doug