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Photo: Kemo Sabe

Aspen's Best Indie Boutiques

The ski town has a lot more to shop than just the luxury chains; here, we've rounded up the local gems.

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Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Although Aspen has a reputation as one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the world, many people do not realize that the Colorado town also happens to be a top shopping destination, too.

Over the years, the dense, walkable area at the base of Aspen Mountain has transformed from a sleepy mining town into a upscale village filled with high-end restaurants, hotels, and boutiques that cater to the area’s notoriously discerning crowd. And although there are an abundance of well-known luxury brands — from Louis Vuitton to Prada to Ralph Lauren — as well as more casual stores like J.Crew, Aether, Lululemon, and Rag & Bone, there are also some really wonderful hidden local gems you shouldn't overlook. Here, check out Aspen’s best independent boutiques selling everything from ski gear to jewelry and consignment clothing.

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Gorsuch

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Located right at the base of Ajax Mountain, this decades-old boutique is owned by Renie and David Gorsuch, who met while they were members of the 1960 US Olympic Ski Team. The business has evolved over the years (the couple began selling clothes out of their station wagon) into one of the top luxury mountain lifestyle empires, with locations in Vail, Beaver Creek, Park City, and Keystone, all selling exclusive athletic wear and clothing from brands like Moncler, Brunello Cucinelli, and Bottega Veneta, as well as beautiful gifts and home décor.
Photo: Gorsuch/ Yelp

Pitkin County Dry Goods

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This family-owned store has served Aspen for nearly 50 years, beloved by locals and visitors alike for its unique assortment of contemporary men’s and women’s clothing — think Rag & Bone, T by Alexander Wang, and MCQ Alexander McQueen — as well as an impressive selection of leather and shearling jackets and ski town-appropriate accessories like cashmere scarves, hats, and gloves.
Photo: Pitkin Country Dry Goods

Etc. Aspen

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After 19 years overseeing popular women’s boutique Distractions, owner Heidi Semrau sold her business to Meg and Armand Margjeka, who own a similarly fashion-forward shop, Etc., in Birmingham, Alabama. Following a brief closure and minor renovation, Etc. Aspen reopened with its new name and look this November. Now, the boutique sells the same roster of hip designers (such as Greg Lauren, Libertine, and Free City) that made Distractions such a hit alongside fine jewelry from Cathy Waterman, Moritz Glik, and Jemma Wynne, as well as some menswear.
Photo: Etc. Aspen

Bloomingbirds

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For more than 35 years, Patti Peterson has stocked the top selection of footwear in town. Not only is Bloomingbirds the only local store to offer Manolo Blahnik, but Peterson also sells hard-to-find designers like Robert Clergerie, Aquazzura, and Salpy. However, it’s the old-school, personalized customer service — there is no website or social media, not even a computer in the store — and friendly attitude that really keep customers coming back after all of this time.
Photo: Bloomingbirds

Kemo Sabe

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An Aspen institution, Kemosabe is the go-to spot for authentic Western gear. In addition to a wall-to-wall assortment of classic cowboy hats and boots, the shop offers monogrammed silver belt buckles, turquoise jewelry, Navajo blankets, vintage saddles, and leather-bound journals. Whether there to shop or just enjoy the lively scene, it’s a must-stop for any visitor.
Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Amber's Uptown Consignment Shop

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A veritable treasure trove, this classic consignment shop —formerly called the Uptown Exchange — is known for its high-end second-hand clothing, jewelry, handbags, denim, and furs: think Hermès scarves, Prada dresses, and Saint Laurent leather jackets. It’s also a great place to look for gently used skiwear, especially for those who don’t regularly hit the slopes.
Photo: Amber's Uptown

Chequers

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Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this intimate shop is filled to the brim with chic furnishings, décor, and the perfect hostess gifts — expect everything from cozy chairs and brass tables to enameled serving trays and delicate crystal coasters.
Photo: Chequers
Opened by Aspen local Mary Moyer in 1986, this jewelbox boutique carries a superb selection of brands like Azzedine Alaïa, Mary Katrantzou, and Giambattista Valli. Moyer also stocks the shop with chic accessories like Masion Michel fedoras, Edie Parker clutches, and Chrome Hearts silver jewelry.
Photo: Nuages/Robert Millman

Meridian Jewelers

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A great spot for visitors who want to splurge, this pristine jewelry boutique sells an astounding assortment of pieces from cult designers like Temple St. Clair, Irene Neuwirth, Anita Ko, and Hoorsenbuhs. There is also a serious selection of watches, including Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, and an official Rolex shop-within-a-shop.
Photo: Meridian Jewelers

Miller Sports

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This four-year-old spot has quickly become one of the most popular ski shops in town thanks to its unique combination of high-end ski apparel and accessories, as well as full-service equipment rentals, demos, and tuning services. They specialize in stylish European brands such as Toni Sailer, J. Lindeberg, and Mammut, and also offer outdoor athletic wear and swimsuits in the summer season.
Photo: Miller Sports

Gorsuch

Photo: Gorsuch/ Yelp
Located right at the base of Ajax Mountain, this decades-old boutique is owned by Renie and David Gorsuch, who met while they were members of the 1960 US Olympic Ski Team. The business has evolved over the years (the couple began selling clothes out of their station wagon) into one of the top luxury mountain lifestyle empires, with locations in Vail, Beaver Creek, Park City, and Keystone, all selling exclusive athletic wear and clothing from brands like Moncler, Brunello Cucinelli, and Bottega Veneta, as well as beautiful gifts and home décor.
Photo: Gorsuch/ Yelp

Pitkin County Dry Goods

Photo: Pitkin Country Dry Goods
This family-owned store has served Aspen for nearly 50 years, beloved by locals and visitors alike for its unique assortment of contemporary men’s and women’s clothing — think Rag & Bone, T by Alexander Wang, and MCQ Alexander McQueen — as well as an impressive selection of leather and shearling jackets and ski town-appropriate accessories like cashmere scarves, hats, and gloves.
Photo: Pitkin Country Dry Goods

Etc. Aspen

Photo: Etc. Aspen
After 19 years overseeing popular women’s boutique Distractions, owner Heidi Semrau sold her business to Meg and Armand Margjeka, who own a similarly fashion-forward shop, Etc., in Birmingham, Alabama. Following a brief closure and minor renovation, Etc. Aspen reopened with its new name and look this November. Now, the boutique sells the same roster of hip designers (such as Greg Lauren, Libertine, and Free City) that made Distractions such a hit alongside fine jewelry from Cathy Waterman, Moritz Glik, and Jemma Wynne, as well as some menswear.
Photo: Etc. Aspen

Bloomingbirds

Photo: Bloomingbirds
For more than 35 years, Patti Peterson has stocked the top selection of footwear in town. Not only is Bloomingbirds the only local store to offer Manolo Blahnik, but Peterson also sells hard-to-find designers like Robert Clergerie, Aquazzura, and Salpy. However, it’s the old-school, personalized customer service — there is no website or social media, not even a computer in the store — and friendly attitude that really keep customers coming back after all of this time.
Photo: Bloomingbirds

Kemo Sabe

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images
An Aspen institution, Kemosabe is the go-to spot for authentic Western gear. In addition to a wall-to-wall assortment of classic cowboy hats and boots, the shop offers monogrammed silver belt buckles, turquoise jewelry, Navajo blankets, vintage saddles, and leather-bound journals. Whether there to shop or just enjoy the lively scene, it’s a must-stop for any visitor.
Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Amber's Uptown Consignment Shop

Photo: Amber's Uptown
A veritable treasure trove, this classic consignment shop —formerly called the Uptown Exchange — is known for its high-end second-hand clothing, jewelry, handbags, denim, and furs: think Hermès scarves, Prada dresses, and Saint Laurent leather jackets. It’s also a great place to look for gently used skiwear, especially for those who don’t regularly hit the slopes.
Photo: Amber's Uptown

Chequers

Photo: Chequers
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this intimate shop is filled to the brim with chic furnishings, décor, and the perfect hostess gifts — expect everything from cozy chairs and brass tables to enameled serving trays and delicate crystal coasters.
Photo: Chequers

Nuages

Photo: Nuages/Robert Millman
Opened by Aspen local Mary Moyer in 1986, this jewelbox boutique carries a superb selection of brands like Azzedine Alaïa, Mary Katrantzou, and Giambattista Valli. Moyer also stocks the shop with chic accessories like Masion Michel fedoras, Edie Parker clutches, and Chrome Hearts silver jewelry.
Photo: Nuages/Robert Millman

Meridian Jewelers

Photo: Meridian Jewelers
A great spot for visitors who want to splurge, this pristine jewelry boutique sells an astounding assortment of pieces from cult designers like Temple St. Clair, Irene Neuwirth, Anita Ko, and Hoorsenbuhs. There is also a serious selection of watches, including Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, and an official Rolex shop-within-a-shop.
Photo: Meridian Jewelers

Miller Sports

Photo: Miller Sports
This four-year-old spot has quickly become one of the most popular ski shops in town thanks to its unique combination of high-end ski apparel and accessories, as well as full-service equipment rentals, demos, and tuning services. They specialize in stylish European brands such as Toni Sailer, J. Lindeberg, and Mammut, and also offer outdoor athletic wear and swimsuits in the summer season.
Photo: Miller Sports