We had the chance to meet with Mario Conte, Co-owner of a vintage and streetwear clothing store called Station. Located in Five Points, the boutique carries vintage designer brands and streetwear trends that Mario and his friends have been shopping and wearing for years!
How did you get into the fashion industry? I knew since high school that I was interested in these kind of streetwear brands and clothes. Senior year of high school and freshman year of college was really when I got into all of it. I knew fashion was something I really loved and wanted to be a part of. When I was done with college I went and applied at my favorite shop in Boulder and they told me I needed retail experience, so that’s what I started to do. Then, I started working for a company called “Kidrobot” and I worked there for two years. That’s what really made me fall in love with all of it.
Tell us about Station and how it all started. Once I got my foot in the door with Kidrobot, we would do events with artists because they were an art-toy company. We’d make clothes with them, we’d have night openings and that made me see the whole community that there was around this. Around this time I linked with my friend David, who’s the co-owner with me at Station now and I had seen that he had posted that he needed help for his brand so I started helping him push his brand then. After doing one collection with him, we thought we should open a store.
Why did you decide to sell a combination of streetwear, vintage, and previously worn clothing? We wanted to not only sell stuff that my friends are I were wearing and buying online, but also stuff that wasn’t really being represented in Denver at the time. There’s this whole streetwear movement that was coming up at the time that no one or no store was really stocking in Denver. We knew we needed to bring this to Denver a) before someone else does and b) because there was nothing like it here and it needed to be here regardless. Also, if we were going to be opening a store and being around something all the time, we wanted it to be something we loved already. When we started, we had an entire art wall. Kids would come in and easily spend $200-$300 on a hoodie but not on a canvas so, we covered up the art wall and put clothes up instead.
What’s the process of finding clothing pieces that you want to carry in the store? We go everywhere and anywhere we can find stuff. My partner does most of the digging for clothes and he’s obsessed with it. Everyday he’s at the bins in the mornings at Goodwill stores, art stores, Ebay, flea markets every Sunday, and checking craigslist. He also searching for things. He’ll also look up estate sales. Also, we’re buy, sell, trade, so people will come in and bring their clothes to us to sell.
What are your thoughts on Denver and its fashion? Now we have a lot of great stores and a lot of them are streetwear stores, but Denver hasn’t been a fashion-forward city. It’s still behind, but there’s a lot more to do, a lot more culture, a lot more fashion than there was before. That’s what makes being here so advantageous, because in other places you can get lost in it. Everyone is trying to do similar things, but in Denver it’s just not that big yet. So, if your original and have a good work ethic, you’re going to come to life here.
What do you hope for in the future for you and the store? We equate the store to a modern-day barber shop. It’s just a bunch of likeminded people that come and kick it. We have homies that pull up every day and they’re not shopping. It’s a place people can gather and I hope that we can be here for years and I want this store to be here for a long time. I hope the brand grows and can be synonymous with the other brands we carry and streetwear that’s out there. I just hope we grow as a store but also as a brand as well. Who knows, maybe Station2 and Station3 somewhere!
Writer: Ella Zeiler (Instagram)
Photographer: Bridget Burnett (Instagram)