Robert Comstock

Colorado is a nature-lover’s paradise, and now all of the outdoorsy types here in Denver can dress the part. Robert Comstock, who derives inspiration from all things natural – and whose Signature collection can be found at Andrisen Morton in Denver – has released the Vertical by Robert Comstock line that’s now available at Dillard’s, Park Meadows Mall. “Vertical derives from the Robert Comstock Signature Collection, at least in inspiration, if not in the exact quality, color and source of the material,” Comstock says.

This notable fashion designer, who began designing outerwear in 1976, was inspired in part by childhood memories of deer and lambskin leather jackets that his grandfather kept in the cedar closet of his log-cabin summer home. “The cabin was twenty-five miles by car from Yellowstone Park and one-quarter mile downstream from the source of the North Fork of the Snake River…a veritable natural phenomenon and a wonderland for a young boy with dreams of adventure,” he says. “As a college student visiting South America and remembering Granddad’s leather jackets, I had a coat made for myself and several other family members. After graduation, I talked my father into helping me start a leather outerwear design and wholesale business.”

Since then, Comstock has found inspiration from his adventures in places like Papua New Guinea, Outer Mongolia and the Amazon. He translates this inspiration into genuinely unique clothing collections that meet the character, lifestyle and inspiration of the American man. “Designing for me is a creative, commercial outlet, inspired both by adventure travel and by the artistry of the skilled technicians creating the uniquely finished skins and fabrics that appear in my collections,” he says. “It is a means of sharing with others the personal experiences that enrich my life and influence my perspective.”

Unlike most designers, Comstock personally envisions and oversees the creation of each garment in his collections. He also sources rare and luxurious materials from his travels. “The adrenaline rush sharpens my senses and fires my creative juices, while the colors, textures, shapes, and patterns of the fabrics and finishes used in the collection often are influenced by the natural environment, indigenous species and native culture,” he says. “Snaps and buttons, too, are suggested by these experiences and sometime come directly from merchants in the local market.”

Comstock attends the leather and fabric fairs in Europe and Hong Kong, but he also visits the mills and tanneries to meet the technicians who create the fabrics and finishes. He prefers to use natural fabrics (or fabrics derived from natural materials), and he uses the skins of animals killed for their meat (where the skin is a byproduct). “The cashmere yarn I prefer comes from Natural Fantasy of Florence, which sources the fiber in Mongolia, Tibet and Northern China,” he says. “Regardless of the color, NF yarns always include a number of fibers in their natural, non-dyed hue. I believe this provides a special hand and color tone unavailable from other mills.”

The new Vertical line translates the adventure travel theme into a cohesive, less-expensive collection of knits, woven garments, bottoms and outerwear. “It targets the Dillard’s customer specifically, and the customer for reasonably priced, medium-tier sportswear and outerwear generally,” Comstock says. “There is no sacrifice in fashion or perceived value, but the price point is more competitive.” In addition to Dillard’s at Park Meadows Mall, the Vertical line also is available at Southwest Plaza in Littleton, Flatiron Crossing in Broomfield, and Citadel Mall and Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs.

While pieces in the Signature Collection range from $250 to $5,000, the Vertical line includes garments ranging in price from $65 to $500 (with specialty items priced at up to $800). “My design is original, authentic and intricately detailed, often with special features the ultimate consumer discovers only after wearing the garment a number of times,” Comstock says. “It’s casual but simultaneously sophisticated, and often luxurious and unique. My goal is to create appealing apparel that fits a guy’s lifestyle and personality as well as it frames his body, that makes him feel good every time he wears it, and that over the years becomes a wardrobe of ‘old friends’ waiting in his closet.”

Catch Robert Comstock at Dillard’s, Park Meadows Mall in Littleton on Friday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to Noon for a public presentation of the Vertical line.

Misty Milioto is affectionately known as Denver’s Fashion Gal. She covers haute trends and local designers in the Mile High City, all while keeping a close and critical eye on national trends that are currently rocking the runways and the major glossy magazines. Stay tuned for all the best in fashion that Denver has to offer.

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