The Yellow Morning is a sustainable, vintage brand based in RiNo in the Made to Last Market. Created by Ashley Mitchell, the brand is known for its unique and elegant pieces, its many blazers and matching sets.
The Yellow Morning is unique because Mitchell sources her pieces and puts them in themed categories so they are easier for customers to style. Each one of her pieces can go with another and they are all locally made and sustainable in the process.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Mitchell grew up discovering her love of fashion on her own, but there weren’t many places around her hometown where she could go shopping and truly express herself. Instead, her grandma would take her to different towns to shop so she could buy clothes that no one else in her town was wearing. This allowed Mitchell to separate herself from the crowd.
“I had an obsession with fashion by the time I was in my 20s and so I went to school for it. I worked in it right away from high school. Why I really loved fashion the most is because it was a way for me to express myself and stand out from the crowds,” she said.
Mitchell’s connection to sustainability started because when she worked at The Loft by Ann Taylor for two years, she started to notice changes. At the beginning of her time there, she noticed the window displays would change every season. By the end of her two years, she started to see that the window displays were changed weekly or bi-weekly.
“When fast fashion was getting bigger, I started to see how it was not only [impacting] myself, but the customers and how people were shopping. Working in fast fashion, sales were getting bigger and it changed how people shopped and consumed,” she said.
Fast fashion is a term thrown around frequently, and it refers to cheaply made and priced goods that copy the latest trends on the runways. These styles are mass-produced in certain stores to promote the current trends. Fast fashion is the main contributor of 8-10% of global carbon emissions and about 85% of textiles go to landfills each year. Mitchell has an equal love for nature and fashion, and it hurts Mitchell to know that fashion, specifically fast fashion, is a big part of the problem in our environment.
The Making of The Yellow Morning
The Yellow Morning has significant meaning for Mitchell. She wanted the name to be very neutral. Her favorite color is yellow and her initials are A.M. She put those two aspects together to create the name The Yellow Morning.
“I had three brand words I wanted my name to incorporate, happy, inviting, and welcoming. The color yellow is like that,” she said.
The style Mitchell aims to achieve with The Yellow Morning is not specific. Instead, she brings in styles and trends that one could find currently in a store or that may not be available anywhere else. The Yellow Morning’s website is also very unique. Customers will shop through collections, not categories of clothing. Mitchell does this on purpose because there is a theme within each category that represents her life and the different places she lived. This structure is also much easier for the customer to style all of her pieces.
The Yellow Morning Collections
Sylvan Ash is Mitchell’s first collection, which she created to represent her current personal style. Sylvan means “into the woods” and that collection is inspired by her living here, in Colorado. The collection includes neutral colors, tans, browns, and olive greens.
Ruby Isle is a classic, California, Americana style. Mitchell adds colors and patterns like navy, white, striped, and polka dots, with a pop of red or pale yellow at times.
Vernon Rue is based on the county she grew up in called Vernon County, Wisconsin. This collection showcases more refined looks since Rue means grace.
The last collection, Farran Sky, is much more feminine than the rest as it features pastels, floral and feminine pieces.
Mitchell will only source locally for her shop unless a rare chance she returns home to Wisconsin, then she will source from there as well to bring more unique items back to her shop in Denver, items you wouldn’t normally see in Colorado.
Her ideal places to source are smaller thrift stores. “I personally only source things that I would wear in my closet. I look at the quality of the piece overall, where it’s made, and the age of the item. I look at the materials and will usually only go for natural fibers, occasionally, if something is very unique I will go for it if it is vintage and polyester,” she said.
The Styling Process
When Mitchell shops for The Yellow Morning, she thinks about whether they will fit into one of her collections and strives to style all of her pieces accordingly. Her favorite pieces to add are blazers and light jackets.
“I love finding statement pieces, something you can add to your basic t-shirt and jeans. I also really love sourcing silk button-ups and matching sets,” she said.
The Yellow Morning’s Instagram is very curated. Mitchell uses very bright, white outlines and eye-catching colors. Mitchell has worked in social media and marketing, so she knows how to showcase the style of the shop through her photos. She also went to school for photography in addition to fashion.
Mitchell’s goal is to have customers buy outfits, instead of buying something and not knowing what to pair it with. Her Instagram shows the customer how you can take different items from her shop and create a complete outfit.
The Future of The Yellow Morning and Made to Last Market
The Yellow Morning is one of few shops in Made To Last Market. Mitchell developed the concept for the sustainable market. Her process began when she connected with someone from Reactiv, a local real estate agency.
“I want all the businesses to emphasize sustainability within their brand, it has to be either local, second-hand, vintage, or sustainability made,” she said. Reactiv and Mitchell collaborated to find a space for Mitchell to develop her sustainable market while welcoming permanent and monthly vendors.
The future looks very bright for Mitchell. She wants to create a modern lifestyle market — a place where people can shop local and sustainable businesses, but also eat food, sip coffee, hold meetings and even work.
“I want yellow morning to have its own store. Now that I’ve been working on Made to Last and [this] sustainable market, people will come and no matter what they buy they are supporting local businesses, local artists, women-owned businesses, and creatives. They are helping someone’s dreams stay alive while helping the environment,” she said. Therefore, her market is going to be a place where sustainability and zero waste are easily achieved.
All photography by Adrienne Thomas