Local Brand C.R.LEE Designs Opens New Storefront In Denver

Crystal Renee Lee, creator of C.R.LEE Designs, is opening a new storefront in Denver. She will be creating new collections in-house and providing a space for several small businesses to sell their wares within her store. Customers will find her C.R.LEE Designs and TOMBOI collections at the new location, opening March 5th, 2022 at 1974 South Acoma, Denver, CO 80223.

The Making of C.R.LEE Designs

Crystal Renee Lee created C.R.LEE Designs in 2013. Prior to starting the brand, she had been creating clothing for nine years. In building a company, she had one mission: “to create the things I wish existed and make them attainable for anyone who will appreciate and respect it,” Lee said. She wanted to design clothing that is high-quality and comfortable but also has a great fit and timeless look while starting a conversation in the process.

“I design from the heart and you feel that,” she said. Lee creates her clothing with intention – she listens to her customer’s thoughts and opinions to create clothing that is unique and special. “I make a conscious effort to listen to my customers and what they feel is missing and truly make them feel heard in the fashion industry. I pair their wants, needs, and suggestions with my design experience and brand aesthetic and create my version of what they want,” Lee said.

Lee offers a handcrafted design option on her website. She can create all kinds of designs from scratch using only her client’s vision of the clothing they want, “My custom clients and I have a great time collaborating on my version of their vision. Or they just let me create what I think would work great for them and the event they are attending. We have created everything from unique bridal to swimwear, prom, etc.,” she said.

Lee creates her designs by hand, “I cut, fit it, sew it, it’s truly a design piece made by a designer,” she said. She also creates her own samples for her collections. Her handcrafted designs can take anywhere from two days to six weeks, depending on the availability of materials needed and what the ensemble itself entails.

Creating the TOMBOI Collection

TOMBOI is a collection Lee created in 2019 that “was named TOMBOI because it had a lot of streetwear influence juxtaposed with high fashion,” she said. It started when her family and friends traveled to Paris and wanted to pack Lee’s designs with them. As a result, Lee created one black hoodie with TOMBOI emblazoned on it.

When the pandemic hit she didn’t want to be wearing the same clothes all the time anymore. She wanted something that was still comfortable, but also felt like she had done something that day. That is where the original TOMBOI, white and black embroidered sets, came from.

In March 2021, Lee was going on vacation and wanted a different colored set, since she had been wearing hers so much. This is how the sky blue TOMBOI set came to life.

Lee “posted it from the airport on my IG and was flooded with DM’s. I was like ok I guess this is what you gals want. I came home from my vacation and created the set again in a couple of colors,” she said. Lee sold out her collection twice and she had over one thousand pieces shipped in the last six months. Lee will continue to expand on her brand, as the sky’s the limit for C.R.LEE Designs.

New Storefront Opening In Denver

Lee is now opening a storefront for C.R.LEE Designs on March 5. Lee is progressing with her business so quickly, that she doesn’t have the resources to sell product out of her home anymore.

“I feel my customers, followers, and supporters DESERVE an in-person experience. I love connecting with people and I am inspired by their energy, so it was just time. I also needed a space to create my new C.R.LEE collection,” Lee said. 

Opening a store that once was solely an online business is a big decision. Lee wanted to make sure her brand was in a place where they can keep up with the demand. It took “a ton of BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS. I had to be sure the brand could carry the need for a space and I truly believe we are there with the current demand,” she said.

The C.R.LEE storefront will be located at 1974 S. Acoma St, in Denver. Lee chose this location because it had a mix of different characteristics that she is inspired by.

“It felt special, but not pretentious. it felt warm and inviting, but a little quirky and lux,” she said.

Her new store will display both C.R.LEE designs and her TOMBOI collection, and all the collections to come. “You will get the best of both worlds. Silk pajamas, TOMBOI and CRLEE socks, upcycled branded denim by me, C.R.LEE originals and fan favorite pieces, just a well-rounded one-stop-shop and vibe,” she said.

In a small section of the store Lee will display some brands and things she loves and uses every day “that either inspire me or make me feel like C.R.LEE,” she said. Those products will be from brands she admires, uses, and loves, coming from women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Brands and products offered in the storefront include: Estelle Lux Collection lipstick and lipliners, Jeff Wan handbags, The Black Pineapple Candles, 6TWENTY1 Swimwear, and Shami Oshun accessories.

The Future of C.R.LEE Designs

Lee is very excited to open her new storefront in March with the support of all of her customers. C.R.LEE Designs has made a breakthrough in the industry with new collections and customs pieces and the brand continues to grow rapidly.

The future of C.R.LEE Designs is very bright and dazzling as Lee sees that she is building an empire. “Anything is possible. After the success of the TOMBOI line, we truly are open to exploring many on-brand avenues if it inspires us,” she said.

“I’m always grateful and appreciative anytime someone takes an interest in me and what I’m building,” Lee said. “Denver and beyond we have built this together, so it’s only right we celebrate together.”


All photography by Blake Jackson.