Three women sharing a dream, Bella conté, Emilie Kaler and Lily walters founded the Collective of the lost room in September 2021. The Lost Ladies started pop-up shops around Denver and now have a permanent space bringing together all of their favorite local artists, from vintage clothing and furniture to The Hotel de la Source.
The three met in the fashion industry and became friends through their work. They got their name from friends and clients calling them lost ladies and it stuck like glue just like Lost Room Collective.
Kaler moved to Colorado two years ago from a small town in Illinois called Rantoul. She grew up always wanting to be in the fashion industry. She went to the University of Illinois and earned a degree in Arts and Design. “I started selling clothes when I was still at university” Kaler said. She followed her heart to fashion and, during the pandemic, continued to sell clothes and develop her own business.
Conte is originally from Virginia and came to Colorado for college where she attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. She majored in psychology and worked as a researcher at the children’s hospital, but left to develop her passion project in fashion. “I have always grown up where my two parents have always loved clothes, fashion and art in general” said Conté. Growing up in a creative space influenced her clothing sales goals.
Walters is also originally from Virginia and moved to Colorado when he was eight years old. She went to Colorado State University to study in the medical field, but soon realized that this was not where she found the most joy. She launched an Instagram account during the pandemic to share her favorite vintage clothes. “I posted them on my Instagram and realized that fast fashion is not sustainable, is not beneficial, so I got passionate about saving” Walters said. As she loved buying funky vintage pieces, she decided to expand on Instagram and started selling on Depop and Poshmark.
Getting together in Denver’s fashion community was very easy for these three. Conte had the idea to open a store, Kaler and Walters had brands, and all their aesthetics harmonize very well. Through the hardships of the pandemic, they came together and found a way to share great, vintage clothing at low prices. Their goal is to help people find creativity and express themselves through sustainable fashion.
“It’s the easiest way for us to show who we are as people and it’s so funny because the three of us have such different styles, but it brought us closer together,” Kaler said.
Each girl’s style is unique to them and the products they bring into the store. Walters has a very “Y2K, sexy and affectionate style” as described by Conte and Kaler. She brings lots of bright colors and patterns to the store mixed with some groovy furniture. Conté presents “Real vintage pieces from the 60s and 70s” that she finds in real estate sales. Kaler is described as “a cross between Conte and Walters” who bridges the gap between the two eras of fashion. Each Lost Girl brings a bold, individualistic style that makes Lost Room Collective artistically come together.
“We source from anywhere… we try to be one of the most sustainable ways to buy,” Kaler said.
Some local artists buy their clothes at Collective of the lost room. One artist in particular creates denim that can be taken apart and rearranged to create different looks. There are also a lot of local jewelry, candles, accessories and furniture which can be found at Lost Room Collective.
Soon, lost women hope to start fashion consultations and work with people more individually to create a style. They also hope to continue to attract more collectives while encouraging people to buy sustainably.
The Lost Women organize events every month to get involved in the community and collaborate with local artists. They are having a collection of coats and blankets on November 27 at 7 p.m. with drinks. With a donation of a coat or blanket, customers will receive 10% off their purchase.
Conte, Kaler and Walters hope to scale their business and continue to grow to share the best vintage pieces at quality prices.
“We want to have several places with fun cafes, but I don’t think there is an end” Kaler said. These three women have followed their dreams and listened to their hearts and hope to create the best community around sustainable fashion here in Denver.
All photographs by Shelby moeller