Many of us will observe the fourteenth of February a bit differently this year. We might grab takeout rather than dining in and take a romantic drive rather than jet-setting to warmer weather. One might celebrate Valentine’s Day 2021 at home with beloved pets or alone with a great book or film. Others will Zoom with a long-distance partner or snuggle beside their significant other on the couch. Regardless of one’s V-Day weekend plans and restrictions upon them, everyone can still make this Sunday special. Do so by treating parents, partners, siblings, friends — or oneself — to a few pieces from the Aspen, Colorado boutiques we adore. This year, local shops in the mountain town have taken on special meaning for the LUDC family. The team is currently preparing to open the Mountain Lane Show House in Aspen Snowmass in the Fall. For those on holiday, those who live in the town and those who would love to take a weekend jaunt to Aspen, follow below. From Kemo Sabe to Iberian, we are in love with these ten Aspen boutiques and all the stunning wares they have to offer!
10 Aspen Boutiques to Shop for Valentine’s Day
. 1 K E M O S A B E .
Perfect for the traveler and the long-term resident alike, Kemo Sabe offers home goods, accessories and apparel. All pieces nod to the Aspen Snowmass area and offer a fun Western edge. Laura U Design Collective’s Creative Director, Gina Elkins Brown found her perfect hat amongst the many the shop offers. Many of Kemo Sabe’s hats are lovingly handmade by the Kemo Sabe team. Each piece chosen for the shop has been intentionally curated by their crew of artists and craftspeople. Most pieces are either crafted by hand in-shop or creatively customized.
For the women in one’s life, we recommend jewelry from Kemo Sabe’s vintage collection. This collection includes a stunning sterling and turquoise Fred Harvey ring and an intricate Zuni Ingot Cerrillos Turquoise Squash Blossom necklace. Both pieces date to the 1930s. For the men, one cannot go wrong with a cozy, chic hat. Pieces from their Minturn collection are superb, as is the Stenson “Open Road Hat.” The Open Road hat boasts a satin lining, cattleman crown and matching slim grosgrain hat band. With pieces for kids, men and women, there is something for everyone on your Valentine’s Day gift list at Kemo Sabe.
. 2 C A R L S P H A R M A C Y .
Shop at Carls Pharmacy to feel like a local. The shop is much more than what one might expect from a traditional pharmacy. Carls carries everything from toys and arts and crafts for kids to luxury cosmetics and international wines for adults. The LUDC team will likely be spending quite a bit of time in Carls once the Aspen show house is up and running. This is because the shop is just around the corner from the LUDC studio and has pretty much everything one could need. Carls offers such a variety of fun and functional items that LUDC founder Laura Umansky actually found a wireless keyboard at the Aspen staple! Perfectly situated in downtown Aspen, Carls Pharmacy is the ideal spot for a pre-date-night outing. Pick up a bottle from their downstairs wine cellar on your way in and pop by their fishpond on your way out! When we called, Kevin from the Carls Pharmacy Wine Cellar recommended two wines to us for Valentine’s Day. He suggested Charles de Cazanove’s Rose Champagne and Hirsch Vineyards’ Pinot Noir.
. 3 R E S I P S A .
Another Aspen shop which perfectly blends the chic and contemporary with vintage and romantic is Res Ipsa. Res Ispa offers both international pieces and those which are quintessentially Aspen. Res Ipsa carries specialty homeware, vintage outerwear, gorgeous handmade loafers and so much more. The shop’s candles, silk pillow cases, textured coasters all make stunning gifts for those snuggling up at home. Conversley, Res Ipsa’s Kilim Loafers are great for an evening stroll. Take cues from LUDC’s Chief Operating Officer, Melissa Grove and pick up one — or several — Res Ipsa candles. For global inspiration, Melissa loves the Marrakesh scent with its notes of orange blossom, ash, clove and hemp. To breathe in the fresh mountain air of Colorado, nothing could be more perfect than the Aspen candle. Its notes of bergamot, citron, thyme, fig and sage are cozy and invigorating.
. 4 M A I S O N U L L E N S .
The French boutique Maison Ullens is an Aspen favorite of LUDC Senior Designer Shannon Smith. The womens wear boutique boasts elegant knits we love — particularly their silk, wool and cashmere blend jackets and sweaters. Maison Ullens is our top pick for Valentine’s Day garb. With its subtle flounce, their cream-meets-blush Short Sleeve Dress is delicate and feminine enough for a day date. Additionally, its mock neck, close fit and wool fabric make it warm enough for dinner out. Those seeking a bit more color and shine will love their organic cotton Belted Dress. This dress offers wearers a lovely chevron print across the bodice, a dainty belt and a transitional tea or midi length skirt. For a touch of Aspen magic, we love the crystal-embroidered, cream-colored, wool and cashmere V-Neck sweater.
. 5 I S B E R I A N .
Technically in neighboring Basalt, Isberian has been a long-time favorite of LUDC and founder Laura Umansky in particular. In 2019, LUDC partnered with Isberian’s Aspen shop, where they hosted Laura’s Mountain Modern pop-up. Laura’s July vignette — intended to capture the “rustic ambiance of a mountain lodge” — was inspired by the culture and natural beauty of Aspen. Each Isberian location blends the traditional with the contemporary, offering shoppers a lovely, curated space that is “collected, warm, and inviting.” From their area rugs to their hard surfaces, Isberian’s finishings are unique. They become instant heritage pieces the moment they meet the floor of one’s home. The owners of Isberian draw on their rich family history — six generations and 120 years — of selling and caring for rugs. They offer many styles, from “one of a kind antique and vintage Navajo weavings, to custom modern pieces.”
. 6 B A N D A N A .
Add organic textures, natural tones and a fly-with-the wind attitude to your wardrobe through pieces from Aspen boutique Bandana. Bandana is an immediate destination for LUDC founder Laura Umansky whenever she needs to infuse her closet with a touch of Western flair. As a women’s and children’s boutique, Bandana is the perfect one-shop stop for chic and comfortable mommy-and-me Valentine’s Day fashions. For women, we love Bandana’s Striped Dover Dress. Though intended for summer, this rayon and viscose dress pairs beautifully with knee-high suede boots and a beige cardigan. Valentine’s Day outfits for kids might include the Striped Ruffle Bomber Jacket and Blue Striped Joggers from Catimini. We also adore Stella McCartney’s Rainbow Satin Bomber Jacket paired with Tartine et Chocolat’s White Dress in Berry Print.
. 7 C A S T E R L I N E | G O O D M A N G A L L E R Y .
View this post on Instagram
This Aspen spot is both an amazing gallery in which to browse pieces for one’s collection and a destination for a Valentine’s Day date. Loved by locals and visitors, Casterline|Goodman Gallery is one of Aspen’s premier fine arts destinations. Founded by Robert Casterline and Jordan Goodman, Casterline|Goodman Gallery offers buyers an international perspective. In past years, the gallery’s staff have traveled the world, bringing exciting post-war and contemporary pieces to their Chicago, Aspen and Italy galleries. Catch their Connor Brothers exhibition this Valentine’s Day — or until 15 April 2021 — at their Aspen location.
. 8 F O R R E F I N E A R T .
View this post on Instagram
For another Valentine’s Day contemporary art outing in Aspen, considering Forre Fine Art. The gallery has long been celebrated by locals, tourists and art aficionados alike. James Sawyer featured Forre Fine Art in his 2016 article “Art in Aspen and the Rocky Mountains: Top 10 Galleries” for Culture Trip. Sawyer noted that the staff of Forre Fine Art is skilled in creating engaging exhibitions “mixing established artists with up-and-coming talent.” Not only is the Aspen location “worth a visit,” according to Sawyer, but so is their nearby location in Vail. Visitors to the gallery might find pieces by contemporary art phenoms like Alex Katz, Robert Kelly, Donald Sultan and Ashley Collins. These are often interspersed with those by mid-century abstract expressionist masters like Robert Motherwell and Sam Francis.
. 9 J I M M Y ‘ S A S P E N .
View this post on Instagram
Book a private wine tasting or reserve a table for two at Jimmy’s Aspen this Valentine’s Day date night. Founded by Jimmy Yaegar, Jimmy’s is a favorite amongst both locals and travelers to Aspen. It is internationally recognized as a quality spot to eat and drink. Based in California, lifestyle and wellness brand Goop celebrates Jimmy’s for its “ambiance and company,” “great food” and kid-friendly atmosphere. According to the SoCal brand, “locals love the crab cakes, the Mad Dog ranch salad, and the shareable mac ‘n cheese.” To drink, locals adore their margaritas, which feature “the best tequila in town.” Carolyn Sackariason seconds Goop’s endorsement of the crab cakes in her article “Jimmy’s – An American Restaurant & Bar” for The Aspen Times. Sackariason writes that the crab cakes are absolutely “not to miss.” Offering al fresco dining, Jimmy’s will offer Valentine’s Day diners an incredible gastronomic experience that is both safe and satiating. Perhaps most exciting of all, those who wish to stay home with their partner or family can order out “take and bake” crab cakes.
. 10 P I T K I N C O U N T R Y D R Y G O O D S .
View this post on Instagram
Last but not least is the much-loved Aspen staple Pitkin Country Dry Goods. This shop has everything one needs for a fashionable — yet comfortable — day on the slopes and a night out. Located just across the street from the famed Little Nell hotel, Pitkin Country Dry Goods “caters to the sensibility of [this] sophisticated ski town.” As Aspen’s oldest operating clothing retailer, Pitkin “offers an eclectic mix of creative boutique designers and wearable fashion basics.” Its pieces are just as suitable to skiing down the slopes as to shopping around town or eating in an elegant bistro. The shop currently carries womens- and menswear pieces by legendary French designer Isabel Marant. It also offers beautiful jewelry by Erin Sachse and Celine Daoust. Shop for yourself, for friends or for your date this Valentine’s Day.