The lovers, dreamers, trouble makers, heart stoppers, thinkers and travel junkies. They follow the sun, music, love, adventures. Meet the Benz family of Wyld Blue.
The family-run boutique started in Montauk, New York. When a friend gushed to Sasha Benz about how beautiful a community and the people who comprise it are in Aspen, the family saw an opportunity to open a sister store. She signed a three-year lease, though she’s hopeful the shop will be here indefinitely.
“We made the decision — probably it was about August [that] I came out here. I was eight months pregnant, and I spent 12 hours in Aspen. Did a quick lap around and said, “Alright, I think I get it’ and kind of dove into a lease,” Benz said. “We decided there and then. We had survived post-COVID in Montauk; we had a great season, people were still shopping. Our online store, the numbers went up and things were doing well. So if there was a time to ever expand, it’s when no one else is, and I trusted what we do. I trusted my team.”
Selling vintage designer brands such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Fendi, Hermes, Saint Holiday and more, Benz is focused on curating a shopping experience for her customers, she said.
“Well, for me, when I go shopping, I feel like I'm shopping for the kids in one store and shopping for my husband in the other. I love the idea of having a little bit of everything; you walk in, and you have something for your kids or something for you. You can indulge here. I wanted it to be all-inclusive so anyone who walks in feels like they can take something with them,” she said. “It's not just coming in for a dress or coming in for a jacket or a candle or a gift, it kind of covers everything except menswear.”
Creative and committed, her entrepreneurial state of mind kicked into overdrive when Benz found herself in a New York state of mind, migrating from the warm beach shores of Bondi in Australia to the concrete jungle. The opportunity for Benz to open a retail space presented itself just a few short weeks before the summer of 2019 in Montauk. With that, Wyld Blue was born. As for the store’s name, Benz said it was her family that was the inspiration.
“It is my children’s middle names,” she said. “I have my oldest, Rhythm Wyld, and middle, Baby Blue. And I wish I could take credit for it, but my mom came up with it. We were thinking, and I said, ‘I'm gonna open a store. Do you have any ideas?’ We had all these stupid Montauk related [concepts], and she came up with Wyld Blue.”
Benz also talked about the 1,900-square-foot store decor: “It's very similar to my personal style — it’s very neutral, taking inspiration from everywhere I travel. So you can see little bits of Tulum, Byron Bay, Greece. And every time you're in the space, you want to feel lifted, like you've traveled without leaving where you are. I like the idea of feeling very mystical but natural, so there are elements of gold, which are rich and blingy but without being too much in your face, and all the neutral light, it’s like a lacy woman on the beach with a Chanel bag.”
The shop’s inventory, too, reflects Benz’ travels — and those of her friends. For instance, she is selling a Chanel snowboard worth more than $10,000.
“A friend of mine, Cole Ramstad, used to work for a company called Mantiques. He spends most of his time going to auctions and finding the most incredible pieces. Last year, we did a trunk show with him, and he had a Hermes bag no one has ever seen before and all these really cool pieces, and he said, “As a present to you for you opening up in Aspen, I found this and instantly thought of you,’” she said of the rare snowboard.
While the boutique serves as a trove of hard-to-find, eclectic pieces, the accompanying price tags aren’t for the faint of heart.
“The merchandise price point is definitely on the higher end,” Benz said. “It's more of a luxury boutique from designers — no one here is mass-produced; it's from some small businesses that are either female or that I know personally. So, you know, we try to make sure that everyone's prices are looked after. It’s not fast fashion.”