Forget Stetsons and cowboy boots, the Texan capital has a new generation of boutiques featuring bespoke clothing, fine jewellery and handcrafted home goods that capture the city’s signature cool.
Sep 04, 2015 · By Simone Olivero | Photo by Molly Winters (By George)
1. By George
When Katy and Matt Culmo first opened their minimalist boutique in 1979, Austin was a sleepy college town filled with students and day trippers. The shop has matured with its city, and is now a go-to outfitter for Austin’s trend-seekers. The curated racks carry designer labels like Acne Studios and Band of Outsiders alongside a small collection of housewares and accessories from local up-and-comers. Don’t miss the regular trunk sales from top local jewellers like the Dowry, Vada Jewelry and Nak Armstrong.
1400 S. Congress Ave., 512-441-8600, bygeorgeaustin.com
2. Stag Provisions for Men
The knowledgeable staffers are the best reason to visit this unassuming men’s shop in South Congress. They collect upscale weekend wear from brands like Gitman, Alex Mill and Saturdays Surf. Once you’re dressed, they’ll get you groomed with colognes and soaps from Jack Black, Baxter of California and D.S. & Durga. They’ll even help you pick out the perfect coffee-table book – like Philip Jodidio’s tome about, and titled, Cabins – and a vetiver-scented candle for your mantelpiece. Think of the style here as Southern gentleman, minus the kitsch.
1423 S. Congress Ave., 512-373-7824, stagprovisions.com
3. Nannie Inez
The brightly coloured walls at Nannie Inez are the perfect backdrop for owners Deeyn Rhodes and Lonzo Jackson’s hand-picked collection of mid-century modern housewares. Rhodes credits London for shaping her taste (she held gigs at Paul Smith and Mulberry) and her grandmother, the shop’s namesake, for her impeccable attention to detail. Find colourful chairs, pendants and pillows from brands like Bend, Zuzunaga and Hey next to tubes of natural lip balm by Netherlands-based Kiyoko – the perfect purse-friendly souvenir.
701 S. Lamar Blvd., Suite E, 512-428-6639, nannieinez.com
4. Spartan Shop
Olive-wood cheese platters, leather-accented brass jewellery and bars of soap made with pink clay and sea salt are highlights of the eclectic offering at this shop on the border of downtown and South Austin. Austin native Currie Person worked in New York and Paris before returning to Texas to open a store that would reflect the creative approach to housewares that she’d discovered in those cities.
215 S. Lamar Blvd., Suite D, 512-579-0303, spartan-shop.com
The lobby shop at Saint Cecilia (Photo: Nick Simonite)
5. Hotel Saint Cecilia
The Saint Cecilia exudes a rebellious rock ’n’ roll style befitting a hotel named after the patron saint of music. The lobby shop contains handmade leather slippers by Austin native Cambria Harkey, sold alongside custom kimono-style robes and 400 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Take home the hotel’s custom scent – a perfume with whiffs of grass, wood and musk by Austin’s Roux St. James – and it will feel like you never left.
112 Academy Dr., 512-852-2400, hotelsaintceciliastore.com
6. Busy Being
Amber Abramson’s assorted collection of clothing, housewares and wall hangings reflects an urban bohemian esthetic that’s characteristic of Austin: a little bit country, with a hit of downtown L.A. cool. Pick up hand-hewn wooden spoons by Austin-based Aldo Böhm or a brightly coloured graphic Magic Carpet yoga mat for an impromptu hatha session at nearby Barton Springs. Busy Being also has one of the best collections of art prints in town and a knack for discovering new talent.
1601 E. 5th St., #102, 512-879-4742, busy-being.com