South Congress is getting more luxe by the minute with Soho House Austin debuting earlier this year, pristine handbag brand Hermes announcing it would open next year and Nak Armstrong opening its doors most recently.
Award-winning designer Nak Armstrong is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his namesake jewelry brand by opening a flagship boutique next to Austin's new Soho House, where it will be the only local brand in the development.
Opening on South Congress' newest development Music Lane, Nak Armstrong Fine Jewelry opened its doors for the first time last week. The new store carries Armstrong's entire collection, including his diffusion line, Nakard. Though it is Armstrong's first freestanding store, he has been featured in boutiques like Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York and Net-A-Porter.
A designer with a background in architecture, Armstrong has made a name for himself with his signature "stone plissé" setting that imitates ruched fabric and pixelated foliage-inspired designs. The store was designed to emulate Armstrong's complex design with geometric nuance, the brand's signature muted chartreuse and natural influences.
The store has been in the making for three years, as Armstrong sought to create a place that radiated a laid-back atmosphere and felt like Austin. Walking in, you'll see plenty of chartreuse velvet, hand-cut mosaic floors made with terracotta as a nod to Austin's Latin influences and Milanese accents, all brought to life by a team of Austin-based artisans and designers.
"Austin is so informal in some ways, yet people are craving another interpretation of that— something luxe but approachable," Armstrong said. "(It's) like a beautiful residence you wouldn't want to leave."
The jewelry boutique is nestled between Soho House and St. Cecelia Hotel and Residences in a long space where they house jewelry along parallel narrow walls. The space will open up a variety of events, like designer meet and greets, new collection launches, local art collaborations and upcoming 10th-anniversary celebrations according to a press release.
"Austin is not only a place that has fostered and supported my work, but it has also become a dynamic luxury market," Armstrong said. "If you had told me only a few years ago that South Congress was going to transform into a place that could support brands like mine, I wouldn't have believed you. You can feel the shift, and it's exciting to be a part of it."
The store is open from Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Why pay full price when you have next-to-new Austin fashion at your fingertips? Thrift shopping is nearly as ubiquitous to Austin as live music and food trucks, but it can be hard to get your foot in the thrifting door.
No need to fear: we've got a complete guide to the smorgasbord of Austin thrift shops right here.
Best bang for your buck
Goodwill Bins, 6505 Burleson Rd.
If you're pinched for cash or looking for adventure, head to the Goodwill bins for the cheapest options on the market. At $1.49 a pound, it's easy to walk away with 10 or more items for less than $10. This is where the unselected items at Goodwill stores lay to rest, so there can be slim pickings. But that makes it that much sweeter when you find a designer item, tag intact. Come ready to be assertive—each time new bins are brought out, it's prime real estate, and a crowd quickly gathers around the new picks.
Thrift Land, 512 W. Stassney Ln., Ste. 107A
For anything from 99-cent T-shirts to brand-new designer leather pants, head to Thrift Land in South Austin. The store has been around since 1985 and has a huge variety of men's and women's clothing, home decor and even books and furniture. Every section is color-coded, so come with a desired color scheme in mind. Bring cash as well—the store is cash-only, but there is an ATM inside just in case you forget.
Thrift land is packed with outfits for activities from business meetings to a girl's night out. (Claire Partain/Austonia)
Thrift Town, 5726 Menchaca Rd.
Thrift Town shares a strip with a Goodwill, but the store consistently brings better style and lower prices to the table. Thrift Town's slightly trendier cousin, Thrift Land, is also conveniently located nearby in South Austin. There aren't as many home furnishings as Thrift Land, but they more than make up for it with with mannequins serving as style inspo above the aisles and plenty of business-casual clothing appropriate for any workplace meeting.
Thrift Town employees regularly outfit mannequins with their favorite picks. (Thrift Town/ Facebook)
Salvation Army, 4216 S. Congress Ave.
While you can find nearly anything at Salvation Army, which is famous for its half-off days, you can find high-quality used furniture—and a healthy selection of it—without breaking out the piggy bank. Plus, if you need to rid yourself of extra furniture, the Salvation Army will come to pick up items directly from your house so you can spare yourself the sweat. Donations and support go to those in need—the non-profit organization donates 82 cents on every dollar to services that help the less fortunate. While the Salvation Army does not help move furniture to homes, several services like Easymove and Dolly will help you get it where it needs to go.
Far Out Home Furnishings, 1500 W. Ben White Blvd.
This vintage, upcycled and knick-knack emporium is so filled with upcycled goodies and eclectic art pieces that they have a dedicated "Funkyard" to house it all. This garage-sale-like thrift shop carries used fashion, indoor and outdoor furniture, musical instruments, jewelry, frames and whatever else your heart desires, so long as you have the stamina to find it. The store offers an online tour and regularly updates its inventory, so you'll have an idea of what's in store before you head over.
Pavement Austin, 611 S. Lamar Blvd.
Flaunting a colorful exterior to match the sprawling, eccentric interior, Pavement has a carefully curated selection of clothing for the modern fashionista. Filled with a mixture of new, used and vintage fashion and accessories, Pavement caters to all aesthetics at both of its Austin locations. With clothes for all bodies, Pavement sets itself apart by hand-selecting the items it puts on the sales floor instead of relying on brand or release year, so you will likely find something for everyone.
Flamingo Vintage Pound, 2915 Guadelupe St.
Flamingo is the cutting-edge of thrift fashion, but don't take our word for it: influencer and former Texas State student Wisdom Kaye, who has racked up 6 million TikTok followers for his keen fashion sense, has been known to frequent it. Inside is a hodgepodge of eccentric Austin fashion. Find vintage Harley Davidson tees or funky bell-bottom pants in the store's curated sections. Come here looking for discounted fashion-forward items instead of extra-low prices. Flamingo is significantly more pricey than the Goodwill bins, but it still follows a discounted pay-by-the-pound model.
St. Vincent de Paul, 901 West Braker Ln.
An Austin favorite, this donation-based store known simply as "Vinny's" comes with all the trappings of a Goodwill or Salvation Army but with a more curated selection. Look for trendy clothing, wood furniture or eclectic jewelry at this North Austin thrift shop.
Passport Vintage, 2217 S. 1st St.
Looking for quality vintage denim? With over 20,000 Instagram followers, Passport Vintage has established itself as a vital storefront for tasteful shoppers. It's not the cheapest, however—come here if you're willing to pay near-new prices for authentic vintage items. Aside from its Instagram, the store also has a website and a brick-and-mortar store open seven days a week.
Ballin' on a budget
Uptown Cheapskate, 3005B S. Lamar Blvd.
If you love name-brand clothing but don't love draining your bank account, Uptown Cheapskate is the place to shop. The store has brought upcycling to the mainstream by buying and selling clothes brought in by customers, meaning you can shop for less and even make a quick buck while you're there. Clothes are chosen with a few criteria in mind: brand, date they were released and condition, so you may not sell everything you bring in, but you will walk out with something that was on boutique racks just a few months before.
Plato's Closet, 5400 Brodie Ln., Ste. 240
Fulfill your Instagram influencer fantasies without breaking the bank at Plato's Closet, the classic name-brand thrift store chain. It doesn't take much sifting to find Lululemon, Zara, Madewell and even high-fashion designer items within the curated store. Come with a bag of your old clothes, too, if you trust your fashion sense—they'll give you a couple bucks for whatever they like from your wardrobe.
Buffalo Exchange, 2904 Guadelupe St.
Buffalo Exchange has a reputation that precedes it as the premier designer thrift destination. Located just across the street from Flamingo, Buffalo Exchange is stocked with items straight from the closets of trendy University of Texas students living nearby. Grab an entire Gen Z outfit—from flame-shaped sunglasses to embroidered cowboy boots—and have change to spare. In our experience, the pants section has some of the best quality items on the thrifting market.
Uncommon Objects, 1602 Fortview Rd.
Uncommon Objects doesn't sell clothes, but it does sell used items from yesteryear. Down the eerie, cluttered aisles, you're likely to find old objects that confuse, delight, inspire and fright, but seeing that every item is used, it is thrifting in its own right. There's no true way to know what you'll find in the self-proclaimed "antiques Mecca" but a few staples include dolls, paintings, statues, skeletons, photos and old appliances. Whatever you take home, it will probably be older than you.
Supporting a good cause
Austin Pets Alive!, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St. (multiple locations)
With three locations across Austin, all net proceeds go to the puppy-loving, no-kill Austin Pets Alive! Shelter. The boutique-style thrifts are a great place to find clothes for everybody, and you can donate your old items to help animals. Plus, if you're an APA! foster parent, you can enjoy 20% off every time you shop.
Treasure City Thrift, 2142 E. 7th St.
With the motto "solidarity not charity," Treasure City Thrift is a Black-owned shop that claims to be "the most affordable thrift store in Austin." The shop prides itself on educating the public on zero waste practices, inspiring art and creativity, making needed goods available for people who need them most and making monthly donations to the Really Really Free Market. You're likely to see a pop-up market outside the brightly-painted pink building when you visit and you might just catch the monthly 25-cent sale.
For the fashion challenged
Thrifted Feels ATX, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. G-125
Do you struggle to put together something fashionable in the morning? Ever wish you could just have someone do your shopping for you? Thrifted Feels ATX would love to be that personal shopper for you. A tried and true shopaholic, owner Dominique Kirven resells clothes that fit her personal aesthetic so you can fake it until you make it. She describes her style as nature-inspired with Earthy tones and textures, though there is always room for a little statement. You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Feathers Boutique Vintage, 1700B S. Congress Ave.
This vintage consignment shop has a brick-and-mortar storefront, but it's also got a fully-functional site and ships its items around the world. Since 2005, the shop has curated quality vintage items with an extra Austin flair. From bandanas and scarves to quality jeans, Feathers has a little bit of something for everyone.
Elephant Paths, Depop and Instagram pop-ups
More shoppers than ever are using their thrift expertise to create their own curated online shops. If you don't have the free time to head to your favorite shop, head to Instagram or Depop for pop-up thrift shops galore, including Elephant Paths, one of Austin's newest online stores. Austinite Aysia Jackson resells her favorite thrifted items for exceptionally low prices. Check her site for colorful jackets and blazers, go-to skirts and more as she continues to build up her inventory.
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Partners Group and Presidium, the corporations behind the development, said in a press release the new plans include:
- Two office buildings with a combined total of around 420,000 square feet that will include fitness areas, parking for electric vehicles and bikes and access to the outdoors
- A 370 unit mid-rise apartment community with affordable housing implemented at 60% of the area median income; the complex will include a clubhouse and rooftop pool.
- 12,000 square feet of retail space to begin the shopping center
- Nearly 1 acre of open space and parkland area open to the public
River Park has garnered criticism from East Austin residents and those worried about gentrification, but the company says it is working to ensure that affordability and community are implemented into the project.
The space will eventually incorporate the entire "live, work, play" dynamic, but it'll be a long time before the project is finalized: River Park's 10 million square foot plans aren't set to be completed for the next decade or two.
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Looking for a new summer wardrobe? From men's jewelry to all things Austin FC, we've scouted out new clothing lines and more around the city.
Here's what you need to know about what's new in retail.
Kendra Scott men's collection
Jewelry entrepreneur Kendra Scott is stepping into the men's jewelry space with CEO Tom Nolan after her namesake company spent years dominating in women's jewelry. Her new line, Scott Bros. by Kendra Scott, will feature various styles of men's bracelets ranging from $68-$198.
New opening: Faherty, 11700 Domain Blvd.
New York family-owned apparel store Faherty has opened its doors at Domain Northside. Faherty claims to offer high-quality sustainable products from men's, women's and children's clothing to blankets.
New mural at Domain Northside
While you're shopping at the Domain, stop by the new butterfly mural at 11624 Rock Rose Ave. You might have to get in line, though, because everyone's going to want that Instagram-perfect shot.
New opening: Verde Store, Q2 StadiumAs Austin FC's official merchandise store, the Verde Store, will have five times more products than the Verde Van. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
Your one-stop shop for all things Austin FC is the newly opened Verde Store. You can pick up anything from jerseys to doggie clothes at 10414 McKalla Place every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
San Marcos Outlet virtual employee job fair
(San Marcos Premium Outlets)
Just as lots of industries are struggling to hire employees, the San Marcos Premium Outlets is hosting a mass virtual job fair from now throughout the summer to recruit applicants in its dozens of stores.
Over 60 positions are currently available, including at these stores: Valentino, Coach, Converse, Columbia Factory Store, Gap Outlet, Guess Factory, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Jimmy Choo and more. View more information here.
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