South Congress Street winds through the core of laid-back Austin, past the beloved Hotel San Jose, the rocking Continental Club, and plenty of restaurants offering specials on margaritas. Stag joined the party in 2009 and quickly made an impact. A large, easygoing space, the store offers everything the frontman for a cowboy band could need, from RRL denim to Red Wing boots to Jack Spade bags.
Co-owner Don Weir attempted to create a space that had more in common with its neighbors than with the mainstream retail outlets closer to the University of Texas campus. "We were determined to create a warm, inviting, and unpretentious setting where guys could hang out, listen to music, have a beer, get comfortable with their surroundings, and find some compelling clothing," Weir explains. He says that part of his strategy was to tailor the venture to the city.
"Austin isn't as big spending a town as New York or L.A. or San Francisco," Weir says. "We made it a point to offer everything from magazines and letter-pressed stationery for a few bucks to some high-end luxury goods like Hamilton shirts."
The store does a vigorous business in Imogene + Willie and Baldwin, and their suit offerings have expanded, with York St. for J. Press, Jack Spade, and General Assembly. The Texas climate also dictates certain selections: There are swim options from Katin and Burkman Bros., and sunglasses from Garrett Leight and Randolph Engineering. That sort of clever curation has made Stag an all-but-mandatory stop for the hip SXSW crowd looking to emulate the sharpest dressers in the Lone Star State's weird capital.