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STAG Austin

By Leigh Patterson

Published: December 13, 2010 under Fashion & Style

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

STAG Austin

Photo: Michael A. Muller

STAG Austin

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

Don Weir's home

Photo: Michael A. Muller

Don Weir's home

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Don Weir is 33, Southern-bred, and knows a good flannel when he sees one.

“This,” he says, pointing at the blue-and-red plaid number he’s wearing, “Is just, you know, a classically-styled shirt. But we have some Burkman Bros. flannels in the store that are lined with this incredibly soft jersey fabric. They’re classic but with a bit of a twist. Not to mention they’re insanely comfortable.”

Don Weir is one-fifth of STAG, a men’s shop in Austin, Texas, that’s, as the owners put it on their website, “classic and modern; traditional and progressive; new and old; respectful and rebellious.  We’re several parts clothing, part antique, part gift, part accessory, and part apothecary. We’re a modern day general store for every man.”

STAG, which opened in early December 2009, has an incredibly conceptualized idea of how it fits into the resurfacing men’s fashion scene.
GQ ranked it one of the top 10 independent men’s stores in the country, yet compared to the other shops on the list, STAG isn’t just “Southern,” it’s Texan, with workwear-influenced menswear complimented by aesthetic touches like stacks of vintage red bandanas, a lot of taxidermy, and the fact that, after fifteen minutes inside, I’d already heard two Willie Nelson songs. STAG is like Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, or maybe what would’ve happened if James Dean had roomed with Davy Crockett. It’s an amalgamation of class and comfort, with brands GQ dubbed as being of “a tougher breed,” like Ralph Lauren’s RRL line, Penfield, Rogues Gallery, Hill Side, Red Wing, and Hamilton’s handmade shirts out of Houston. (As an unrelated but notable aside, the only aspect of STAG that doesn’t quite fit in is the fact that, situated next to Home Slice Pizza on Austin’s busy South Congress Avenue, the entire store has a lingering pepperoni bouquet. But Weir contends, “That’s part of the charm. What guy doesn’t like pizza?”)

“We wanted the shop to be relaxed but also feel really carefully curated,” said Weir, a former antiques dealer who sold at Austin curiosity mecca Uncommon Objects. Less than a mile from STAG, the interior of Weir’s own home is a similar experience. Every item in Weir’s house is an artifact, from a tacked-up old canvas bean sack on the bathroom wall to a vintage typewriter displayed on the counter. Nothing in the house is of this century; a testament to the years he’s spent scouring antique markets. The house – and the store – exist in a slight state of organized chaos, Weir admits. “A Virgo trait.” Both STAG and Weir’s home are an experiment in accumulation, but things don’t seem cluttered. Rather, all of the objects that give both locations their personality are a puzzle Weir has figured out. When he walks around STAG, he weaves in between tables, compulsively straightening the stacks of books and refolds shirts as he talks.

The other owners have collective experience in design, aesthetics, and antiques, including Austin’s Mercury Design Studio (which has a “guiding principle” of “We believe in living with the past, not in it,” a mantra which has obviously carried over to STAG). The founders’ backgrounds infiltrate STAG’s layout. The store is packed with antiques, but most aren’t just there for aesthetic detail. For instance, cardigans are stacked on old metal school desks; a vintage anchor doubles as clothing rack; watches are lined up on what appears to be some sort of animal vertebrae.

This type of attractive practicality is what Weir says STAG is really trying to achieve. “I remember living in New York ten years ago, wearing western shirts and constantly catching hell for it.” he said. “When you grow up in a place where clothing serves a purpose beyond just the way it looks – needing to be wearable outside and while doing physical labor – you can’t help but let that influence you.”
 
In other words, everyone subscribes to some form of “fashion,” whether or not it is deliberate. Where STAG comes in is by taking these smatterings of influence and turning them into a tangible product; a place where it all comes together.

COMMENTS

frankie
said at 12am
December 15, 2010

Thumbs up... great photos/great story.

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