It’s a reliable rule of thumb in the fashion world that great style always comes with a compelling story. Austin is no stranger to either of these things, and the city attracts people with style (and stories) in spades. In just the last few years, those people have helped the vintage scene in Austin explode, flipping the script on what it means to look “current” or “modern” in today’s sartorial landscape dominated by fast fashion, with its oft-cookie-cutter looks and trends that burn brighter (and fizzle faster) than the latest flash-in-the-pan viral video sensation.
Their stories have shaped their successes; their visions are what breathes new life into small local business.
In Austin, Texas, it’s not enough to just have style. You gotta have soul.
2109 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Much like her outpost on East Cesar Chavez, Allyson Garro herself brings an element of fanciful glamour that is somehow, paradoxically, completely accessible. An L.A. transplant with five years of wardrobe experience under her belt, Garro wanted a departure from the high-stress life that "The Industry" comes with. After a lot of soul-searching (and a retail stint in New Orleans where she gained her chops in retail), she opened up shop in her current East Austin location nearly eight years ago.
Garro knew she wanted to create a space where people could come and be presented with everything they could ever want to costume themselves. Having been a part of the burlesque scene in both L.A. and New Orleans throughout the late nineties and early aughts, her shop is a clear manifestation of a combination of her experiences.
With an infectious enthusiasm for playing dress-up, Garro lights up when talking about hosting events and “wig parties” at the shop: While wigs are the mainstay of her business, Coco Coquette offers a full costuming experience with a wide range of skincare and wellness products, an impeccably curated selection of vintage party-appropriate clothing, and all the accoutrements one could need to transform themselves into a vision of vintage romanticism.
For Allyson Garro, style will always been deeply personal, and is influenced by her mood. She recalls a memory growing up, having missed the bus on a stressful morning of fourth grade and her mom having to drive her in to school. Her mom recognized that something was wrong due to her daughter’s silence throughout the entire ride, Garro finally mumbled something about hating what she was wearing. Her mother, understanding the feeling of just not feeling right in what she’d chosen to wear, turned the car around so her daughter could change into something that suited her that day. Style didn’t just influence her mood, it changed the way she thought about work and what her role could be in helping other people feel good about themselves.
Glamour, as it turns out, is a language in and of itself. And after spending just a few minutes inside Coco Coquette, you’ll be speaking ‘glamour’ fluently.
Now we wanna know, Where are your favorite spots to shop? Leave a comment below AND TELL US your favorite AUSTIN BOUTIQUE.
The Greer Guide to Austin is a bi-weekly column written and photographed by Liz Feezor of Liz Feezor Creative.
Greer Image Consulting loves supporting local small business, and vintage style is a daily dose of self-expression that is truly unique, sustainable, and supports a network of men and women committed to bringing the best of past style into your wardrobe.