By Beth Lebwohl
To paraphrase a former Supreme Court justice: I don’t know exactly how to define a sharp-dressed man, but, when I see one, I know it.
Steve Shuck and Don Weir, co-owners of the South Congress men’s boutique STAG, might just be on the same page. Their fashion heroes – men like James Dean, Keith Richards and Willie Nelson – defy definition.
“The one thing they all have in common is that they’re each comfortable in their own skin, and make their style look effortless,” said Shuck.
This explains why Shuck and Weir created their store as a go-to destination for men who want to look great, but who don’t want to be pigeonholed. “We saw room for an interesting, all encompassing men’s store that carried everything from apparel to gifts to furniture to artwork, so we decided to give it a go,” said Weir.
Both partners had the chops to do it. Before opening STAG, Shuck worked for GAP for 16 years. Weir fell hard for men’s fashion back in 2000, when he moved to New York. “The [downtown] Ralph Lauren RRL store blew my mind,” he said.
The city of Austin, however, was where both men saw opportunity, and they opened STAG in December of 2009. I asked them what about their store has made them proudest, expecting a mention of the high-quality brands they carry like Alex Mill, Faherty and Son of a Sailor. Instead, they talked about vibes.
“Guys can be intimidated by the shopping experience,” said Weir. “And many of them aren’t inherently comfortable doing so, but we’ll get a lot of guys in the store who say ‘I’ve always hated shopping, but I love shopping here.’ That makes us proud.”
“We’re constantly inspired by all sorts of things – art, photography, movies, architecture, books, places. We’re constantly passing back and forth images that get our wheels turning, and show up in our brand photography or store design. Don does a great job of capturing some of this inspiration through our Tumblr and Instagram pages.”
Written by Beth Lebwohl
Images Courtesy of Steve Shuck & Don Weir and STAG Austin
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Beth Lebwohl earned her writing chops here in Texas, where, for several years, she produced stories for EarthSky, a globally syndicated science radio program. In addition to her passion for the written (and spoken) word, Beth loves the graphic and decorative arts, tea, goat farms and the warm-hearted folks of Austin. She is a proud native of Queens, New York.
Writing: Beth Lebwohl
Photography: Chris Perez – @citygrammag
Images of Eden East Courtesy of Nom Nom PR
Written by Beth Lebwohl
Images Courtesy of Stephen MacMillan Moser, Frances Mac Laughlin, LIFE