These 7 Designers Are Keeping Austin Fashion Weird, Yet Wearable


Austin is known for its weirdness, from festivals to attractions, and our fashion is no different. Here are some local (or locally available) designers who are contributing to this weird vibe. Of course, real fashion is all about standing out, so we included a few suggestions on where to wear these incredible pieces if you want all eyes on you.

Shaly Guo

Simple designs full of color, shapes, and textures make Shaly Guo a crowd favorite. This iridescent stunner combines comfort with a touch of avant garde, making it an excellent choice for an art opening at The Jones Center. And can we talk about the models she uses on her website? Kitty cat heads are about as weird as you can get.

Amanda Valentine

Valentine is a “Project Runway” designer who has helped light up the Austin Fashion Week runways. She utilizes the flow of strips of fabric to make her designs dance, on the runway or walking down the street. Valentine is well known for the liberal use of fringe in her designs, which makes this dress the perfect choice for a music festival like Austin City Limits.

This is Sloan

Designer Sloan Lenz is inspired by the film and music culture of Austin. Her fashion is edgy, funky, and sometimes a little over the top. These looks work perfectly for dressing musicians – another one of her talents. This little baby doll number works perfectly for a night of dancing at Elysium or Barbarella. As one of the youngest designers in the fashion scene, Lenz is quickly making her mark in the industry.

D.G. Clothes Project

Where do we even start with these designs? Designer Daniel Gonzalez creates works of art and ‘wearable sculpture’ for every day use as part of his D.G. Clothes Project. Those creations come in the form of shoes, handbags, caps, and jewels, all vehicles for a variety of adornments including feathers, fringe, ribbons, pom poms, and fur. This feathered pair is so stunning, they belong on display at

Harry Rex

Amy Tabb is new to the fashion scene, even though it’s been a dream of hers since a very young age. Her attention to the details of simple, classic designs makes her Harry Rex line really stand out. Choices range from tweed suits to silky slip dresses that make this designer’s outfits perfect for the Austin market. This royal look would certainly turn heads at a fundraiser event for any number of Austin’s wonderful charities.

Kelly Dempsey

This self-taught designer founded Rack Addik and utilizes lots and lots of glitter, beads, and glitzy, shimmery fabrics to create everything from scoop dresses to one piece body suits. If you watched her on “Project Runway,” you’ll know that she even manages to turn the humble fanny pack into a must-have accessory. When you want a little bling, this is the look you’re searching for. Her designs also feature fur, mixed mediums, and bright, bold colors. This sparkly body suit would help make a really memorable evening when worn for a New Year’s Eve party at The W.

Gunnar Deatherage

Sheer fabrics and simple pieces that can be mixed and matched  create the vibe behind Gunnar Deatherage’s work. This former “Project Runway” contestant’s goal is to make gender neutral clothing. We think this outfit would look (and feel) great for a day full of panels and a night full of shows during SXSW.


All photos by Carlos Barron for Austin Fashion Week, with permission