Factory People

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 June, 2006, 12:00am

Where? In Austin, Texas, in the US, on the site of a former gun retailer. The downtown South Congress neighbourhood boasts marquee movie houses, vintage-car dealerships, trendy music venues and hip hotels.

Who? Husband and wife team Thomas and Le Popov named their 3,000 sq ft store after Andy Warhol's studio, The Factory, and British music label Factory Records.

It offers edgy labels to fashionistas seeking a shopping experience that fuses art, music and film.

Fashion finds: for men, Nice Collective shirts and APC's New Standard in raw denim are among the top sellers. Never heard of them? Each piece of merchandise is tagged with the history of the brand and its celebrity fans. The store also offers sophisticated women's clothing by Sass & Bide, Cacharel, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Foley and Development. Accessories include Andrea Brueckner's ruffled and grommeted leather bags, funky scarves by Micco and hip trainers by Onitsuka Tigers. Kate Moss is a fan of the Hysteric Glamour line. Although the store sells high-end designer labels, T-shirts and jeans from brands such as Habitual and Evisu are its bread and butter.

The vibe: the upscale space is colourful, eclectic and futuristic. There are murals by contemporary artists such as Baseera Khan and Sean Ripple and a top-notch sound system to showcase DJs and live bands.

The crowd: Austin's hipsters frequent the store to shop and party. The Popovs circumvent licensing laws by serving alcohol gratis into the wee hours. Many of the clientele are teenagers and young adults.

Extras: the boutique hosts art shows and film screenings on its roof terrace. Gift certificates and a range of products are available online.

Factory People is at 1325 South Congress Avenue, Austin, tel: 1 888 322 8002; www.factorypeople.com.