The Oasis has always been known to Austin as a restaurant for its great drinks and amazing views. A few years ago after the restaurant recovered from its 2005 fire, The Oasis expanded with a whole shopping center that now includes stores, a winery and a craft brewery. The newest addition is a new boutique store called Design Lab.
Design Lab was founded by Austin designer, Linda Asaf. The fashion venue features 20 diverse Texas designers whose creations range between jewelry, eyewear, children’s clothing, as well as apparel for men and women. “It’s all about promoting Texas designers,” Asaf explans. “We celebrate the best designers in Texas. It’s a platform for designers who don’t have their own storefront to sell here and to test new products. Also to have more control over their brand and leave excess inventory.”
As I hinted at earlier, The Oasis shopping center has really developed, offering diverse dining and shopping options, while still retaining that Hill Country vibe. “It’s a beautiful development designed by Dick Clark Architecture. After doing a lot of research on the demographics, this area has really come into its own in the past few years,” Asaf explained about her choice to open here. “There’s not a lot of retail out here, so I saw a hole in the market I wanted to fill.”
Additionally, Asaf elaborated on her personal goals for the customer experience. “I really want to establish a stronger connection between the customers who are buying the merchandise and the people behind it who are creating and making these beautiful designs. I feel like there’s not enough of a connection. So that’s kind of like the magic, but it also makes people more aware of who makes [the designs].”
Of the 20 designers in the store, Linda also features her own line, Nectar, featuring ready to wear dresses, swim wear and resort apparel with roots in high fashion.
Additionally, there is women’s apparel collection Black Cross, by designer Midi Soliz. Midi is not just a designer, but also a costumer for film and music. I couldn’t even begin the laundry list of movie stars and rockstars she’s worked with.
Soliz described her line, “A lot of the fabrics I’ve used are first and foremost from the vault of movies stars or musicians I’ve worked with….This collection can be worn by any age group from age 15 to age 50. Worn right with the right look, you can mix it in with anything in your closet. So I’ve built it specifically to be a base look. I have a lot of general base looks that I always have to purchase for rockstars and then I’ll take from their closet and jazz it up with the base looks. So these are the base looks I’ve started with.”
Luckily for the guys who want to dress sharp, this store is not just for the ladies. Design Lab also features a great collection of suits from League of Rebels. League of Rebels was founded in Texas before moving its base to California. Now, because of Design Lab, these modern and rad suits are back in Texas. Personally, I think every man needs to have at least three suits. Think of it as an investment. Once I save up for a new suit, I think my next choice will be a League of Rebels creation from Design Lab.
Also for the guys is a more casual line of shirts by Criquet. They are organic shirts with a “preppy classic” style made out of 100% organic cotton with an anti performance shirt attitude. The shirts are geared toward both men and boys, featuring polos, golf shirts, and both long and short sleeve button ups.
There are multiple designers and lines featured at Design Lab. Some of the other women’s apparel lines include:
- Chicka-D, stylish game day apparel for women and children
- Pearl Southern Couture, representing the rich heritage of the deep south
- Revelry dresses in game day colors for every occasion
- Shirts by designers Stripedshirt and United We Art
The Jewelry sold at Design Labs is designed by Femailler, Jacq Jones, JBird Jewelry, Lauren Checchio, Mark Kalen, and Sikara. There are also other accessories sold like hats by Hatbox, eyeware by Starling Eyewear, and custom, hand forged knives by 9f Knives. Lastly there is also a multitude of footwear designers including Lisa Lecroy, Texas Outlaw Boots, and Valentina Shoes.
Design Lab is a hip and rad boutique store full of modern and fashionable apparel and accessories by 20 designers across Texas. If you’re looking for some new clothing options for the upcoming season change, or you just want to spice up your wardrobe, check out Design Lab and support local creatives at The Oasis shopping center.
The Oasis is located at 6550 Comanche Trl.
When was the last time you visited The Oasis? Have you checked out Design Lab yet?