ByGeorge prepares its next big move under the watchful, impeccable eye of Creative Director Kristen Lee Cole.
The right look: As creative director for ByGeorge, Kristen Lee Cole brings an editor’s eye to both locations.
Beautifully attired in an ankle-length black dress at ByGeorge’s flagship location, Kristen Lee Cole looks like the curator of an impossibly cool art gallery. And in many ways, she is. As creative director of the iconic high-end boutique, the Los Angeles transplant routinely travels to New York and Paris to make selections from high-end fashion houses (Celine, Balenciaga, Marni) as well as emerging and modern designers (Mansur Gavriel, Acne Studios, Outdoor Voices) for the Lamar flagship as well as its trendier sister on South Congress Avenue.
Cole is also ready to help make ByGeorge, founded in 1979, one of the country’s top boutiques: Plans are in the works to move the flagship to a larger space complete with a café and an expansion of lifestyle and home goods. Restaurateur Larry McGuire, who in 2015 purchased ByGeorge with his company, McGuire Moorman Hospitality, tapped Cole because of her success with trendy Los Angeles store TenOverSix, which she co-founded in 2008 as a fashion, art, and design concept; she now has a second location in Dallas and still serves as creative director and buyer for the store. “Working in so many different areas of fashion, it all felt very fleeting and impermanent, and that’s why I really wanted to open a store to bring everything under one roof,” recalls Cole.
The Men’s Shop at the Lamar flagship.
Before opening TenOverSix, the NYU graduate and Parsons School of Design alum worked at Theory, where she launched her own line of shoes and handbags before becoming a fashion stylist for celebs like Adele and Taylor Swift. Cole’s impeccable taste also extends to designing interiors for such high-profile clients as The Joule Hotel, Midnight Rambler Bar, Americano, and Weekend Coffee (of which she’s co-owner) in Dallas, and Olive & June Salon in Beverly Hills.
“I love the curating of the space, from the music to what you’re smelling and drinking and everything that you are interfacing with as a consumer,” says Cole, who lives in South Austin with her husband and two children, including a newborn. When she’s not traveling to New York, Paris, or LA, searching for the right fashion “with an Austin slant,” Cole has been finding her way around her new home city. She loves to eat at the bar at Jeffrey’s, the classic Austin restaurant owned by McGuire; her preferred weekend uniform of vintage 501s, a tee, and high-tops fits right in the with the local aesthetic.
“Your eye changes with every environment living in different cities and being exposed to new cultures and style, and the Austin woman is more nonchalant and classic, a very elegant way of dressing.” 524 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-472-5951; 1400 S. Congress Ave., 512-441-8600