By Maddy Hill | May 26, 2017 | Style & Beauty
Colors of the Southwest influence designer Stephanie Beard's latest Esby collectons, which now include swimwear and menswear.
Esby’s brick-and-mortar store is a study in contrasts, the monochromatic concrete softened by the racks of linen and cotton-textured gauze that make up owner and designer Stephanie Beard’s spring and summer collections.
The subtle V-neck of the Duffy jumper and long hem of the Darby shirtdress mark a feminine turn in Beard’s menswear-inspired design style, which earned Esby its reputation of being a high-quality, no-frills label since its debut in 2014. Saturated colors like clay and olive accent the neutral palette, all with a desert vibe.
Beard, who designed for houses like Tommy Hilfiger in New York, is drawn to the aesthetic of her adopted hometown, especially Austin’s better known boutique hotels. “I was inspired not only by the Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia, but the succulents and dry desert beauty that’s found in Austin,” Beard says of her newest collections.
Her pieces continue to be about versatility and comfort, which seeps into Beard’s latest endeavors—menswear and swimwear. “I don’t think it’s very easy to feel confident when you’re not comfortable,” she says. “You want to have something that looks good, feels great, and is easy to wear.” Pieces like the Blake henley and the Lifetime crew T-shirt are unisex, while double-lined swimwear pieces can be mixed and matched, depending on how much coverage you want. Beard hopes women will feel secure in the swimsuits—while still showing off their shape. 1601 S. First St., 512-243- 8901
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREN SLUSHER (PORTRAITS); ANDREA CALO (INTERIORS); ESBY APPAREL (CLOTHING)