League of Rebels in the Second Street district is changing the way Ausitn dresses up (and down).
As a university student in Ukraine, Musa Ato craved the tailoring quality he had been accustomed to during his uniform-clad youth in Great Britain. “I went to a boarding school where seven days a week you wear a necktie and a blazer, so that stays with you,” says the native Nigerian, who recently opened the brick-and-mortar League of Rebels, a luxury brand crafting smart, functional menswear that transitions from the office into evening. “I want to look good and be taken seriously. At the same time I want to be able to step into a bar right after and fit in,” he says.
With a background in international business and an eye for fashion, Ato conceived the idea for League of Rebels in 2009. “Early in life, I understood the power of brands,” says Ato, whose globe-trotting background has given him connections around the world.
The brand mirrors Ato’s own appreciation for well-crafted suits, jackets, shirts, and accessories, using the same fine fabrics and European tailoring traditions that stitched the uniforms of his boyhood. Initially Ato operated League of Rebels as an online retailer out of Dallas, where he attended the University of Texas, and then Los Angeles. He fell in love with the Texas capital while showing a collection at Austin Fashion Week in 2011. “I was just blown away because I felt like I wasn’t in Texas anymore,” recalls Ato, who was impressed by the city’s fast growth as well as its emphasis on independent brands. Ato teamed with the now-closed Edge Boutique to bring his line into a store for the first time, and then launched League of Rebels pop-up shops before choosing downtown’s Second Street District as the permanent base of global operations.
In addition to the storefront’s ready-to-wear selection, which includes wrinkle-free fitted shirts as well as on-trend T-shirts, the brand offers a custom program for suits and shirts. The team works with clients one-on-one throughout the process, offering quality textiles, including worsted wools and cashmeres, in a range of colors and prints, with a turnaround time of about three weeks.
“We want to make Austin home,” says Ato. “To get the full League of Rebels experience, you have to come to Austin.” 411 W. Second St., 512-721-9903