Style editor Laurel Pantin credits her Austin upbringing for her success and shares her hometown favorites.
Even though Laurel Pantin—a Lucky magazine style editor—has lived in New York for 10 years, she still feels a close connection to her hometown of Austin. Pantin remembers an idyllic South Austin childhood with her “creative hippie family” that was filled with playing outside with her brother.
Austin’s “anything goes” philosophy on style has stuck with her throughout her career in the ultracompetitive fashion industry. “Growing up, I had a serious punk phase. I tried it all… being in Austin instilled in me that it is more than okay to wear whatever you want to wear and be whoever you want to be,” she says. “I love everything about Austin; everyone seems so happy and healthy, and I really love the Tex-Mex and barbecue.”
Pantin gets her fix on visits home with breakfast tacos at Cisco’s (1511 E. 6th St., 512-478-2420) or an order of Mag Mud (queso with black beans and avocado) from Magnolia Cafe (1920 S. Congress Ave., 512-445-0000), but she always has the most fun on shopping trips with her mom.
“Bell and Bird (1206 W. 38th St., 512-407-8206) has the most beautiful antique and estate jewelry. I love how excited the staff is to share stories about the pieces.
“Every Halloween, we’d go to Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds (1506 S. Congress Ave., 512-444-2002). I credit it for my love of fashion. You have to see it to believe it—it’s insane.
“I go into Whole Earth Provision Co. (1014 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-476-1414) looking for one thing, but end up wandering around. The gift section is the bomb.
“I’ve never found a record store as good as Waterloo Records (600A N. Lamar Blvd. 512-474-2500). When I was a kid, I bought my first CDs there.
“My favorite thing is to go to By George (524 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-472-5951) with my mom and look at everything, and then go over to Whole Foods to get items to cook dinner together. Something about the whole ritual feels so indulgent and comforting.”