Audrie San Miguel
M: When did you get into fashion?
A: I remember going to the most formative music event of my life when I was 9 – it was the Go-Gos at the Astrodome, and my parents pulled me out of school to let me go with them. I think that was the first glimpse of avant-garde, irreverent looks on people. It was definitely a mainstream pop show, but I saw so much creative fashion in Houston – it was so metropolitan and cool to me. From then on, I started trying to drape my sweatshirts over my shoulder or wear fingerless gloves…I would try and mimic Belinda Carlisles outfits with my own vintage finds.
M: Is that when you started getting more creative with looks?
A: Definitely. My parents didn’t let me dress like that in public, but at home it was like a fashion free for all. I found little tidbits at garage sales and thrift stores – I was putting cool little looks together and dancing in front of the mirror with my cousins. It sounds totally corny, but I think every chick has moments like that.
M: When did you think that you might pursue business?
A: I remember my grandmother buying and reselling cool stuff back in the day with her chi-chi purse money. I was enamored with the process from day one.
M: You mentioned research. What tools do you use to research fashion concepts?
A: I probably gather most of my information from old YouTube videos and vintage Playboy Magazines from different eras. Playboy had the hottest babes.
M: People often attempt to compare the Austin Fashion scene to the New York or LA fashion scene, especially after events like yours, Fashion Freakout.
A: I would say that most Austinites don’t hunt specifically for designer clothes. They’re on a budget, they are creative people, and they don’t want to look like everyone else. Cosmopolitan cities like Dallas and Houston, or New York and LA tend to rely heavily on high-end modern designers to make a fashion statement. The community in Austin is completely different from that kind of person.
M: Makes sense, you have to save money for beer and queso.
A: I feel that when you take it too seriously, it kind of loses its cool. When people talk about fashion trends, it makes me cringe. It’s about what you are going to wear to the club on Saturday night, or your friends wedding. You want to express yourself creatively, that’s it.
M: Something everyone wants to know, do you take the best shit home?
A: I get first dibs but yeah, we have a policy here that if you take something home, you have to bring something back in. So my closet is a revolving door for sure. We always say: “He who snoozeth loozeth”
M: Your brother [Ace San Miguel] has been known to take on some bold fashion moves. He helps you with things like Fashion Freakout and the Texas Film Hall of Fame party, right?
A: Definitely…He helps me and Emily and Sara with our events and is a total bad ass. He dresses with an element of Mexican American meets warrior influence.
M: Any special advice on how to put gear together so I don’t look like a loser?
A: I pull from every decade – if its fits great and you feel confident – that’s what you should be looking for. The target look should be something like a 70’s socialite who’s slumming it backstage.
M: The last subject is nerds. How do you define a nerd?
A: I define a nerd as someone extremely knowledgeable and almost obsessive about one particular thing. I think that unlike the early 80s, the term ‘nerd’ has a very positive connotation. It is something that you should be proud of.
M: Will beards ever go out of style?
A: Beards are always in style.
Audrie, Emily, and Sara co-own Prototype in South Austin. Recently, they helped decorate The Texas Film Hall of Fame Dinner and Afterparty, and at SXSW they decorated the IFC Crossroads House, the Rhapsody VIP Lounge, and The Puma Gifting Lounge at Pitchfork. Look for them at Music Festivals across the country this summer as they ‘seek fashion inspiration and pursue shopping expeditions’.