Austin Fashion Week Event: Millie and Mox

Keeping along with the current success of this year’s Fashion Week, the Steiner Ranch children’s boutique Millie and Mox threw quite the shindig on Sunday night. Sounds of Norah Jones-esque music filled the fairytale space, as guests enjoyed warm cups of tea, bubbly glasses of champagne and enough bite-sized desserts to keep all kids and adults happy.
Theresa Kopecky of Tess and Co, which is sold across the U.S., was the featured designer of the night, as she launched a new collection in her company, Tess Tots.
“Right now, we just have Marshall, who is a year and four months, but we want lots and lots of kids,” Kopecky said of her and her husband/business partner. “I’ve been experimenting on him since infancy and even named our bubble romper “The Marshall.”
Kopecky tries on all of her designs, moving around in them for a day to see how they will work, while her son and his friends do the same for the new children’s line.
“We’re trying to create a new ways of living – a ‘Tess’ way of  living – with love and family and happiness and optimism,” the designer said. “My husband is a business dreamer and planner, so all together, just us three, we form this company that’s about more than just clothes.”
Millie and Mox has been thinking about Fashion Week since they started their buying last April, especially since they try to host events once a month anyway. With their vintage toys, modern twists and playful designs, working with Kopecky seemed like a good match.
“I wanted to do something with meaning, not just throwing an event together,” Millie and Mox owner Angela Hession said. “I saw Tess’ stuff, and I liked it – very retro – and here we are! And for Mother’s Day, we think we’re going to do mimosas and massages, something for mom.”
As one of seven children, Hession grew up in Ireland, which helped inspire the concept of her store. That idea was furthered by the birth of her four-and-a-half-year-old son, Arann-Ryan.
“I had worked for Mayor Giuliani in New York, but after we moved to Austin, I wanted to do something that wouldn’t take me away from Arann-Ryan too much,” said the owner, on opening a boutique. “And he’s all about imagination and creating worlds, and in Ireland, we didn’t have many toys, so we, too, had to build forts and such. I knew I wanted this store to be organic, very Austin.”
While parents browse the racks of 50’s-styled dresses and cutely-cut shorts, children can play inside a huge tree house or ride on vintage cars and airplanes. They better be careful, though, as sometimes Arann-Ryan doesn’t let other kids in “his” tree house!
TESS 1 Fernada Fezina, the store’s manager, had her own clothing line before Millie and Mox opened in August but decided to partner with Hession to help each other grow. They also help support local designers by selling their items in the boutique – even some from right in Steiner Ranch. Mostly, though, they buy from overseas.
“We look for what’s never been seen, and if it’s unique, we’ll buy it,” Feznia said. “I have two little boys, and Angela has a boy, so we’re really good at choosing boy designs, but with girls, we’re like, ‘Uh, this is cute, but we’re not sure!’ When it comes to fashion, though, it doesn’t matter if it’s kids or women, we just bring what’s cute and fun. We treat all ages the same, because if you’re fashion-forward, it’s all serious business!”

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