On Your Mark, Jet-Set, Cove
Travel-inspired shopping keeps South Congress in a perpetual state of sun-kissed bliss
by Anna Rachel Rich
Photographs by Jessica Pages
A TWO-STORY GLASS BOUTIQUE with gauzy tunics, delicately embroidered shorts and technicolored tassels summons passersby on a sartorial sojourn through South Congress. Gilded bar carts stocked with sunnies and succulents are parked under walls with photos of craggy Mediterranean cliffs. Atop a stack of “100 Getaways Around the World” hardcovers sits a pair of fringed leather Loeffler Randall sandals, just waiting to wander the streets of some far-flung locale. Cove’s breezy pieces might be destined for a languid island holiday, but they don’t look half-bad for Austin’s own balmy clime.
Rebecca Yanoff cites the outdoors as a main inspiration for Cove Boutique, which she built from the ground up just over a year ago. It’s only natural that she installed floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing all-day rays to filter in through the stately oaks that stand out front. “It took eight men to install one sheet of glass, but it was definitely worth it to bring the outdoors inside,” Yanoff says. On an overcast Saturday morning, “Here Comes the Sun” echoes optimistically through the store while associates arrange punchy-hued swimsuits next to off-the-shoulder maxis. At Cove, sunshine is a state of mind.
“I wanted to create a vibe that’s true to Austin,” Yanoff says. “I’ve lived here for 15 years and part of why I love the city so much is because it’s casual, but people still have a strong sense of personal style and aren’t afraid to experiment.” From the “Weekends, Je T’aime” t-shirts to the ivory Doma lambskin leather jackets, Cove is a model-off-duty mecca, an ode to Austin’s relaxed attitude. “The 9seed caftan is my go-to,” Yanoff offers. “It looks amazing as a beach cover-up, and with a denim jacket as a daytime staple, or throw on a statement necklace and a pair of heels and you’re ready for a night out.”
The boutique carries both international labels and designs manufactured here in the United States, including brands like Antik Batik, Mc-Guire, Koch, Boys + Arrows and Zimmermann. Yanoff says the average customer is between 30 and 45 years old, but the bathing suit collection brings in a younger demographic and even her mom shops there. “We really have something for everyone,” she notes.
“Ultimately, it’s about keeping things un-fussy and approachable—but still cool,” Yanoff says before recalling Diane von Furstenberg’s words: “‘When you pack lightly, you live lightly.’ That’s what inspires me when I think about Cove.” And with the launch of an updated e-commerce site and plans to double square footage with an upstairs expansion in January 2018, you can rest assured Cove will have you (at least, partially) covered.