Introducing Tess

On Monday night I had the pleasure of being introduced to Theresa Kopecky, the incredibly sweet and talented designer behind Tess, a locally made, vintage inspired dress company here in Austin, Texas. I was so impressed with her workmanship and her passion for creating truly local garments that I just had to share her with y'all:

tess dress

Aren't they lovely? View the complete collection here. Now we can tell that Chinese manufactured Banana Republic Mad Men Collection to go ahead and eat its heart out.

From the Tess press release:

"It’s sad, but true; despite the wealth of garment-manufacturing skills here in the US, most American-designed clothing is now made overseas. New Austin-based design company Tess, however, has big dreams to change all that. Not only is every Tess garment designed and manufactured right here in Texas, but the company also wants to play a part in boosting the American manufacturing industry as a whole and bringing back its glory days.

“Here at Tess, we want to play our part in reinvigorating the US garment industry,” says Theresa Kopecky, Tess designer and owner. “We believe in the quality of American workmanship and in the skills and spirit of the workers themselves.”

To this end, Tess Designs makes use of Texan companies for its pattern-making; grading and marking; and manufacturing – right down to the button-loops and belts! Keeping it local and keeping it real – it doesn’t get much more Austin than that.

“We believe in the USA, in American jobs, and in America’s ability to manufacture … I guess you could say that I want to save the world one dress at a time!” says Theresa. "

What impressed me most is Theresa's heart. In addition to all the fashion week events she's participating in, she's also doing a 499 Dresses event, which is a dress sale that fully benefits "The Winding Road to Recovery", a documentary about "disabled veterans using cycling as a means of recovery from lost limbs, post tramatic shock syndrome and life after coming home". As the only child of a United States Army officer killed while serving active duty, I am going to be there to support this cause:

Jackson Cleaners has been collecting donated dresses for a while, and they'll all be on sale Saturday at Austin Tri-Cyclist. I'm still uncertain what I'm wearing to the Austin Fashion Awards on Saturday night, so perhaps I'll find a gem there.

If you'd like to meet Theresa and see her designs in person, make sure to attend tonight's Doo-Wop Party Bash at Touch of Sass:

Burgers and Tess dresses? Obviously someone knows the way to this girl's heart...