Anthony Ryan, an amazing designer and Project Runway All Stars winner, has recently opened a boutique in Stone Oak called The Anthill. We headed over to the fashionable boutique and were immediately taken by the bright colors and great fashion sense. We sat down with Anthony and talked to him about his vision, design aesthetic and what San Antonio fashion needs.
Twenty Something SA: Tell us about yourself.
Anthony Ryan: My name is Anthony Ryan. I was on season nine of Project Runway and I went on to win season two of Project Runway All Stars. I’m originally from Texas – East Texas – but I’ve lived in Baton Rouge for 15 years. I’m a capricorn and I’ll be 33 in December. Anthony laughs.
20SA: Why did you choose San Antonio to open your first store?
AR: I came to San Antonio because I have a lot of family between here, Houston and Dallas and it seemed like the right fit being that San Antonio didn’t have anything that was necessarily this field, so I wanted to capitalize on bringing something new and fresh to the area.
20SA: Where does the name “The Anthill” come from?
AR: My actual collection is called “Anthony Ryan” and I did a spinoff collection called “Ant by Anthony Ryan” and it was more knitwear, casual and a lower price point, and from there I decided if I opened a concept shop, it would be a mixture of things, so not just mine, but other designers and pieces that I’ve curated, and it’d be “The Anthill”. From a marketing stand point, you can have so much more fun with it. I’ve had people stop just because of the name and they were curious. In a lot of ways, I wanted something that was fun, but still aesthetically matched with what I was doing with the interior of the store, that very natural, earthy feel.
20SA: Do you design all the clothes?
AR: Some of it is mine, there are other designers from Project Runway, there are other designers that are southern based and then we curate the rest, which means that we go and buy and get different brands from New York and LA so it’s a little bit of everything. In order to keep it fresh and new, I find that having a little bit of a mixture allows me a little more freedom to get new things in every week or week and a half.
20SA: What styles can people expect to find when they come to shop?
AR: You’ll find a little of everything. You’ll find a little of your Brooklyn girl, your Free People girl, and I kind of touch on those kinds of aesthetics just so I can have a broader reach. Same goes for age. I get some people who come in and say “that’s a little bit too young” and I say don’t you say that because to me, fashion has no age. If I haven’t designed it, I buy what I would design and at first I tried to cater to the demographic here and the things they like but I’ve found that I get a better response from the things I love.
20SA: What’s the price point?
AR: Everything is under $125. Jewelry ranges from $10 to $25 on average and piece wise, most of it is in that $40 to $70 range. There are very few pieces in here that are $100 or $125.
20SA: Are you planning on expanding?
AR: That will happen, fingers crossed. I’ll look to expand style wise into menswear later this year and from there expanding stores. Second would probably be Baton Rouge, third would probably be Houston and fourth would probably move into the Austin area.
20SA: What do you think San Antonio needs, fashion wise?
AR: I don’t think they need anything fashion wise, I think they need someone who’s not afraid to tell them this is what needs to happen and this is what you need to do. Really, it’s about taking a risk. I think that’s what San Antonio needs more of, people who take those risks. You need to ask yourself is what I’m wearing fashion or am I just playing the game safe? So, I think that’s what San Antonio needs from a fashion standpoint – someone who’s willing to be an innovator and a mover and a shaker when it comes to going for it. I think those people are here already, but I think we just need those people who aren’t afraid to say to hell with it and go for it.
Currently featuring women’s fashion, jewelry, accessories and handbags, The Anthill in Stone Oak perfectly captures the stylish person inside of all of us. We loved Anthony Ryan’s view on fashion and definitely inspired us to think about our outfits before we walk onto the streets of San Antonio.