Final goodbyes to Lucy in Disguise


Emerson Traugott

STANDING OUT: Lucy’s store front includes an unmistakable zebra statue placed in the middle of the roof: dressed in a colorful costume and striking a pose.

Emerson Traugott, Photo Essay Editor

Plastered in a colorful collage of images ranging from Jack Sparrow to Frida Kahlo, a homage to the famous Beatles song that inspired the name, Lucy In Disguise with Diamonds is an iconic monument on South Congress Avenue, closing for good at the end of this year. A place that entices a sense of magic and wonder allowing customers to express themselves with their large selection.

Junior Brighton Toland is a frequent shopper at Lucy in Disguise. 

“Lucy in Disguise has always been one of my favorite stores. The vibes in there are so cool, [with] the costumes and everything. When I walk around I just feel like a main character,” Toland said. “When you think of Austin, you think colorful and quirky and Lucy’s is the perfect symbol of that.” 

As the door to Lucy’s swings open customers are immediately greeted by the infamous checkered flooring amplifying the store’s hysteria, untouched by reality, curating a place of chaos and creativity. These characteristics are what make Lucy in Disguise an embodiment of Austin’s notorious slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”

Sophomore Brijette Galvan is practically a lifelong customer of Lucy in Disguise.    

“I’ve been to other costume shops like Spirit Halloween, but they just don’t have the same types of things or atmosphere as Lucy’s does,” Galvan said. “I can’t believe they’re closing for good.”

Shocking Austin residents with news of Lucy in Disguise closing, Instagram stories flooded with remorse about yet another one of Austin’s beloved iconic institutions closing its doors at the end of 2022. Almost simultaneously, Lucy’s neighbor, Tesoros Trading Company, goes out of business as the pandemic precedes to affect their revenue stream to the point of no going back. The same fate Lucy faced only a couple of weeks later.

A participant in the reposting is junior Tess Nielsen.

“[We would] make trips on family days or even on our birthdays to Lucy’s. Me and my sister would always go with our friends to try on different costumes.” Nielsen said. “I’m so sad that they’re closing because we won’t be able to do that anymore .” 

 Lucy In Disguise with Diamonds first opened its doors on April 1, 1984. Owned by a local Austin resident, Jenna Redtke. Securing Lucy’s spot on the long list of woman-owned small businesses. Luring customers in with their unusual decor; clothing racks and bookshelves overflowing with clothes and accessories. 38 years later and little has changed. In addition to her lifelong loyalty to the store, Brijette Galvan also remains a consistent shopper at Lucy in Disguise.

“The South Congress vibe has been around for so long,” Galvan said, “and taking away Lucy’s feels like taking a part of that away too.”

Lucy in disguise, a simple costume emporium has been able to embed itself in the image of Austin, Texas projects. Though as the countdown to the familiar storefront’s presence no longer decorating South Congress Avenue continues, Bowie students and other Austin citizens make their final trips and goodbyes to Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds. 

“It fits the “Keep Austin Weird” type of style.” Galvan said. “I still have costumes from when I was as young. I’ve gone to other costume shops like Spirit Halloween, they just don’t have the same type of atmosphere as Lucys.”