Mr. Cox opened on Black Friday in 2011; “a very busy day and quite a surprise to hit the ground running,” recalls owner Amy Cox. After a 15+ year career in the entertainment industry, Amy moved to Palm Springs to pursue her dream of opening a boutique that carried exceptional vintage clothing that was still modern and relevant. Sourcing from her own closet - a collection amassed over three decades - Amy opened Mr. Cox, an homage to her beloved father. Shortly after opening, and after a suggestion from a client to carry menswear, Amy began growing the Mr. Cox selection and now carries women’s and men’s vintage clothing and accessories.
From blouses to trench coats, clutch bags to cuff-links Mr. Cox showcases fresh, modern and timeless pieces from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, each piece carefully selected by Amy herself. The eclectic boutique is perfectly situated in the upscale Galleria shopping arcade adjacent to exclusive interior design and mid-century modern shops on Palm Canyon Drive.
Mr. Cox carries some of the most iconic, influential and sought-after names in vintage couture – Paco Rabanne, Azzedine Alaia, Giorgio Sant’Angelo, Luis Estevez, and James Galanos to name a few. The vintage pieces are acquired from private clients, collectors, and dealers all over the world. And it is not uncommon for Amy to be found shopping the thrift stores on the off chance that a diamond might be found in the proverbial rough. It’s the thrill of the hunt and her passion for vintage that drive her to search both near and far for just the right pieces for the store.
In addition to high-end pieces, Mr. Cox’s point of differentiation from other vintage clothing stores is in its distinct approach to carry not only eclectic vintage but also the brand’s own one-of-a-kind bespoke designs—pieces designed by Amy that reflect a vintage influence and passion for strong silhouettes and interesting lines.
On a recent visit we noticed a futuristic knit dress with a horizontal zipper and removable space helmet-type hood that was distinctively reminiscent of an Andre Courreges design updated for a future, fashion-forward society. Amy wishes to influence a trend away from what she calls “cookie cutter mall fashion” and towards a more individualistic and distinct approach to dressing.
Born in Akron, Ohio, Amy attended Denison University and then Vanderbilt University where she received her Master’s Degree in French. After graduating she moved to New York to attend Columbia University to work on her Ph.D. But her heart was always set on working in fashion, and being in New York City it didn't take long until the world of fashion came calling. On a whim, Amy applied for a position at Ralph Lauren as a licensing assistant and was hired on the spot despite her lack of formal fashion training. Immediately her soon-to-be boss saw something in Amy and in just three short months, through a stroke of both serendipity and hard work, she was promoted to a manager position. At that point Amy decided to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology at night to get fully up-to-speed in the disciplines of draping, textiles and pattern making.
Amy would spend nearly six years working in licensing and design for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein before moving to California to work in the entertainment industry.
It was during her tenure at both Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein where Amy honed her technical skills on fabrics and fittings, and in “understanding how a pattern comes together,” she says. “It’s truly a form of art mixed with an appreciation of the technical.”
Amy has designed for the film industry and for celebrity clients. The in-depth process by which Amy creates a unique piece can take several months, and she only works with the best fabrics, pattern makers and seamstresses. Several fittings later, and after adjustments to ensure the garment fits perfectly, Amy delivers the custom piece to the client.
Amy’s father, whom she describes with a fervent admiration, taught her how to sew when he decided that tailoring his own pants saved money. After purchasing a used Bernina sewing machine, he began to create elaborate Halloween costumes for his attentive daughter, ultimately teaching her the craft of sewing.
Amy talks about stitches and seams the way a painter talks about basecoats and brush strokes. Her knowledge of fashion, in particular vintage, is remarkable. And her passion for fashion is contagious. “I love the futurism of Paco Rabanne—he was so ahead of his time,” says Amy. “And Alaia really knows a woman’s body.”
If you want a truly unique shopping experience set amidst the backdrop of a boudoir-style, sleek boutique, visit Mr. Cox, 457 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262, (760) 898-6443, www.mrcoxps.com.