Luvi Wheelock knows a thing or two about fashion. She carries the tip-top names in bridal gown designers from Vera Wang (exclusively, no less) to Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin Blanche and Monique Lhuillier at her eight-years-young bridal boutique, Casa de Novia, and her designer ready-to-wear emporium Atrium stocks fashion heavyweights Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Vera Wang, Narciso Rodriguez and Viktor & Rolf. And after eight years on D’Amico Street, she opens both Casa de Novia and Atrium at new locations next door to each other in River Oaks Shopping Center. PaperCity’s Kate Stukenberg sits down with the lovely Luvi to talk new boutiques, how she’s grown and what’s on her luve list now.
Define luxury. I think it’s a feeling. I feel luxurious in my pajamas. I feel luxurious drinking champagne. I feel luxurious wearing Vera Wang.
Favorite outfit you ever wore. Ever? My first memory of a favorite would have to be the red jeans, red shirt, red raincoat, red rain boots and red sunglasses that I wore to my four-year-old birthday party. The last very favorite thing I wore is the pink Prabal Gurung dress to the opening of Atrium two years ago.
What inspires you? Making women feel beautiful. Making brides gorgeous. It’s such an awesome feeling helping someone find a perfect dress to wear, and that makes me want to go to work every day.
Twitter or Instagram? Instagram.
Your vices. Is this a trick question? Clothes, shoes and accessories!
Favorite place for lunch. Americas. Their ceviche is just perfect, and it’s upstairs from the new Atrium & Casa de Novia.
Favorite place for dinner. I love RDG, and I can’t get enough of Uchi.
City you love. I have to say New York City. I’m lucky to make it up there almost once a month. Mexico City is another one of my favorites. Everyone goes home for lunch and for coffee in the afternoon with their friends. I love that.
Describe your personal style. Effortlessly chic.
Who are your heroes? My mother, Luvy Gonzalez. She’s been such an example to me in how she balances family and work, she always is smiling and finds the best in every situation. She’s my rock.
Style Icons. Oscar de la Renta and Coco Chanel.
Next vacation destination. A trip to the Amalfi Coast to celebrate my birthday next year.
How have you changed since you first opened up shop? I was 25 years old when I opened Casa de Novia. I’ve grown up so much, and I think I certainly don’t take everything so seriously anymore — but I don’t think I’d be where I am today had I not taken things seriously when I was 25.
Any new labels at Atrium or Casa de Novia? At Atrium, I’m super excited that we’re adding Rodarte, Lyn Devon, Piamita and Sally LaPointe to our roster, plus a bunch of other fun accessories. Stay tuned … lots to report. At Casa de Novia we are about to announce a fabulous new bridal gown designer.
Who designed the new spaces? Steven Gordon is the architect, and Sissi Robinson Kassel is my interior designer. Sissi is designing my home as well, and I wanted my new store to feel warm like a home so I knew she’d be perfect. It’s Sissi’s first commercial project. We chose beautiful silver glam grass wallpaper for Casa de Novia and designed personal suites for the brides so they can enjoy their moment with their mothers and maids. At Atrium, I want every woman to feel as if they are walking into her own closet — or the one we all wish we had — with more glam wallpaper, posh seating and an oversized crystal chandelier.
What will be different about the new boutiques? The biggest difference is Atrium and Casa de Novia will be completely different shops now, but they’ll be accessible to each other via a glass door.
What do you love most about the new shops? I just love the personal suites for the bride and her guests at Casa de Novia — everything is so private and personal. At Atrium, I’m most excited for it to finally have its own real home.
Luvi Luve List:
White leather leggings
A Céline tote bag
Gold Cartier timepiece
Ippolita hammered-silver bracelets
Classic red nails — my go-to color is Got the Blues for Red by OPI
Oscar de la Renta costume jewelry
Le Meurice Hotel in Paris
Jimmy Choo pointy-toe stilettos in every color
Silk shirts — Yigal Azrouël’s are my favorite
J Brand jeans
Le Labo Santal 26 candle — it’s heaven