Fashion / Shopping

While His Peers Struggle, This Fashion Star Courts Houston’s Power Ladies With Endless Charm

Adam Lippes Mania is Real

BY // 12.05.19
photography Priscilla Dickson

It was the most interesting juxtaposition of fates — the two recent designer luncheons at Neiman Marcus Houston. First up, the luxury retailer fêted the darling Zac Posen, whose business would be shut down by its chief investor only days later. A month after, there was the Adam Lippes luncheon celebrating his launch into Neiman Marcus. No surprise that the charming Lippes held court at a table with his eager investors.

Fashionistas were heartbroken for the popular Posen while fashion cognoscenti were delighted with Lippes‘ association with Neiman’s.

Lippes, who counts among his chief investors Courtney Sarofim and her sister-in-law New Yorker Allison Sarofim, made a successful splash in Houston last spring as the featured designer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Bayou Bend luncheon. Then came rave reviews for his collections at New York Fashion Week in September.

Et voila! Only weeks later, Lippes was once again lunching with some of Houston’s leading fashion ladies, this time under the auspices of Neiman Marcus. Among them was Courtney Sarofim’s mother, Elyse Lanier, with whom the designer has become so chummy that he refers to her as “Mimi,” the name that the Sarofim children have given her.

In fact, Lippes allowed that Houston is his favorite city in the country and this is where he began his luncheon tour to Neiman Marcus stores around the country. Should he get a place here? Very possible, he quipped.

While they lunched on dainty food from the store’s Mariposa restaurant, the New York-based designer wowed them with the same feminine looks that captured attention in New York.

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Approvals came from the likes of long-time Lippes fan Alliya Stude, who wore one of his gowns to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Gala Ball in October. Houston Best Dressed Hall of Famer Phyllis Williams (both Elyse and Courtney also hold that distinction) was sold on the looks. And giving her nod of approval was retired Neiman Marcus sales dynamo Sylvia Goldstein.

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