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Fashion / Style File

Houston’s Best-Kept Shopping Secret

New River Oaks District Store With H&M Ties Gives Fast Fashion a Grown-Up Look

BY // 12.11.15

From Paris to Shanghai, Copenhagen and Dubai. Antwerp, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, too. The rest of the world seems to be in on a fashionable little secret — and finally, the secret’s now out in Houston, too.

British fast-fashion retailer COS unveiled its seventh U.S. outpost today at River Oaks District.

Never heard of it? Don’t feel bad. In the past eight years, the brand has quietly and methodically opened more than 150 locations in 29 countries, filling a void for a very different kind of consumer. The company is based in London and owned by H&M, so benefits from shared assets and relationships with key global suppliers; however, it feels markedly different from its other fast-fashion contemporaries.

As opposed to courting a trend-driven consumer, the line appeals to a presumably slightly older, more sophisticated demographic. Its clean lines and modern architectural silhouettes are a much welcomed breath of fresh air for customers looking for well-designed quality garments at moderate price points. Perusing the store is a venerable feast for the sensible shopper’s senses with weighty cable knit sweaters at $79, camel wool-mix coats for $179 and unique art-inspired accessories starting at just $5. Racks of sleek, structured pieces and fabulous neutrals in Norwegian- and Icelandic-inspired colors make the collection feel simple, if not safe, in the very best sense. The absence of labels, on primarily solid, mix-and-match hues, imbues an au courant aesthetic that mirrors that of the space itself.

COS is indeed Houston’s best kept secret — at least for the time being.

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