Fashion / Shopping

River Oaks District Unveils Buzzy New Stores With Striking Design — and Plenty of Chic Power

Avant Garden at River Oaks and Veronica Beard are Here


Houston’s premier shopping destination is opening up two new stores, proving that some couples bring plenty of buzz. River Oaks District always has something new going on — from restaurants to movies to beauty, and even art.

And now, with the arrival of two splashy new spots, there’s more to do than ever. Each new store is unique, bringing its very own flair to the breezy, living-is-easy District.

From exquisite floral arrangements to glamorous ready-to-wear pieces, there’s something for every kind of River Oaks District visitor. Introduce yourself to Avant Garden at River Oaks and Veronica Beard, which are both making their Houston debut with plenty of sweet style.

Flower Power

Avant Garden at River Oaks, a famed Dallas-based floral boutique, will blossom this week in the space that opens onto the bustling plaza across Toulouse Cafe and Bar. Clients can expect floral arrangements that are truly works of art, crafted with attention to detail and a devotion to beauty.

Houston finally gets its own version of an exquisite European flower shop, bursting with creative arrangements designed with only the very finest flowers found around the globe.

Avant Garden at River Oaks celebrates the art of floral design in a very modern way. This means immersive and complimentary photo booths, which are irresistible to any Instagram addict. There is also a signature Orchid Bar, a patisserie and a Tuk Tuk Cart, which allows shoppers to grab ready-to-purchase bouquets.

Customizable floral arrangements, thoughtfully curated pottery, rare vases and a discerning selection of luxury home goods are also available at this flower haven that’s much, much more than just a flower shop.

In this all-new location, Avant Garden at River Oaks will honor the same approach to floral design that garnered it the top spot on Veranda magazine’s exclusive list of The 25 Best Local Flower Shops in the U.S.

Avant Garden at River Oaks can even count Goop’s approval in its bragging rights, as Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle empire dubbed it one of the best florists in the entire country.

It has earned national acclaim for its premium petals, dazzling arrangements and thoughtful displays of carefully curated gifts. This beacon of floral beauty first turned heads when it debuted in Dallas nearly 20 years ago, beckoning with its fabulous fragrant paradise.

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Avant Garden will feature an Orchid Bar.

World-renowned event designer Todd Fiscus, the founder of Houston and Dallas-based Todd Events, dreamed up the visionary stop for a bevy of bouquets.

Two years ago, the Dallas flagship at Shops of Highland Park was unveiled, emulating savvy socialite, horticulturist and philanthropist Bunny Mellon’s sunroom in her coveted Upperville, Virginia estate. Designer collections from Rosenthal, Alexa Pulitzer, L’Objet, Veritas Glass, Kenny Mack Designs and beyond create a pristine showroom for blooms and blossoms galore.

The Houston outpost of this flora frenzy will boast an identity all its own. The florid River Oaks District location will splash color across an airy, 2,500-square-foot space, soaring with 19-foot ceilings and flooded with sunlight.

As you step into Avant Garden at River Oaks, you will be transported into jazzy, elegant and nostalgic era of the 1920s.

The unparalleled aristocratic dining rooms of the Gatsby age inspired the Houston location of the shop that celebrates life with flowers. But the lavish boutique will be inflected with a distinctly modern twist, casting the soft glow of a spotlight onto the tradition of floral, art and design that spans from generation to generation.

“After studying the market for the last five years, we wanted to create something truly unique for Houston. Each city has different tastes, sensibilities and demographics, and we’re excited to bring a version of Avant Garden here that we think will really resonate locally,” Fiscus says.

The forward-thinking Motus Red photo booth will create a surprising backdrop, putting any and all visitors to River Oaks District front and center among the efflorescence all around them. They can experience living in the store windows.

In #FlowerRain, an homage to the artistry of floral design, shoppers can truly immerse themselves in a three-dimensional floral curtain, creating the brilliant sensation of a true flower shower, raining down swirls of petals and greenery.

That is far from the only inspired hashtag-worthy installation. Another, titled #BringTheHouseDown, plays with the theme of deconstructed elegance, realized by crushed crystal chandelier elements, mylar and an eight-foot disco ball.

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Avant Garden will have a Gatsby era-themed showroom.

The shopping options at Avant Garden at River Oaks come in all shapes and sizes, embracing all types of nature in all different forms.

The Orchid Bar is a veritable paradise for anyone with a green thumb. The greenhouse fantasyland overflows with glorious potted orchids, large-scale terrariums and remarkable array of trees and plans.

The Tuk Tuk Cart offers stunning 100-rose bouquets for just $125, along with select surprise weekly specials.

After all that petal perusing, guests just might need a pick-me-up.

They should look no further than the Cake Bar, a cute collaboration with Houston-based BeccaCakes. Satisfy your own sweet tooth or pick out the perfect elegantly crafted bake good, cookies and macarons, all styled with delicate floral designs, for hostess gifts.

A bounty of luxury home goods also await.

Count on vessels every bit as striking as those flowers, ranging from artisan pottery to rare vases from around the world, ranging from $45 to more than $500.

But that’s not all. As the new Houston headquarters for Todd Events, Fiscus and his creative crew will be onsite. They are eager and well-equipped to discuss every need and idea for every type of event imaginable, from lavish weddings to extravagant birthdays to galas, to meetings, small events and corporate affairs.

Blossom forth.

Ready for Ready-to-wear?

Veronica Beard is also unveiling its newest Texas location, and eighth store anywhere, in River Oaks District this week.

The American ready-to-wear brand has made its mark in the fashion world. The sister-in-laws dream team of Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard launched their eponymous brand of staples with every occasion in mind in 2010, with designs running the gamut from clothes you’d wear on casual coffee date to dresses for upscale affairs.

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Veronica Beard makes the classics striking.

Veronica Beard strikes a delicate balance between cool and classic, all starting with its iconic Dickey Jacket.

It’s all about putting a contemporary take on iconic wardrobe pieces. Veronica Beard has expanded to include crisp looks and shoes, all with an emphasis on the feminine silhouette and sophisticated tailoring. The global expansion’s been propelled by store, e-commerce and wholesale channels.

This new show-stopping Veronica Beard in River Oaks District will boast the brand’s full ready-to-wear jeans and footwear collection, including the Dickey Jacket of course. This store will also offer a carefully curated selection of third-party selections.

There are currently two Veronica Beard boutiques in Manhattan, one in Manhasset (Long Island), one in Dallas, two in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco.

“We’ve learned so much about our customer since opening our Dallas store in 2017 and considering our loyal customer base in the Houston area, River Oaks District felt like the natural next step for us,” Veronica Miele Beard says. “We have her covered for every occasion — from understated glamour at the beach to chic nights out on the town.”

Each Veronica Beard store has its own personal vibe, and no two are the same.

“We want each Veronica Beard store to have its own DNA and to feel special. For our retail debut in Houston, we put a great deal of time into creating a curated atmosphere that local shoppers will fall in love with,” Veronica Swanson Beard says.

“This one was specifically designed with the Houston customer in mind.”

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At Veronica Beard, glam meets everyday.

The sisters-in-law collaborated with interior designer Carolina de Neufville to create a truly chic 1,200-swuare-foot store. The eclectic mix of furniture features two Scout acrylic tables, modern trapezium red shell chairs, a rattan credenza and a sofa upholstered in Schumacher nymphaea fuchsia fabric.

Houston’s store stands out from the rest. Bold pink leopard print curtains open onto sale floor, a shift from the classic animal print used in every other Veronica Beard storefront. The inspired curtains tie in seamlessly with the pink tessellated stone coffee table and pink fitting room curtain accents.

Yes, another stylish haven has hit River Oaks District. What, you’re surprised?

For more information on River Oaks District and everything that is happening there, click here.

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