Fashion / Shopping

Unicorn Ponies, Feather Boas and Near Nude Men Make This Anything But an Ordinary Store Party

20 Years of Pushing the Envelope at Sloan/Hall

BY // 08.24.18
photography Johnny Than

The invitation to Sloan/Hall‘s 20th anniversary celebration promised that it would be “fun and kooky.” And, by god, it was. Think unicorn ponies, feather boas, topless men in kilts and a clutch of the city’s hippest fashionistas. This was not your typical fashion boutique blast off.

But then few, if any, would expect the norm from Shannon Hall and Marcus Sloan, who have pushed the fashion envelope almost since the beginning of their retail careers that began in San Antonio 24 years ago. And how their shop world has changed since first opening a gift and card shop three hours west of their River Oaks location.

“It was always our plan to be in Houston,” Hall told PaperCity before the party hit the 9 pm start time. “We decided to learn retail in a smaller market and then come here.”

While Houston style icon Vanessa Riley was creating the lavish, flower-decked pen for her rescued miniature ponies (Peace, Love & Ponies) in a shop corner, Sloan dished on the store’s evolution. “When we started,” he said, “you ran in. You got a gift. You got a card. The gift was wrapped and $50 or $60 later you were done.”

And the move to fashion? “Women drove our business so we responded to that.”

Today, Sloan/Hall carries 16 fashion-forward ready-to-wear labels, 40 jewelry designers and gift selections. Granting that their merchandise is “out of the box,” Hall explained that they are indeed “pushing the envelope with a lot of clients and they’re willing to go on the journey with us.”

In celebration of their two decades of Houston success, the fellows entertained more than 150 devotees and friends who sampled specialty cocktails from Treaty Oak Distillery and crowd-pleasing bites from shopping center neighbor Armandos. Ratcheting up the energy with his spins was DJ MentoZ Fresh. Of course, the best entertainment of all was selfies with the “unicorn” ponies, feather boas and unicorn hats included.

Party animals: Bubba McNeely, Cathy Echols, Beth Muecke, Fritz McDonald, Greg Fourticq and John Cone, Vivian Wise, Debra Rockman, Parker Hall, Erica Page, Mike Denney, Roz and Alan Pactor, Erin Florescu, Beth Muecke, Terry Wayne Jones, Libby Cagle and Lauren Taft, Roseann Rogers, Chelsea Navarette, and Patrick Roswell.

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