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Fashion

Your River Oaks District Guide

A First Look at the Newly Opened Stores — and Walkable Luxury

BY Francine Ballard // 10.01.15

It’s the official River Oaks District Opening Day, and it’s a new age of luxury shopping in Houston. This marks a historic moment in the city’s retail world – the unveiling of national and international brands at an outdoor walking wonderland.The finest couturiers, bijoutiers and parfumiers will live at the corner of chic and elegant, together under one luxurious sky.

Leave your motorcar with flash valet and walk through the splendor with us to take a look at a number of the newly opened stores.

BRUNELLO CUCINELLI

Stocking: Opulent and sumptuous Italian knit and refined men’s and women’s outerwear in boiled wool, cashmere, shearling, mink and fur, as well as beautifully crafted leather goods, accessories and shoes for a globetrotting customer.
Luxe Factor: Cucinelli’s namesake brand is headquartered in Solomeo, a 14th-century castle and hamlet on a hill in Umbria, restored over a 30-year period by Brunello Cucinelli. Here, the company follows a philosophy of humanist enterprise, where offices are set up in this medieval fortress with its wooden beams, stone fireplaces and frescoed walls, where one cashmere sweater can take up to a full day to stitch by hand.

Brunello Cucinelli
Brunello Cucinelli

DIPTYQUE
Stocking: The new boutique houses a complete selection of Diptyque bougies, as well as eau de toilette, eau de parfum, home fragrance, body care and seasonal and limited-edition launches, plus custom scents.
Luxe Factor: The first boutique in Texas from this 50-year-old Parisian Left Bank candlemaker, they will not sell out of Baies, Figuier, Thé or Feu de Bois just when you need the perfect gift. Speaking of which … The three-color silk papers for wrapping and same day-delivery service just took care of every thank-you, happy birthday and please-forgive-me for the next year.

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI
Stocking: To commemorate Giuseppe Zanotti’s 20th anniversary, the designer is launching a series of special collections focusing on iconic designs from the past two decades; they will be available in the store, along with the signature heels and flats, bags,jewelry, men’s shoes and some ready-to-wear.
Luxe Factor: DJ turned designer Zanotti showed his first collection in New York 21 years ago, and high-wattage clients such as J-Lo, Madonna and Beyoncé have made the sexy shoe a household name among the biggest fashion brands in the industry.

Holiday Gifting

  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Wayne Smith
  • Wayne Smith
  • Cotton Club
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Asher Gallery
  • Cotton Club
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Mariquite Masterson

CHOPARD
Stocking: Fine jewels, men’s and women’s watches. Limited edition of 25 Happy Texas watches commemorating
the Houston opening.
Luxe Factor: This boutique is the first of its kind in the States. As the official timekeeper for Monaco’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, Chopard awards watches from the historic Grand Prix collection to winners in every category. But its history of haute horlogerie began in 1860 in the Swiss village of Sonvilier, where Louis-Ulysse Chopard established his workshop.

INTERMIX
Stocking: Highly curated mix of contemporary and designer apparel and accessories from names like Yigal Azrouël, Proenza Schouler, Missoni,Phillip Lim, ALC, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, Neil Barret, Barbara Bui, Theyskens’ Theory, Valentino, Chloé, Illesteva, and Tabitha Simmons.
Luxe Factor: Frequented by A-list celebs Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jennifer Lawrence, Intermix is the anti-department-store store. Carrying more than 200 brands, Intermix customizes the buy for each store to reflect the market it serves. This boutique, a light and airy space designed by Matthew Janson of Janson Goldstein, is Intermix’s second store in Texas (and 43rd worldwide).

Illesteva Sunglasses at Intermix
Illesteva Sunglasses at Intermix

ROBERTO CAVALLI
Stocking: Womenswear, menswear, children’s, shoes, eyewear, accessories and fragrance.
Luxe Factor: Italian-born Roberto Cavalli apparently has an affinity for Texas. He is very fond of his Lucchese boots and wears them religiously with the rest of his uniform: a leather jacket, jeans, T-shirt and reflective shades. Maybe they go with his purple yacht. Cavalli is a dream catcher: gold lamé, patchwork, fur, fringe, jewels, excess … Few designers are as instantly recognizable.

His glamorous wares are standard issue for the jet-set and Russian oligarchs — and for the rest of us mere mortals who want to feel glamorous. He opened his first store in St. Tropez in 1972, where Sophia Loren and Brigit Bardot helped launch the name. Fifty years later, Cavalli is more reflective of a lifestyle than of any passing trend or seasonal interpretation, and he has a cult following. The 4,000-square-foot Houston boutique carries a wide range of Cavalli’s exalted Animalier and Technicolor prints, and the Spring 2016 collection (shown this past month in Milan) is newly appointed creative director Peter Dundas’ first. What big, sexy shoes to fill.

TOM FORD
Stocking: Womenswear, menswear, bags and accessories, shoes, eyewear, fragrance.
Luxe Factor: Tom Ford has been setting tends for decades setting trends. Our cover subject this month says he wore a three-piece suit and carried a briefcase to school as a fourth-grader in Austin, Texas. Bruises aside, Ford has become the sexiest designer alive — and one of the most private. Following his heady resurgence of both the Gucci and Saint Laurent labels, Ford took a break, made a critically acclaimed film, A Single Man, and built a new fashion empire with business partner Domenico De Sole. See the entire exhilarating tale on pages 28 and 29.

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