When I lived, for a brief time, in New York, without air conditioning, I learned a few things about how to stay cool. Sticking your head in the freezer helps, as does eating gelato at all times. The whoosh of air that blows through when your subway arrives helps a little, but not enough to compensate for how gross that stanky wind is. The best option is to head to the movies, the grocery store, or a shopping center, as they all offer plenty of that sweet, cold air. Take it from me, Houston: the beach is overrated. Head to these new shops instead.

Cuadra

The new Saks wing of the Galleria has several new-to-Houston concepts, but possibly the biggest brand you've never heard of is Cuadra. This luxury leather goods store is like the Lucchese of Mexico, creating incredible bags, shoes, boots and other leather accessories. The brand has stores across Mexico, but the new boutique that opened here in late July is one of the first handful in the U.S. Go ahead, get your vaquero on.

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Tory Burch

In the most perfect meeting of brand and audience, Tory Burch will open the brand's first retail location in The Woodlands in August, joining the existing two storefronts in Houston. The 2,900-square-foot concept is heading to Market Street on the same corner as Tiffany & Co. and Kate Spade, and will be laid out with an inviting residential style that is inspired by Burch's own home. 

Collectivo

Houston continues to be a growing market for Latin American style, as evidenced with the launch this summer of Collectivo, a boutique in the Millennium High Street development between Highland Village and River Oaks District. It's Houston's first brick-and-mortar concept dedicated to high-end designers from Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador including shoes by Carlota, paradise-ready dresses and separates from Sandra Weil and adorable handbags by Inka. 

Burdlife

At Houstonia's Pop-Up Shop in July, I started talking to the cute-as-punch Natasha Dadwani of online costume jewelry shop Burdlife, who mentioned that she's opening a studio storefront on Commerce Street in East Downtown this month. The details are still TBD, so follow her on social media for the official word on a location and opening date. (And while you're at it, head to her site and snag some of her multi-tassel earrings before they sell out.)

Milk + Honey Vintage

Our June Elements of Style pick, Ashley Cid, is having a hell of a summer. Last week she held a grand opening for her new storefront for her Instagram-based vintage clothing business, Milk + Honey Vintage. It's located in the Mid Main strip in Midtown above the Continental Club and Tacos a Go-Go, and keeps hours that encourage those around for a night out to come in and browse. 

Meru Merus

In other local designer news, Pakistan-born, Houston-raised designer Umair Khan, who designs under the label Meru Merus, has announced plans to open a couturier storefront at Chelsea Place in Montrose, which will include both a design studio and production under one roof. 

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Social Status

I'm not much of a sneakerhead—unless glittery Kate Spade Keds count—so I'll admit that I slept on the opening of kicks-focused Social Status in CityCentre earlier this summer. Maybe I just couldn't picture a retail concept out of North Carolina offering fresh menswear? But this men-focused retail concept is nothing if not legit. The store has it's own exclusive collaborations with brands like Diadora, and stocks limited-edition releases like the Nike Air Foamposite One Eggplant and the Air Jordan Decon 2.

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