Ah, spring break, the time of year when millions of Americans set off for far-flung island retreats to bask in unadulterated UV rays, sip tropical libations, and make some potentially regrettable decisions–at least, that's how I imagine it. I've never actually been on a spring break getaway.
If a white sandy beach or foreign resort is in your immediate future, well, congrats. If not, you can still conjure the island spirit with your wardrobe, and, starting next week, one local brand is making that easier than ever.
Tina Zulu, the public relations maven and vintage kimono aficionado behind Houston's Kimono Zulu, launches her "Vacation Vibes" collection on March 8 with a 4–8 p.m. party at Collectivo, the Latin American concept boutique at 4310 Westheimer.
Much like Collectivo itself, Zulu's new curated kimono collection is inspired largely by travel—the "glamorous gypset lifestyle," Zulu says—and by the "colors, textures, mood, and vibe of Tina Zulu's favorite vacation destinations in Latin America."
Zulu reimagined the traditional Japanese garments with vibrant colors and patterns, fringe, and embellishments to portray getaway spots like Buenos Aires, Tulum, and San Miguel de Allende. The new pieces were informed by "gypsetters," who Zulu says "fuse the ease and nomadic style of a gypsy with the sophistication and global reference of the jet-set."
Collectivo owner Geraldine Boyer says Zulu's latest collection "fits in fabulously" with the other goods in her shop, which is known for purveying one-of-a-kind pieces from Latin American makers whose work is not widely available in the states.
"I love how our kimonos pair so beautifully with Collectivo's unique mix of high-fashion and handmade artisan pieces," Zulu says. "The combination of colors, patterns, and materials is magical–an aesthetic that embodies the effortless style of gypsetters."
Beyond the vintage kimonos Zulu is known for, the Vacation Vibes collection also features upcycled bags and reimagined collaborations by multimedia artists and fashion designers like Uyen-My Pham of NON, Selven O'Keef Jarmon, Christy Karll, Blanca Vian of Deansley, and Judy Masliyah of My Flaming Heart. The pop-up at Collectivo is available through April.