It would take an avid mallrat to recognize the former Frederick's of Hollywood store in Memorial City Mall—the bordello-red walls and leopard-print carpet are gone, replaced by a sleek, sophisticated black and white space by sisters Kailey Tissue McCollum and Kaygen Tissue to outfit their first-ever brick-and-mortar store, Kissue.
Kissue launched online two years ago, selling budget-friendly fashions geared to women like the Tissue sisters, who favor the clean lines and neutral color palettes found on the coasts as interpreted through a uniquely Texas lens. At the time, Kaygen was finishing up her degree in fashion merchandizing at TCU and Kailey, who has a degree in marketing from the University of Florida, was learning on the job while working in New York's fashion industry.
Now back together in Houston, the sisters quickly activated phase two of the Kissue master plan, jumping at the opportunity to take over space in Memorial City Mall, a shopping destination that both sisters say they are very familiar with, having grown up in Katy and graduated from Cinco Ranch High School. Kissue opens its doors to the public on Friday with a grand opening party from 7-9 p.m. that will feature refreshments and a 20 percent discount on everything in store.
Much of the racks are filled with warm weather fashion because, unlike the chain stores who take direction from New York on when to start putting coats on the shelves, Kailey and Kaygen understand the futility of trying to sell a winter wardrobe in the doldrums of August. A handful of racks give hints of what's to come for fall though, including supremely soft and slouchy sweaters and dresses and pants with a 70s vibe.
The clothing is designed to appeal to Houston women from high school to working women—think everything from breezy tanks to pencil skirts to blazers. While Kailey and Kaygen say their personal styles have a lot of overlap, Kailey's look is slightly more polished, while Kaygen favors a more androgynous, downtown vibe, both of which are well-represented in the store. The racks mostly consist of brands from Los Angeles and New York—for now. Within a few years, the sisters' goal is to be designing and selling their own Kissue clothing line.
The biggest additions to the new store are collections of handbags and costume jewelry, with prices for the latter starting under $15. Kissue is also one of a handful of Houston stores that carry Quay Australia sunglasses, which they say have sold like crazy since a pair was spotted on supermodel Gigi Hadid. The biggest benefit of launching a physical storefront, they say, is the opportunity to meet their customers in person after exchanging emails and Instagram comments for two years.
"This is the best way to really find out the kind of things our customers are interested in and excited about," said Kailey. "We're going to be very hands-on. If the store is open, we'll be here."
Kissue opens Friday at 303 Memorial Way, inside the Dillard's wing of Memorial City Mall, or at kissuetx.com