It's been six months since Simon, the retail powerhouse that owns the Houston Galleria, announced that the former Saks wing of the mall would receive a $250 million investment to build out the former department store space into 110,000 state-of-the-art square feet of retail area. Now we're seeing a flurry of interest as a dozen new stores and restaurants have signed up to open concepts there in 2017.
In addition to the previously announced restaurant concepts Nobu and Fig & Olive, a handful of longstanding Galleria faves are making the move. Among them are five favorites: comfortably chic footwear brand Cole Haan, youthful accessories label Coach, preppy polka dot purveyor kate spade new york, relaxed luxury brand St. John and upscale luggage destination Tumi.
The other five stores slotted for the former Saks wing are new names that might not be as immediately familiar, as they are all debuting stand-alone stores in Houston for the first time—but we don't expect them to stay under the radar for long. Here's the fabulous 4-1-1.
This Scottish-born brand has made the rare transition from a focus on menswear to a coveted brand for both sexes, known for its beloved totes, handbags and small leather goods with vibrant floral prints. We think the crisp, contemporary apparel for men and women—think Tory Burch, but with a darker color palette—will have a lot of appeal in Houston.
Women who care more about looking like a million bucks than spending the same on the label of their formalwear have fallen hard for American-based Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji. Shoji is known for gowns that accentuate women's bodies of all shapes and sizes—the brand got major boosts when worn by Octavia Spencer as she won an Academy Award and by Michelle Obama at a state dinner.
Though the designer's full name is pretty unfamiliar, most fashionistas are familiar with—if not obsessed with—AG Jeans. Goldschmied is Italian but basically invented made-in-America premium denim in America as the design force behind Diesel, Replay, Gap 1969 and the AG brand. With jeans starting around $200, you know they're good, and look more an even broader take on streetwear in the brand's standalone Houston debut.
Despite the Italian name, this contemporary brand for men and women is actually a member of the Spanish-based retail giant best known for making Zara a worldwide name in fast-fashion. The look is all about meticulously tailored office wear, with plenty of price tags under $100.
Another European who came to America to realize his vision of premium denim, Robin Chretien designed for Hudson Jeans and Blue Cult before launching his own line in 2005. The Galleria boutique will be the biker-chic brand's first flagship store in Texas when in opens.