Luxury Shopping really took off in Houston in 1970, with the opening of The Galleria Mall and the arrival of Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Galleria was the first covered mall in the city — the original place to see and be seen. Since then, other retail centers across the state have created a massive buzz, not only for their roster of retailers but for the unique shopping experiences offered to customers. From worldwide names in luxury to Texas–bred restaurants, Uptown Park and The River Oaks District are changing the face of Houston shopping.
Uptown Park opened its vast (170,000 square feet) metaphorical doors in 1995, with rustic architecture and an innovative urban shopping experience. Earlier this year, Eden Development Group decided to embark on a multi-phase renovation and remodernization of the center. The new updated aesthetic will reflect a California-meets-the-dessert vibe that invites visitors to socialize as well as shop. In Houston, a shopping destination can also double as a workplace, potential date spot or a place to spend the entire day. Tom Killer, managing director of Eden, is well aware of this and said they are “…working diligently to infuse the diversity and personality found across Houston at Uptown Park, so visitors can expect collaborations with artists, events with local charities and experiences that highlight Houston’s position as a global, first-class city.”
The structure and design of Uptown Park is not the only thing receiving a facelift; the retailer list is as well. Flower Child, the popular Arizona based restaurant, with locations in Dallas and Austin, is one of the most talked about new restaurants that recently opened in the center. Flower Child is a colorful destination, offering healthy options made from fresh ingredients. In a city full of Tex-Mex and barbecue, this healthy option isn’t sacrificing taste or aesthetics to meet the needs of Houston diners.
Uptown Park is home to some of Houston’s premier local retailers and salons including M.Penner, Elizabeth Anthony and Ceron Hair Studio. M.Penner has been serving the men and women of Houston with custom suiting and top fashion brands including L’Agance, Autumn Cashmere, AG Denim, and Milly since 1974. The customization services at M.Penner result in a made-to-measure suit from luxurious designers such as Ermenegildo Zegna. It’s extremely rare to have this level of customization available with these designers and fabrics, so this destination is a must!
Elizabeth Anthony has been the top evening and ready-to-wear destination for women since 2003. The luxurious clothier is known for providing personal attention to clients and having vast knowledge on the 50+ American and European designers they carry.
“The key to Elizabeth Anthony’s success is to provide every woman who walks through our door with impeccable service paired with exquisite style. We dress the lady, her mother and her daughter, and, as a result, we share decades of friendships with families,” says owner Julie Roberts. The lines carried include, Jenny Packham, Naeem Khan, Ralph Lauren Collection, MSGM, Tanya Taylor, Shoshana and many more that will make you want to revamp your entire closet to become an Elizabeth Anthony woman.
Lewis Jeweler, opened since 1981, is run by the Sandy Lewis family, who started the business as a side hobby. Before she knew it, she had a loyal customer base who felt like family. Cindy Lewis calls it, “A unique balance of old-fashioned customer service and a stunning store environment.” As customers pass by the Lewis Jewelers’ storefront windows, you can’t help but notice the stunning styles glimmering from inside the jewelry cases. The cases are expertly laid out with a mix of fashion jewelry from brands like David Yurman and John Hardy, and timeless diamonds. Lewis Jewelers is a place for high-quality jewelry and an unforgettable experience.
Your wardrobe isn’t the only thing you’ll be styling while visiting Uptown Park. Rejuvenation, part of the Williams-Sonoma family, is opening in 2018. The store is known for modern furniture, hardware and home décor. With only eight other locations across the country, Houston and Eden are excited to welcome the store.
River Oaks District (ROD) welcomed shoppers from across the world in the Fall of 2015, and has since become one of Houston’s top shopping destinations. The 252,000 square feet of strollable outdoor retail space makes you feel as though you have stepped into a mini fashion-filled city. The walkways are lined in lush green landscaping, providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a unique way. The retailers are a mix of high and mid-level luxury stores such as Vince, Alice & Olivia, Intermix, Tom Ford, Hermes and Stella McCartney. With the holidays just around the corner, ROD is the ideal place to purchase a gift for the special people on your list, with gift-ready stores like NARS Cosmetics, Jo Malone London, Cartier and Harry Winston, Inc.
Feeling overwhelmed by options? Not to worry: River Oaks District team recently introduced their newest program, which adds personal shopping and styling to their ongoing list of amenities. Houston-based stylist Stevie Bingham is on site in The Studio — a private luxury lounge. Bingham is available to ROD clients who want to chat about their wardrobe needs.
“Expanding the personal shopping and styling services at River Oaks District is essential to helping our guests access the season’s latest trends and help them find their unique style,” said Jennifer Rivera, marketing manager of River Oaks District. After a one on one wardrobe consultation, Bingham will pull looks from a range of retailers in ROD for clients to try on at their earliest convenience. “My goal is to show customers how to navigate new trends and adapt their own personal style with the evolving fashion industry,” said Bingham. “I’m excited to collaborate with River Oaks District and their collection of world-class retailers to create new, unique shopping experiences for my clients.”
After a full day of shopping, a cocktail and delicious meal are a must! The lineup of restaurants at the ROD will meet whatever craving you may have at the end of the day. Steak 48, Le Colonial and Toulouse are the top three finer dining options. Hopdoddy Burger and East Hampton Sandwich Co. are perfect family-friendly restaurants that will satisfy everyone’s appetite.
River Oaks District also houses some of Houston’s finest workout facility and spas. The world-renowned Equinox is positioned at the front of the shopping center for easy access. Bella Rinova Salon is a full-service salon, providing services like hair, skincare, makeup and nails! It is no surprise that they are the only salon in Houston to carry and have a certified esthetician for the beauty cult-favorite French line, Biologique Recherche.
Whether you’re visiting Houston for a day or a week, be sure to visit both Uptown Park and River Oaks District for unique shops, superb food and an abundance of Houston hospitality.
Feature Photo Courtesy of River Oaks District.