Lately, international retailers like John Hardy, Celine and COS have opened stores in Houston or announced plans to do so. But now the tables are being turned.
Two popular and successful Houston-area businesses are going global.
Define Body & Mind is expanding overseas with a new studio located in Dubai. It is the first studio outside of the country for the fitness chain and the 12th studio overall, with more studios planned to open in Lubbock and Katy this month and Denver in the fall.
Define founder Henry Richardson, Erin O’Leary Stewart, Mohammed and Subhi Khudairi, and Thomas and Betsey Favrot are the owners of the new Dubai studio, located in the Silverene Tower Dubai Marina, across from Pier 7 and the Dubai Marina Mall. The studio, which opened earlier this month, offers a wide variety of barre, cycling and yoga infused classes, as well as workout apparel.
Houston-based Charming Charlie also has a rapidly growing global presence. The women’s contemporary jewelry and accessory retailer recently opened its first location in Oman at the Muscat Grand Mall. The 2,900-square-foot store is operated by Apparel Group, Charming Charlie’s international licensing partner, which has further growth planned for the brand in the Middle East this year.
The Oman debut comes on the heels of the opening of a Charming Charlie store in the Philippines at Bonifacio High Street Central Square in Manila, with plans to open other stores in Manila and in Cebu in a partnership with SSI Group.
The Oman and Phillipines locations offer a full range of products, including fashion jewelry, handbags, apparel, small leather goods, scarves, watches, sunglasses, and a special occasion collection. They both showcase the brand’s newest retail concept with signature double doors in pink or red lacquer and a residential-style interior that mixes feminine, Mid-century accents with luxe materials and whimsical details.
Launched in 2004 by Charlie Chanaratsopon, the brand now opens as many as 55 stores in the United States each year. It recently opened a 3,500-square-foot store in South Beach, Florida, with plans for another Miami location at The Falls next month (making it the 29th Charming Charlie location in the Sunshine State). Its other international locations include two stores in Dubai that opened last year.
The stores are known for for carrying a wide array of accessible fashion accessories merchandised by color, with prices ranging from $5 to $150 for some limited collection items.