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Pretty in pink

Manhattan hits Houston with the arrival of a buzzy new Highland Village store: It's a hot pink neon splash

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1 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Seema Rasheed, from left, Julie Chen, Adrienne Archidiacono and Marci Mazzuca. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
10 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Jordan Newman with dress from Madison Avenue collection. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
Kate Spade Highland Village, March 2014
Kate Spade New York flagship decor offers lots of eye candy. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
5 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Kathy Zwieg. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
Kate Spade Highland Village
The lotus display for handbags was designed by Houston artist Joseph Cohen. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
2 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Nikki Washington, from left, Ahshia Berry, Christine Chellen-Kearns and Sarah-Jayne Smith. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
9 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Mishelle Echeverria, left, and Jordan Newman. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
Kate Spade Highland Village, March 2014
Kate Spade New York flagship a modern eye-catcher. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
11 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Rachel Wegenhoft, left, and Vicky Ramos. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
6 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Allison Cain Allison, left, and Trisha Nelson. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
4 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Stacy Rauber, from left, Sarah Balcerowicz and Franci Cortez. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
3 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Abby Glorias, from left, Mark Dobrinen and Crystal Forrister. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
Kate Spade Highland Village, March 2014
Lady-like dressing on display at Kate Spade New York. Photo courtesy of Michael Martinez Photography
1 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
10 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Kate Spade Highland Village, March 2014
5 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Kate Spade Highland Village
2 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
9 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Kate Spade Highland Village, March 2014
11 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
6 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
4 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
3 Kate Spade Houston Grand Opening
Kate Spade Highland Village, March 2014

Ooh-la-la! Houston devotees are probably as excited about the opening of the new Kate Spade New York flagship store here as the honchos who jetted in from New York for the launch parties.

Close to 500 turned out for Friday night's grand opening, a smaller number of VIP customers (spending as much as $15,000 annually) and fashion media popped in the night before.

From the moment guests landed at the entrance on the Drexel Street corner of Highland Village, it was clear that something dreamy was happening inside. That was thanks in part to the hot pink neon sculpture, an abstract of the iconic Kate Spade New York bow, above the front door. Houston artist Joseph Cohen was commissioned to create that piece as well as the brass over-sized floral sculpture, just inside the door, which displays a dozen handbags.

We loved the chic, sophisticated pieces particularly those laced with Swarovski crystals — cocktail dresses and cocktail shorts. 

The 6,000 square foot retail confection brings a certain lady-like Manhattan style to Houston as the new shop is only the second in the country to carry the upscale Madison Avenue line. We loved the chic, sophisticated pieces particularly those laced with Swarovski crystals — cocktail dresses and cocktail shorts. And pieces made from fabrics created in special mills in Europe were certainly eye-catchers. Yummy.

The store includes a colorful array of shoes, handbags, eyewear, tech accessories, ready-to-wear, jewelry, watches, home accessories and more. Girly girls who go for bows, bib necklaces and sheaths with little sweaters will love the offerings which include loads of pink.

"Our customer is here. We have a very loyal following," Taryn Laeban, executive vice president for North America explained during a VIP opening party. "The Houston woman is very fashionable. She likes color and she loves to do style head-to-toe.

"So it's the perfect place for us to do our second flagship, really almost within a year of opening our Madison Avenue flagship."

The Houston venue is actually larger than the New York flagship which occupies a four-story brownstone. Special amenities of the flagships include an on-site tailor, what they refer to as "champagne styling" and home delivery. 

Jenica Myszkowski, Kate Spade vice president of stores, noted that the Galleria store, which has done exceptionally well during its five year run, will remain. However, the Galleria manager, Samantha Pham, is now heading up the Highland Village boutique.

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