Houstonians are a colorful and creative bunch. It’s a fact locals know well, and with the unveiling of LAUNCH at the downtown Houston Partnership Tower, visitors have the opportunity to experience that vibrant energy firsthand.
Together, they sought out some of Houston’s brightest and most creative fashion, jewelry, and home accessory designers, giving them a lofty space on the bottom floor of Partnership Tower just in time for the Super Bowl. The 13 artisans create everything from handmade leather goods to colorful, globally-inspired dresses. Most of the designers chosen for LAUNCH don’t have a brick-and-mortar presence, so LAUNCH is the ideal space to elevate their brands while reflecting the city.
“Houston is a melting pot and Houston First wanted designers that mirror the city. The designers chosen for LAUNCH are high quality and have a sophisticated style,” Dao said during a tour of the pop-up shop. “LAUNCH is an incubator for the creative community, coupling economic potential with creative talent.”
Dao curated the 13 designers for LAUNCH and considered everything from accessible inventory to design aesthetic. LAUNCH designer collections include Chloe Dao, RongRong Devoe, Onyii, La Mochi, Temple Street, A Leap of Style, Marilyn Biles, Kisa Kisa, Stateline Designs, Brenda Grands, Claire Drennan and Stash.
Each collection is focused on the handmade art of design and is hyperlocal. Claire Drennan Knitwear is hand-loomed on vintage knitting machines in Houston’s East End while Stateline Designs are hand-printed. Anna Mae Holmes Temple Street jewelry collection includes the aptly named Westheimer piece, a druzy stone and gold-dipped chain necklace with mini-tassels.
“I just feel like it encompasses the spirit of Houston in just one piece,” Holmes said.
The spirit of Houston is exactly what Houston First public relations manager Leah Shah envisioned when working with Dao on the project.
“These artisans speak to the diversity of the city and this is the perfect launch pad to showcase that talent,” Shah said.
LAUNCH is open through February 26. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Parking is available across the street and throughout the area and the MetroRail Green line runs along the Houston Partnership Tower.