Houston’s most fabulous fashion star is back. Fady Armanious, Tootsies creative director and local style guru, announced that he will be onsite in the chic store when it reopens on Friday, May 1, with new hours: Monday through Saturday, from 11 am to 5 pm. Private appointments before and after regular store hours are also available.
Armanious says he will be “socially distancing and wearing a mask” (emblazoned with the Tootsies logo, which all employees will be wearing), and observing all proper protocols as he hosts eager shoppers.
Said shoppers will find Tootsies’ storefront emblazoned in blue as a tribute to first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. “We just wanted to acknowledge and recognize the front-line people who have been there for us and the community,” Armanious tells CultureMap.
When choosing the “Blue Heroes”-themed apparel, shoes and accessories for the windows, Armanious opted for casual items that shoppers are gravitating toward while they are staying at home, according to the store. The clothing is set against backdrops made of rounded geometric shapes in subdued colors.
The beloved fashion hub is donating a percentage of profits to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund. “It’s our way of saying, ‘Let’s stop and recognize that there are a lot of people on the frontline who risked their own lives and their families to be there for us,’” Armanious notes.
The always-dazzling Armanious has hardly taken a break during the pandemic. He’s been a fixture on a “Fashion on Demand” video series, an online interactive shopping and styling experience. The live video series airs on Instagram Stories and is also posted on Facebook.
And fans flock to his Friday Happy Hour Zoom call every week at 4 pm. (Customers are added to the call list via email.) Topics have included “Baubles and Bubbles” to “Wine and Wedges.” This week’s call? “Friday is ‘Mimosas and Moms,’” says Armanious. Mothers are invited, and guests are encouraged to share a favorite saying from their moms. It’s all part of the new normal, one that has seen Tootsies stylishly pivot.
“It’s a wakeup call that retail is changing a little,” he says. “It’s a little curve and another element to add to what we do.”