First in Texas

H&M opens Dallas store, confirms plans for Houston expansion

H&M opens Dallas store, confirms plans for Houston expansion

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Color greeted shoppers at H&M. Heather Staible
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Houstonian Beth Zimmerman and her now famous "Pizza Face" shirts. Heather Staible
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Look familiar? Heather Staible
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Beth Zimmerman autographing a shirt for a fan. Heather Staible
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Lines and air kisses at NorthPark Center. Heather Staible
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How to wear a headband H&M style. Heather Staible
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H&M finally made its appearance in the Lone Star State to a packed house in Dallas’ NorthPark Center Wednesday. It was a scene of frenetic shopping and quick air kisses, as long lines snaked throughout the two-story 23,000 square foot store and passersby practically begged to be allowed on the red carpet and into the store.

The entire first floor of H&M caters to women and that’s where I chatted with Houstonian and H&M contest winner Beth Zimmerman about her “Pizza Face” T-shirt. At the urging of her boyfriend, Zimmerman, a studio art major at the University of Texas, entered her “Pizza Face” painting. After H&M shoppers voted for her concept, Zimmerman went before a panel of fashion industry experts who also loved her idea.

 H&M’s West Coast public relations manager Pansy Tolou says Houston will indeed be getting an H&M. The details of where and when are still hush-hush, though.

 “It was this random idea. I have painting of me holding donuts or drinking beer in unexpected ways,” Zimmerman says. “It’s so exciting.”

She was later spotted signing her shirts for shoppers and it certainly made me wonder, what were the odds a Houston artist would be among the hundreds of people at the opening?

Is it a sign? Does that mean Houston is destined to have an H&M of its own?

Well, yes. But not just yet.

H&M’s West Coast public relations manager Pansy Tolou says Houston will indeed be getting an H&M. The details of where and when are still hush-hush, though.

“Once we open in a market we expand fairly quickly,” Tolou says. “When we look at cities to go into, we look at location and layout of the city. Dallas is a big city and we had to find the right space.”

The location in the upscale NorthPark Center feels a lot like The Galleria, which leads one to think an H&M would be a natural fit, especially since foot traffic is one factor the company takes into consideration when expanding.

H&M merchandisers also pondered the lengthy warm season in Texas and made sure there were lightweight blouses and dresses along with the smart trench coats and sweaters. The '70s revival is alive and well, with plenty of billowy tops and flare pants. Shades of orange, lots of navy and a Navajo print were among the women’s offerings.

Upstairs, the men’s department offered everything from polished dandy to downtown hipster and while the girls section was cute, parents of boys take note-for once there were plenty of options for the little man in your house.

So even though we don’t have much more information about the when and where a local H&M will appear in Houston, at least we know it’s coming. Until then, I-45 may be packed with locals wanting a cheap chic fix.