Could this really be Houston? The sophisticated sidewalk scene, the red carpet glamour and the throng of stylistas surrounding the opening of the swank Cartier store in River Oaks District introduced a new level of posh to the Bayou City.
It was an occasion almost a century in the making and Cartier did it up right.
"We've been in Houston for almost 100 years in a lot of different places," noted Mercedes Abramo, Cartier North America president and CEO. "And we have here a wonderful boutique that is really showcasing Cartier. We're proud to support Houston because we've been here so long."
Cartier entered Houston in 1920 but waited until 2015 to gift the city with a dazzling, 6,000 square foot emporium of serious bling. The cocktail party evening, which continued with an amazing after-party, served to launch Cartier's Paris Nouvelle Vague collection, 24 pieces inspired by the City of Light.
Cartier's commitment to the city was further evidenced in the turnout of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston execs and patrons. As MFAH development director Amy Purvis noted, "Cartier is the exclusive sponsor of our highest level patron's group, the MFAH Leadership Circle."
Museum director Gary Tinterow added that Cartier has long been one of the MFAH's most generous corporate supporters. Museum patrons joining the first half of the evening included Lynn Wyatt, who would chair the MFAH Grand Gala Ball the following night, plus Isla and Tommy Recking, Pat Breen, Laurie and Reed Morian and Christopher Gardner.
Cartier Houston store director Kari Gonzales welcomed the collection of fashion magazine-worthy guests, many of whom were loyal Cartier customers. In the mix were Elizabeth and Dene Oliver, principle of the River Oaks District development firm OliverMcMillan.
After exploring the new jewelry boutique, guests moved across the red carpet to the Cartier after-party, in an unfinished storefront outfitted by The Events Co. as a swank Paris-inspired nightclub, all in white. The after-party action began with DJ and model Maad* Moiselle and peaked with a surprise appearance by popular Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Grace Weber, who rocked the night. A Fare Extraordinaire continued its bubbly and fine hors d'oeuvres service from the store to the dance scene, insuring that everyone was sated and well served.