Photo courtesy of Hemline

January brings resolutions, positive affirmations, and some serious shopping. First up: the SALE, an annual two-day shopping event presented by Houston Tri Delta Philanthropies, Inc., the fundraising arm of the Houston Tri Delta Alumnae Chapter.

Due to the pandemic, the SALE’s in-person shopping event has been cancelled but Houstonians can still “shop to cure childhood cancer” through participating retailers and markets this Friday through Sunday.

Announced on the SALE’s Facebook page last November regarding the canceled in-person event, they write that their resolve to continue their mission has never been stronger. This year’s beneficiary is Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. Through underwriting dollars and ticket sales, the SALE has raised more than $1.2 million to fund pediatric cancer research since its inception in 2015.

This year’s participating boutiques are offering dramatic discounts and after a rough start to 2021, there’s nothing more heartwarming than giving back. This weekend, look to Houston’s hottest apparel, accessories, jewelry, and home decor boutiques. Masks are required while shopping and don’t forget to mention “the SALE” while shopping.


  • Memorial West Club Pop Up, 700 N. Kirkwood Rd.
    • Jewelry designer Mirta Tummino will showcase her handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gemstone jewelry while Hemline City Centre and Hemline Heights offer up to 80 percent off merchandise.

Friday and Saturday

  • Back Row Home Pop Up, 8750 Katy Freeway #111
    • Shop French and American antique furniture and accessories from Back Row Home; contemporary fine jewelry from M.u.s.e Collection with 25 - 50 percent off; and women’s apparel from Cottage288 and Tutu and Lilli. Enjoy 50 to 75 percent off everything from Cottage288.
  • Cheeky Vintage, 2134 Richmond Ave.
  • French Cuff Boutique
    • Bellaire, 4048 Bellaire Blvd.
    • Woodway, 6401 Woodway Dr., #127
    • Town and Country, 791 Town & Country Blvd., #144
    • Lake Woodlands, 1901 Lake Woodlands Dr., #150
  • Frock Shop, 9055 Gaylord
  • hila Designs, 2609 Greenbriar Dr.
  • J. Landa Jewelry, 3264 Westheimer
  • Leslie and Co. Ladies Store, 1415 S. Voss Rd., #115
  • Lewis Jewelers, 1141 Uptown Park Blvd.
  • Maidas Belts and Buckles, 5727 Westheimer Rd.
  • Marye-Kelley, 1740 Westheimer Rd., #100
  • Memorial Designs, 1010 Campbell Rd.
  • Raintree Boutique, 5161 San Felipe #170
  • Swoon & The Monogram Shop, 5886 San Felipe St.
  • Tenenbaum Jewelers, 4310 Westheimer Rd., Suite 100

Saturday, January 9

  • Eastside Pop Up Shopping Market, 3414 Eastside St.
    • Located in the Très Chic parking lot, more than a dozen of Houston’s boutiques, including Alchemia, Andrea Montgomery, Christina Greene Jewelry, Frock Shop, MIRTH, Pomp & Circumstance, Raintree Boutique, Très Chic, and more are coming together for a free outdoor market. Complimentary parking is available in the Dress for Success parking lot.
  • Memorial’s beloved home decor and furnishings shop, Weidner Hasou & Co. (12649 Memorial Dr., Suite B) is offering 20 percent off all in-stock items from 10 am to 5 pm. Select items will also be marked down and they will match donations collected from shoppers.

All weekend

  • Boutique by Maryam, online only
    • Enjoy 40 percent off with code THESALE40
  • Mighty Aphrodity Pop Up, 3005 West Loop South, Suite 144
    • Shop Mighty Aphrodity and jewelry from Gris by Allison Hall
  • Hemline
    • City Centre, 795 Town & Country Blvd.
    • Heights, 1533 N. Shepherd, Suite 110
  • Kendra Scott
    • City Centre, 816 Town & Country Blvd., #131
    • Highland Village, 2701 Drexel Dr.
  • Magpies Gifts, 5000 Bellaire Blvd.
  • Paisley House, 2420 Washington Ave.
  • Saint Lo, 714 Yale St.
  • Two Tequila Sisters, 2431 Rice Blvd.
  • Woody’s Furs, 2050 Post Oak Blvd.

Enjoy up to 80 percent off at Hemline City Centre and Heights' Pop Up on Friday.

Shop to cure childhood cancer_the SALE 2021
Photo courtesy of Hemline
Enjoy up to 80 percent off at Hemline City Centre and Heights' Pop Up on Friday.
Courtesy photo

Santa surprises generous Houstonians at Frost Bank's donation drive-through

The Gift of Hope

Houstonians in the mood to give had a worthy place to direct their energy on December 5: the Frost Bank and CultureMap donation drop-off, benefiting Kids' Meals.

During the two-hour event, thousands of packaged food items — that Kids' Meals will use to build brown-bag meals and distribute to children all over the city — were handed over at the Frost Bank on Navigation Boulevard, and those who donated received a few surprises in return.

Santa Claus himself was there, visiting with kids from the safety of their cars (and even hearing the Christmas wishes of a few dogs and cats who joined their humans at the event).

Carolers kept the mood jolly, and cookies were waiting for those who donated, along with $10 Frost It Forward cards to continue spreading optimism.

This generous gesture from Frost Bank echoed the Optimism Starts With You mural by GONZO247, which was located directly across from the drop-off point.

Those who attended the donation drive-through also got a head start on entering the social media contest by snapping a selfie by the mural and using #OptForOptimism to enter.

If you'd like a shot at winning a one-night stay at Hotel Alessandra with valet and two drinks at Bardot, along with gift cards to El Tiempo and The Grove, there's still time. Get your post up before December 31, when we'll pick one lucky winner.

The items received from the event are more important than ever to Kids' Meals, which delivers free, healthy meals to the front doors of low-income Houston families.

Since its inception in 2006, Kids' Meals has given more than 7.2 million free meals to food-insecure children in 43 Houston-area ZIP codes. It's the only program of its kind in the nation, and has grown from two delivery vans to a fleet that shares not just food, but connection to service partners that are focused on growing healthier children.

Poverty-stricken families are impacted significantly by fluctuations in the economy and changes in work hours, like those that have happened during the pandemic. Donations like the ones received here make a huge impact for children and their families looking to break the poverty cycle.

If you missed the event but would still like to contribute to Kids' Meal's important mission, please make a donation this holiday season.

Santa Claus himself talked with kids about the importance of giving.

Frost Houston donation drive-through
Courtesy photo
Santa Claus himself talked with kids about the importance of giving.
Photo by SDI Productions/Getty

Help feed Houston's hungriest kids at Frost Bank's donation drop-off event

The Season of Giving

Looking for a way to give back this holiday season? Then mark your calendar for Saturday, December 5, when CultureMap and Frost Bank are hosting a donation drop-off benefitting Kids' Meals.

Donations will be accepted at the Frost Bank located at 2240 Navigation Blvd. To help the nonprofit deliver free, healthy meals to the front doors of low-income Houston families, bring these nonperishable protein options to donate:

  • Canned chicken
  • Chicken salad lunch kits
  • Tuna salad lunch kits
  • Granola bars
  • Cereal bars
  • Peanut butter snack packs

When you bring five or more donation items, you'll receive a $10 Frost It Forward card as yet another opportunity to spread generosity and the power of optimism.

People who donate will also get the chance to win a special grand prize of a one-night stay at Hotel Alessandra with valet and two drinks in Bardot. There are also gift cards to El Tiempo and The Grove up for grabs.

To enter, visit the Optimism Starts With You mural by local artist Gonzo247 at 2219 Canal St., on the southeast-facing wall on the corner of Canal and Navigation. Snap a photo of the mural and share it on social media using #OptForOptimism. We'll choose a grand prize winner on December 31.

Since its inception in 2006, Kids' Meals has given more than 6.7 million free meals to food-insecure children in 43 Houston-area ZIP codes. Kids' Meals is a first-responder to children ages 5 and under facing debilitating hunger due to extreme poverty. As of May 2020, the organization — the only one of its kind in the nation — is delivering 7,000 meals every weekday.

Help make sure no kid goes hungry.

Drive-through donations
Photo by SDI Productions/Getty
Help make sure no kid goes hungry.
Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University

Houston philanthropist Fayez Sarofim leads funding for new Rice arts facility

an artful gift

A new arts facility at Rice University has just received a major boost, thanks to one of Houston’s most generous philanthropists. Local businessman and benefactor, Fayez Sarofim, has made a lead gift to create a 50,000-square-foot facility located next door to the Moody Center for the Arts.

The $25 million building will be named in honor of Sarofim and will seek to amplify the arts on campus and in the community. Financing will come from a combination of university funds and philanthropic donations, including the lead gift from Sarofim, according to a press release.

“Fayez Sarofim has once more made a tremendous difference for the arts in Houston, and we are incredibly indebted and proud to be able to recognize his support with a building named in his honor,” Rice University president, David Leebron, said in a statement.

The building, once completed, will cement the southwest corner of campus as an arts district that will serve as a resource for Rice students and faculty, as well as the larger Houston community. Nearby facilities include the Moody Center for the Arts, the Shepherd School of Music’s Alice Pratt Brown Hall, and the newly built Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center.

The facility will also support increasing enrollment in the Visual and Dramatic Arts (VADA) department and provide new opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, per a release. VADA serves 900 students a year, roughly a quarter of the school’s undergraduate population. Demand for more classes through VADA continues to grow in a variety of majors, including engineering, computer science, and architecture, according to the school.

Photo by Emily Jaschke

Southern Smoke blows into the Windy City with $4 million in aid

helping the windy city

One of Houston's highest-profile non-profits is taking its talents to the City of Big Shoulders. The Southern Smoke Foundation has launched a relief fund dedicated to restaurant workers in Chicago.

With the support of the James Beard Foundation and a group of anonymous donors, the Chicago Restaurant Workers Relief Fund already has $4 million in funds available. In addition, those donors will match up to $1 million in additional donations to give the fund a total of $6 million, and they've agreed to cover all administrative costs associated with the fund. The foundation cites a study by McKinsey & Co that estimates nearly half a million food service jobs in the Chicago metro area are at risk due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic.

Founded by Houston chef Chris Shepherd, the Southern Smoke Foundation provides emergency relief funds to hospitality workers in dire situations. Since the start of the pandemic, the foundation has issued over $2.9 million in grants to over 2,200 people nationwide. The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards recognized Shepherd's efforts with its Hero Award.

To be eligible for the Chicago fund, a person must be able to demonstrate (through documentation such as pay stubs or a W-2) that they worked at least 30 hours a week for at least six months in a Chicago-area bar or restaurant. The foundation does not have a cap on specific award amounts, but life and death cases take priority.

“We want the people of Chicago to know that they can depend on us and that we are committed to supporting them with both conviction and compassion in every way possible,” Southern Smoke executive director Kathryn Lott said in a statement. “It is our obligation to gain the trust of the people we are here to serve in order for them to feel safe enough to ask us for help."

To help administer the fund, Southern Smoke is seeking to hire Chicago-based restaurant workers to fill roles such as caseworkers, application screeners, and communication specialists. The positions pay $15 per hour.

"This dedicated fund for Cook County will not only allow us to invest in the community by financially serving restaurant workers who are in crisis, but it also allows us to create employment opportunities for furloughed and unemployed workers so that they may serve their own community," Lott added. "This also enables Southern Smoke to form meaningful partnerships and collaborations with Chicago-rooted, locally trusted chefs, restaurant groups, advocacy organizations, fellow nonprofits and more.”

Prior to establishing its Chicago-specific fund, Southern Smoke had granted over $46,000 to 22 area hospitality workers. Ruth Rodriguez, a Chicago-based server, received a grant of $2,490, which covered two car payments, rent, and utilities. Chicago cook Michael Shawn Clendening Jr. received $1,750 from Southern Smoke for rent. In a release provided by the foundation, he expressed enthusiasm for the fund.

“Southern Smoke Chicago will be a huge help, especially in the South and Westside communities, which have become food deserts and disproportionately funded which fuels Chicago’s obvious neighborhood segregation,” he said.

Photo by David Shutts

Texans co-owner Janice McNair pledges $1 million for Houston rental relief fund

the mcnairs step up

As Houston is gripped by the global coronavirus pandemic, thousands of residents are in a desperate need to pay their rent. As CultureMap new partner ABC13 reports, a $20 million rental relief package that intends to help Houstonians most at risk of eviction unanimously passed a city council vote with city council August 5.

Meanwhile, a beloved member of the local sports community has stepped up to help those Houstonians in need. Houston Texans co-founder and Senior Chair Janice S. McNair and the McNair family have donated $1 million to the second rent relief package for the city of Houston.

The funds will be distributed to the most vulnerable families first who cannot pay rent due to economic challenges caused by COVID-19, according to a press release.

Funding for the city's second rental relief package includes $15 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — also known as the CARES Act — and $5 million from private donors.

This recent $1 million contribution is just the latest in grants from the McNairs. The family and the Houston Texans Foundation has donated $1 million to COVID-19 recovery efforts, which include the Houston Food Bank, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, the YMCA of Greater Houston, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund, Southern Smoke, and more.

“So many are struggling to provide for their families during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Janice McNair, in a statement. “It was extremely important to me and my family to step up and make sure the most vulnerable in our community don't lose their homes at this critical time. It’s one thing we can do to keep families together and provide some hope to people who need it. I’m thankful to Mayor Turner for providing programs focused on assisting our neighbors.”

Those looking for more information about the Houston Rent Relief Package can visit HoustonRentAssistance.org.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Favorite Montrose brunch restaurant's major setback leads week's top stories

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Favorite Montrose brunch restaurant's highly anticipated return hits setback. The restaurant's reopening has been pushed back to 2024.

2. Houston's newest soup dumpling house sets opening date in familiar Midtown space. We're looking forward to future dumpling crawls to decide on our favorite.

3. Houston pizza maestro retools his wildly successful new Heights restaurant after overwhelming response. The chef says he'd be a "supervillain" if he figured out how to meet so much demand in such a short amount of time.

4. New York Times names 2 must-try Houston eateries to coveted 50 most exciting restaurants list. A new Southern restaurant and a classic Mexican establishment made the list.

5. Ken Hoffman applauds new Texas law that fines service animal impersonators $1K. "As much as I love my dog, I don’t impose her on others," our columnist writes.

Mega-celebrity photographer of Beyoncé's all-time favorite portrait holds court in Houston to honor Queen Bey

royal portraits

Only a select few humans — ever — have been photographed as often as pop culture’s undisputed queen, Beyoncé, over her illustrious, 26-year career. Even at her young age, Houston’s queen possesses a singular trait that elevates her above even the most apex celebrities: immortality.

Just how do the ultra-famous unlock the loftiest achievement of immortality? For many, it’s often through a single, transcendent photograph, which can transform a performer into an icon — and rocket a mere mortal into immortal status. And few photographers on the planet can bestow immortality on the globally famous like A-list artisan Markus Klinko.

To celebrate Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour homecoming — and his now legendary photos of her over the years — Klinko will meet fans from 1 pm to 3 pm Saturday, September 23 at Tootsies for a showcase of some of his most famed works — including the ultra-rare Beyoncé “Diamond Dust” series, on view at Nicole Longnecker Gallery.

A statuesque, towering presence (he’s six-foot-four) with chiseled features and a flair for fashion, the Swiss-born Klinko looks every part a celeb himself. That star quality has no doubt helped him break the ice when photographing superstars like our Beyoncé, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Naomi Campbell, and Iman — to name a few. Not a bad resume for a former professional classical harp soloist who — sort of amazingly — only fell into photography after a hand injury (more on that later).

Before she became a one-word brand, Beyoncé Knowles was just 22 when she experienced Klinko’s wizardry firsthand in 2003. Already drawing It Girl attention as a member of Destiny’s Child, the young Houstonian had met Klinko during a Destiny’s Child photo shoot for Vibe magazine in 2000. With his trademark, sixth-sense for superstardom, Klinko pointed to Beyoncé while she was lounging with the group and told her mother, Tina Knowles, “Her, she’s going to be huge.” Tina’s response: “We know.”

Three years later, Sony reunited Beyoncé and Klinko to shoot the cover of Dangerously in Love, Beyoncé’s now legendary 2003 debut solo album. The match, now, seems predestined: both Beyoncé and Knowles were in the early stages of their careers. Beyoncé and Klinko vibed immediately, and in a simple snap of his Fuji camera, Klinko shot the stunning and shimmering photo that Queen Bey recently told French newspaper Le Figaro is her most favorite of any portrait taken of her.

Staying true to his organic, in-the-moment approach, Klinko flawlessly captured Beyoncé’s effortless pose in her now-famed diamond top and created one of music’s most iconic celebrity photos and yes, helped cement Beyoncé’s immortal status. And it only cost him his pants. (More on that later, too.)

CultureMap caught up with Klinko ahead of his Houston appearance and fresh off the opening of his latest installation: His celebrity images are on display at the legendary Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in, naturally, the vaunted Elvis Presley Suite. Perfect timing, then, for Klinko to star as a cover model in the familiar Tootsies window displays.

CultureMap: Congratulations on landing the Tootsies window display. It looks gorgeous.

Markus Klinko: Oh yeah, it’s spectacular, isn’t it?

CM: Quite! So, what’s it like seeing yourself as one of the main features of an exhibit — as opposed to being behind the camera?

MK: You know, I’ve never been in the window of a major fashion department store, so this is pretty fun.

CM: Never in the window, but you’ve certainly been the focal point of attention as an acclaimed harpist.

MK: Yes, I started my life on the ‘other’ side, and as you say, as a classical concert harpist. I was signed to EMI Classics and represented by Colombia Artists and traveling around the world making recordings. I was on television very often and on magazine covers and all that throughout my 20s and early 30s — everything from Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar and GQ and all those fashion magazines for which I later worked as a photographer. So it’s not completely. new. But this is sort of a different twist.

CM: You clearly had an understanding of being in the spotlight, and the butterflies-in-the-stomach pressure to put on a great performance and give of yourself to an audience. Did that experience help you relate to your celebrity performer subjects in a way that just maybe a Mark Seliger or an Annie Leibovitz — not disparaging either — could not? Do you have a window into these performers’ worlds where they relate to you, and you to them?

MK: You know, that’s an amazing question and I’m glad you’re asking me this.

I switched from my classical music career, which was very successful at that time, to becoming a photographer at 33 under dramatic circumstances. It was tragic; basically a hand injury forced me to abandon my career at the height of my success in the summer of 1994.

I was forced to cancel recording sessions, touring engagements and all of that. I had no clue where my income would be coming from, so it was not like the happiest moment in my life. It was actually sort of a panic-stricken time.

CM: And then came the moment.

MK: Yes, I had this epiphany that I will become a fashion photographer, actually had no intention at all to ever become a celebrity photographer. In the beginning of my photo career, I was 100-percent interested only in shooting models — mainly female models to be honest. I would have liked to be a Playboy magazine photographer or something.

So in other words, I just wanted to have fun. It was the last thought on my mind to help other musicians succeed.

CM: You almost seem like you were dragged into fashion and celebrity photography.

MK: A few years into my photo career, around 1999, I was still completely focused on shooting models, models, models. I wasconfronted with proposals from record labels and magazines to shoot covers for them. And I distinctly remember telling my agent at the time that I was not interested and that why would I shoot musicians, when I could just shoot models who are more beautiful in general. And that was that.

CM: And how did that go over?

MK: At some point my agent picked up the phone and screamed at me and said, ‘Markus, you’re an idiot! We have record companies wanting to pay you $100,000 a day and you would rather shoot some girl.’ And I said, ‘Okay, fine, I’ll try it.’ My first record cover shoot was Vitamin C; at that moment she had the biggest hit of the year.

I asked my friends from Interview magazine to style it and she was lovely and I had no problem with it. But about a month later, I got up in the morning and I went to the gym. As I walked through the streets of New York, there were thousands and thousands of posters of Vitamin. I saw my image of Vitamin C a million times on the way to the gym. And I was like, ‘Hmm, that’s not so bad.’

A couple of months later, GQ called me from the UK and wanted me to shoot these different celebrities. And I told GQ — it was very funny — I said under one condition, I’ll shoot the celebrity you want me to shoot, but I want you to let me shoot some nude girl for the centerfold of GQ. And they just said, ‘Okay, whatever you want.’ So I invented the GQ Pin Up 2000 and for a whole year as a reward of shooting some British pop star girl for them — who I couldn’t care less but whatever, I did it. But then I shot Little Kim and Molly Sims and a bunch of really big models and supermodels.

CM: And then you shoot the world’s biggest supermodel, Iman, for her book, which leads to shooting a rock god David Bowie — her husband — for his now-famous album cover [Heathens, 2002] in 2001. Talk about a word-of-mouth reference.

MK: By that time, I was already inundated with. requests from labels. I shot nonstop for different labels and then Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez. That all came as a reaction basically to that first celebrity shoot with Vitamin C, and I guess just my style. The way I shot models was very different from what was in fashion at the time. I just sort of did my own thing. And that really appealed to major advertising record covers, iconic photo shoots, big comeback shoots for artists like Mariah. Mariah really needed a big comeback shoot in 2005 when she launched The Emancipation of Mimi.

CM: Let’s go back to that magical moment in 2003 when you shot perhaps the most legendary photo of Beyoncé ever.

MK: Sony music called me and they said, 'Beyonce from Destiny’s Child is going solo and she requested you shoot her album cover. Apparently, you had worked with her before for Destiny’s Child and she wanted to only work with you for this.'

So then, Sony Music organized a phone call between me, Beyoncé, the Sony team, and her mom Tina [Knowles] who was styling it. Beyoncé on the phone mentioned specifically my photograph of Leticia Costa, the French supermodel and actor in the "Spider Web" shot. And she said she really loved that photo — She called it the Diamond Spider or something. And she said she would love something like that, but smaller on her. And to be honest, I had no idea what that meant, but I was just like, 'Okay.'

Fast forward to a week later when the photo shoot actually happened and they arrived in the morning. I noticed that there was this diamond top and I grabbed it and I went up to Beyoncé. I said, 'This is exactly what you were talking about. We could do this.' And then she said, 'Oh yeah, I was thinking about it, but my mom has these skirts and I don’t wanna wear those because it reminds me of a prom and I don’t wanna look like a prom on my album cover.'

And I said, 'Yeah, of course not. Let’s do it with denim.' And then Beyonce said, 'No, we don’t have any, we didn’t bring any denim.'

CM: And then...?

MK: And so I said, 'Oh, don’t worry, maybe you’ll fit into mine.' And she said, 'Oh, really? Can I try them?' And so that’s the story.

CM: I’m guessing you had another pair handy?

MK: Oh, sure, I just grabbed another pair from upstairs I had. You know, back then and until now, my favorite pair of jeans are always DNG — Dolce & Gabbana.

CM: I love the story of how she returned them to you.

MK: She brought them back a couple months later. She had dry cleaned them and she packed them into some sort silk paper thing and a ribbon. She brought him back and said, 'Please don’t sell them on eBay, ever.' And she laughed.

I thought that was really sweet and I just took them and I put them somewhere. This is crazy, but I’m actually talking to Botswana Diamond Dealers to fill up a bathtub at the Vegas suite and to put those Beyoncé jeans into the bling bathtub as a joke. You know, almost as a shrine.

CM: Markus, it certainly seems to me that right when you looked through the viewer and fired off that exposure, she went from Beyoncé Knowles from Houston, Texas to the immoral global brand all in one second.

MK: You are right, yes. Absolutely she did. I had a jolt in my, in my whole body when that moment happened. And I told her that right then as soon as I clicked that shot. I said, 'We got the cover, you’ll see.' There's alternate shots of that, which are all beautiful, and some of them will be in Houston.

CM: It seems you predicted her future while announcing her to the world. Is that fair to say?

MK: Well, the way I see it is with that image, I sort of anticipated who Beyoncé was going to become. I think that my job that day was to take a young girl from Houston, Texas, a member of an R&B group, and present to the world who she will be. And she would have become that regardless of whatever I did photographically, because she’s such an enormous, enormously talented musician and performer and icon. She’s a great actress. But, my opportunity was to showcase to the world quickly and immediately who she will be. And so that’s what I’m proud of.

CM: You have shot countless celebrity portraits — many the most memorable of said celebrity, like Britney Spears. How does it feel to hear that your 2003 shot is Queen Bey’s favorite of all time?

MK: The fact that Beyoncé is probably the biggest celebrity in the world today, and having photographed the most famous photo — of the most famous celebrity — is an honor that I take with great humility. I’m not saying that to show off — I’m saying that to thank God for the opportunity. I am glad that Beyoncé loves the photo so much. I’m glad that the world recognizes it as her most famous photo: It's been said many, many times that it is the most recognizable Beyoncé photo. So I'm very honored that people feel that way about it.

CM: What do you remember of the Beyoncé then, and the Beyoncé you've worked with since for other projects?

MK: I remember Beyoncé and being around her, seeing her as an extremely kind, very humble, very normal person. I’ve never felt any sort of diva behavior from her. Beyoncé was just really, really nice and normal. And she’s extremely hardworking, obviously extremely talented, not just with music and singing and acting, but also in the process of collaboration of a visual product such as these photographs I’ve done with her. She’s a very, very good collaborator.

There are people who are very famous, especially actors who sometimes, in front of the still camera, feel awkward. Sometimes comedians and actors need the movement, the momentum, the storytelling, the words in order to showcase their brilliance and their talent.

Not everyone is able in a 2/50th of a second to express all of that, but Beyoncé certainly has that incredible ability and I think that’s innate and subconscious and subliminal. She just knows where the light is coming from and she knows how to position it all in the most phenomenal way. And I guess I subliminally know how to catch it. So it’s really one of those very, very easy collaborations.

CM: Speaking of collaborations, you are able to crystallize a pop icon’s entire era in a single exposure unlike perhaps anyone I’ve ever seen. Did you know that Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lizzo are all from Houston — they all grew up just a mere 30 minutes from each other.

MK: Wow, I did not know that.

CM: Yes, we’re home to three of the biggest female pop stars in the world. So I wonder: Megan Thee Stallion is truly in the midst of her moment. Is she someone you’d like to shoot next?

MK: Well, let me answer it this way...I hope that Megan reads your interview, because I absolutely love Megan and I would love to work with her — and they should call me. I love her.

CM: I would be remiss if I didn’t ask: What is your favorite Beyoncé song?

MK: Oh, I would say “Crazy In Love” is one of my favorites. There are obviously many, but I'm probably biased to that album. That's one of my proudest collaborations, so, of course, I’m biased. Can you blame me? [Laughs]

Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Beyonc\u00e9 Dangerously in Love

Courtesy of Markus Klinko

Markus Klinko captured Beyoncé's favorite portrait in 2003 for her Dangerously in Love debut solo album.

Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Countdown to Beyoncé: Trill Burgers shortens hours to serve massive NRG Stadium crowd

respect the beyhive

Since it opened in June, Trill Burgers has been unstoppable. Bun B’s burger joint has seen lines out the door, fed celebrities ranging from Drake to Mike Tyson, and caused literal traffic jams with its drive-thru.

But even a juggernaut like Trill Burgers knows better than to mess with the Beyhive. For this weekend only (September 23 and 24), the Montrose-area restaurant will only be open from 11 am to 2 pm. Operating with such limited hours will allow Trill Burgers to feed the sold out crowds flocking to NRG Stadium for Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour.

“We want to make sure that we have our stations fully stocked so that people don't miss this amazing show that she's bringing,” Bun said in a video posted to social media. “We know the Beyhive don't play and Trill Burgers don't play either.”

In order to ensure people get their burgers as quickly as possible, Trill Burgers is slimming down its menu to only serve beef burgers — sorry, vegans. In addition, it will impose a limit of two burgers per person.

Due to the stage setup, Trill Burgers will only operate two of its usual four stands. They are Sections 135 and 548.

Of course, CultureMap has you covered for everything related to this weekend’s concerts. Don’t miss our guides for what to wear, events celebrating Beyoncé, and the latest traffic and parking info.