Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan

With fashionistas excitedly shedding the extra layers in hopes of a good tan – it's an excellent time for savvy shoppers in Houston. Fashion mavens in the know will be the first to see spring and summer 2023 looks hitting the racks or browse the fabulous winter sales.

And, of course, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo adds extra fervor to the city as everyone is hunting for the perfect cowgirl chic gear.

From those always-popular rodeo pop-ups and Houston-only outposts, we've rounded up 12 best places to flex your spending power this March.

Abejas Boutique

The fashion-forward boutique is hosting two trunk shows at their West U outpost. Iconic Italian brand Forte Forte will be in-store from March 1 to 3 – look for a lot of metallics and shimmering fabrics. Argentinian brand Rocio G will also be on hand from March 7 to 11 with fine leather goods.


As we reported, Bally has opened a new store in the Galleria. What started with shoes has since become an entire collection of bags, accessories, and ready-to-wear pieces for both men and women. Shoppers can check out the latest collection of Bally jewelry and the debut of the brand's Spring/Summer 2023 collection by creative director Rhuigi Villasenor. Their Galleria location is on level 1 near the Galleria Financial Center.

City Boots

Just in time for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, City Boots, the Texas-based handmade, top-shelf boots, is opening its first store in Houston. The brand's posh River Oaks District pop-up will open through May 15. Six new styles, dubbed the Houston Collection, will launch at the pop-up and be exclusive to the Houston store for the first week before being available online.

The Conservatory

Blue Lagoon Iceland Skincare, the premier Nordic luxury beauty brand sustainably created from the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, recently launched in the luxury retailer The Conservatory. This launch brings the Blue Lagoon Iceland Skincare's luxury BL+ Skincare product line and the Spa Body Collection to The Conservatory to provide consumers with the most effective, science-driven, innovative products that align with The Conservatory's mission of sustainability and lasting value.

Elizabeth Anthony

The posh Uptown Park boutique is absolutely buzzing with big-name trunk shows and personal appearances this month. Shoppers can find Naeem Khan, Jason Wu, Anabela Chan, Fabiana Filippi, and Jenny Packham's designer collection trunk shows throughout the month. Katherine Jetter and Roberto Quaglia will make personal appearances with their designer trunk shows. A full calendar of events is available here.


Freebird kicks up in Houston just in time for rodeo season. The new store on Level 1 between Macy's and Nordstrom is fully stocked with their spring and summer collections. Look for funky designs with distressed leather, exotic skins, and expandable back lacing panels — making many of their styles size-inclusive. For those seeking a unique western moment, highlights include peep-toe booties and multi-strap styles.

I W Marks

Celebrate National Jewel Day at I.W. Marks. Their Bellaire boutique is brimming with gems perfect for spring. Be mesmerized by a large selection of engagement rings, colored gemstones, and diamond jewelry.

M-K-T Heights

Spring forward at M-K-T Heights Plant Market. Enjoy an open-air market featuring Houston's finest growers, gardeners, artisans, crafters, and more. Head to the Houston Plant Market 'Heart of Hou' Community tent for a Springtime Scavenger Hunt adventure around M-K-T. Sunday, March 12, from noon to 6 pm.

Montrose Collective

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, Montrose Collective celebrates their women-owned businesses with a guided meditation at Studio BE Montrose, followed by a Q&A with the women-owned business owners. Tyler Darling will be on hand doing self-love portraits.

Post Oak Hotel

It's Rodeo Season, y'all! The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston hosts a Pop-up Rodeo Lounge Experience from 4 pm – 8 pm throughout the Rodeo from February 25 to March 18. Anyone can get rodeo ready with the latest Western-wear styles from King Ranch and Lucchese pop-up shops. Shoppers can also receive a complimentary boot shine and hat steaming.

Rebecca Lankford Designs

The custom jewelry designer will host a rodeo market at her Yale street boutique. Shoppers can get rodeo ready with a custom hat bar and check out boots, jewelry, food, and more. Saturday, March 4, from noon to 5 pm.

Rice Village

Head to Rice Village on March 3, from 5 to 8 pm, as the shopping center kicks off the rodeo season in style with live music from Cooper Mohrmann, a mechanical bull, vendors, photo opportunities, and plenty of shopping favorites, including King Ranch Saddle Shop, Tecovas, and the Aspen-based luxury pop-up from Kemo Sabe.

Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan

Elizabeth Anthony will host several trunk shows including Naeem Khan, Jason Wu, and Jenny Packham.

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River Oaks-area Japanese restaurant set to shutter after 4-year run

sayonara shun

A popular Houston Japanese restaurant will soon serve its last meal. Shun Japanese Kitchen will close its doors on Saturday, June 10.

Chef Naoki Yoshida opened Shun in October 2018 to serve his Texas-influenced take on traditional Japanese cuisine such as lamb barbacoa gyoza and smoked miso baby back ribs. Yoshida is a second generation restaurateur, as his family owns staple Montrose sushi spot Nippon.

Over time, the restaurant became known for a number of initiatives, including serving Japanese-style soufflé pancakes, launching the Hako Bento Box Company ghost kitchen, and hosting a Christmas Day fried chicken dinner that paid homage to Japan’s love for KFC. Yoshida also created events such as the Tokyo Night Festival and Tokyo X to celebrate Japanese culture.

"We are very thankful for all the support over the last five years," Yoshida said in a statement. "Although I am saddened to close this chapter of Shun Japanese Kitchen, I am excited to open another chapter for the future. We have some thrilling events and concepts planned in the future with the same goal to continue promoting Japanese culture in Houston."

Those “thrilling events” start with the Tokyo X festival, which will be held at NRG Center on June 17-18. The festival will feature more than 200 vendors, a Japanese car show, a $1,000 cosplay contest, martial arts demonstrations, and more.

After the festival, the chef plans to travel to research his next restaurant, described as the first Japanese-owned omakase restaurant in Houston. It’s expected to open in the fall of 2024.

Starry style: Where to score the most fashionable summer color trends for every zodiac sign in Houston


Summer is here, which means it's time to start thinking about the perfect outfits to make a statement all season long. With so many hot trends on the horizon, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin.

Not to worry, we've curated this summer's wardrobe essentials using power colors related to each zodiac sign. By aligning summer attire with zodiac signs, fashionistas can find outfits that perfectly match specific personality traits and energy, helping to radiate positivity and, who knows – maybe even manifest summertime goals.

So why wait? Dive into the latest summer trends, and discover the perfect look based on the stars — and where to find them in Houston.

Capricorn: Brown and gray

Body-con dresses are everywhere this summer; this color combo is neutral enough to go from summer to fall. Capricorns love to feel beautiful without drawing extra attention to themselves, and this summer drop from Veronica Beard in River Oaks District does the job.

Brown and gray are power colors for Capricorns who like to go under the radar. Photo by Veronica Beard

Aquarius: Blue

Associated with water, thoughtfulness, serenity, and tranquility, blue is perfect for channeling your inner zen while watching the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in this Baseball Y'all tee from Julia Morales.

The Baseball Y'all shirt is the perfect blue for summer and a Houston Astros game. Photo by Julia Morales

Pisces: Light green

Pretty and fresh, the light color green is associated with nature, relaxation, and vitality. This Orite Choker from Houston designer Susana Vega is a classic piece to wear with just about everything this season.

Houston designer Susana Vega designed Orite Chocker in a great shade of green for Pisces. Photo by Susana Vega

Aries: Red

Known for passion, determination, and leadership abilities, the power color for Aries is red. Every Aries will be ready for adventure in Kick Pleat'sJersey Dress in color Poppy.

Visit Kick Pleat on Kirby for this relaxed dress in the color poppy. Photo courtesy of Kick Pleat

Taurus: Green

Green is linked to being dependable and consistent, just like a Taurus who likes to feel grounded in their earthy power color. This flouncy green dress from the brand ASOS is available at Nordstrom in the Galleria and is a great pick for spring and summer events.

Taurus can feel confident in this party dress by ASOS. Photo by ASOS

Gemini: Yellow

Yellow is known for happiness and optimism, which is exactly what you'll feel wearing the Christy Lynn Parker Top embroidered in just the perfect shade of lemon.

Gemini can wear this yellow top by Houston designer Christy Lynn Lee on repeat all spring and summer. Photo courtesy of Christy Lynn

Cancer: Silver

Shine bright like a diamond all summer in Aquazzura's Sundance Plateau Sandals from Tootsies. Wearing silver helps Cancers feel calm, comforted and hopeful – all the ingredients for a fantastic warm weather season.

Stand tall in these sky high heels from Tootsies. Photo courtesy of Tootsies

Leo: Gold

Feel like a star in a shimmering gold bikini by famed swimsuit designer Shoshana. The color gold is typically associated with confidence, wealth, success, and extravagance – yes, please! Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, the bikini is giving ultra-luxe mermaid vibes.

Bring ultra-luxe mermaid vibes in this bold gold bikini by Shoshana, available at Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Virgo: Brown

Even earth signs have to protect themselves from the sun, and this Panama Hat from Freya is an excellent combination of sand and neutral colors for any summer outfit. The color brown is often found in nature and is the power color for Virgos, who are known to be reliable and wise.

Virgos can protect themselves from the sun and wear a power color in this hat by Freya. Photo by Freya

Libra: Pink

Libras are lovers of balance, peace, generosity, and indulgence. Their power color is pink which is linked to love, femininity, optimism, and kindness. This Taffy Rainbow Zinnia Crystal Paillette Knotted Headband from Lele Sadoughi in River Oaks District is the ideal way to incorporate Libra's power color into a fun summer style.

Lele's store in River Oaks is brimming with pink for Libras. Photo by Lele Sadoughi

Scorpio: Black

Scorpios can channel their sophistication and power vibes in this Black Sweetheart Strapless Vinyl Jumpsuit from Chloe Dao. It is an eye-catching outfit made for a night out on the town this summer.

Scorpios will turn heads in Chloe Dao's vinyl jumpsuit. Photo by Chloe Dao

Sagittarius: Purple

Wearing purple can make a Sagittarius feel even more optimistic, funny, open, and social. That's at least four reasons to pick up this lovely Irene Recycled Vegan Crossbody Bag from Edit in Memorial.

Purple in any shade is perfect for Sagittarius.Photo courtesy of Edit

Ken Hoffman catches up with the Houston face of famed American Gladiators series now focus of 2-part ESPN doc

houston gladiator

As longtime Houstonians know, Lisa Malosky has been a media trailblazer since joining Channel 2 in 1991, as the first female sports anchor in Houston and going on to host the Houston Rockets studio show. She also covered college football and the WNBA for several networks.

But for all Malosky’s accomplishments in “serious” sports, her most memorable, certainly wildest and wooliest, role was hosting the runaway hit show American Gladiators for two seasons in the early ’90s.

A two-part documentary on the American Gladiators is airing this month on ESPN as part of its 30 for 30 series. The documentary also is streaming on ESPN+.

American Gladiators aired seven seasons debuting in 1989 and quickly becoming a global sensation. The sports-entertainment show pitted everyday contestants against musclebound superheroes with names like Gemini, Malibu, Thunder, and Ice in perilous games including Joust, Powerball, the Gauntlet and the Eliminator.

Basically, it was like watching your neighbors get the daylights knocked out of them by genetic freaks with biceps the size of bowling balls.

Sure, on TV it was all fun and games (until somebody gets their block knocked off), but behind the scenes the show was a tangle of deceit and greed involving a former Elvis impersonator who stole (let’s say took credit) for the idea of American Gladiators and didn’t mind stabbing his best friend in the back.

Malosky is all over the documentary. Since she lives only a few blocks from me, just over the border into Southside Place, it wasn’t hard catching up with her.

CultureMap: So how does a weekend sports anchor in Houston get to host one of the most popular shows in the world?

Lisa Malosky: They came to Houston, to The Summit back then, to have tryouts. I did a story for Channel 2 about them looking for new competitors for the show. So I got out there and did a couple of the events, you know, that’s what we do, reporter involvement. I remember doing the event where contestants had to slam dunk a ball into a cylinder while dodging the Gladiators.

Anyway, I shot the ball like a basketball and it happened to go in. (It wasn’t a fluke shot – Malosky had been a star hoopster at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.)

A month or two later, I got a phone call at the station. It was from the American Gladiators. I thought they were looking for footage we shot at the tryouts. No, they were looking for me.

Samuel Goldwyn, the studio boss, saw an interview I did on PBS about being a female sportscaster and how Title IX had affected my career. The American Gladiators were looking for a new host for the 1994 season and they wanted a female. That’s what got the ball rolling. I called my agent and we went off to Los Angeles for an interview. That’s how I got the job.

CM: You continued to anchor sports at Channel 2 during those years. How did it work – did you use your Channel 2 vacation time to tape American Gladiators?

LM: Channel 2 let me take the month of June off. I went to Los Angeles and we taped the entire year’s worth of shows during that one month. We taped two shows a day. We’d work four days, then have a day or two off, and then work four more days.

CM: Raise your right hand. How much of American Gladiators was fake?

LM: It was absolutely real. None of it was staged, 100-percent swear on the Bible. Clearly there were times when the Gladiators lost their temper, but no one got hurt.

I never witnessed anybody trying to hurt someone intentionally. I remember if someone knocked off a Gladiator in Joust, I felt sorry for the next contestant who had to face that Gladiator.

CM: Who were your favorite Gladiators to hang out with?

LM: I have to be honest with you. I approached this job like I did my sportscasting job. Which is that I didn't fraternize with the people I covered and that's the truth. I didn’t spend much time with them, but I would say that Siren made the biggest impression on me. She was the young Gladiator who was deaf. I enjoyed her because she was just lovely and kind and sweet. Laser was a really good guy. He's a former football player from Montana State. We're Facebook friends now.

CM: American Gladiators reruns played for years after it was canceled in 1997. Did you get residuals? Was there a Lisa Malosky action figure?

LM: Ha! Maybe I should check to see about that action figure. Sorry, no residuals.

CM: So what are you doing now? How do you follow a phenomenon like American Gladiators?

Lisa Malosky American Gladiators

Photo courtesy of Lisa Malosky

Malosky quickly became a face of the American Gladiators as the Houston-based host.

LM: I have my own video production company, Lisa Malosky Productions. I work mostly with nonprofits, doing videos for their galas and websites. It’s extremely gratifying work.