Photo courtesy of Dominique Sachse

Dominique Sachse

Photo courtesy of Dominique Sachse

Houston's Dominique Sachse will host a sale of her hottest pieces at madmeg.

As savvy shoppers here know, fab finds in Houston are endless. Add in festive holiday décor coupled with the urgency of scoring the perfect, one-of-a-kind gift, and December's shopping experience is amplified — in the best way possible.

Head to River Oaks District, Rice Village, or The Galleria for the highest concentration of window-shopping fun, or relax with a coffee at an artisan market where handcrafted jewelry, leather goods, and art take center stage.

In time for the season, we've rounded up some top December shopping options — luxe, local, and more — that are sure to impress and entertain this season.

A Classic Round Top Christmas

Shopping in Round Top isn't just limited to twice per year. Throughout December, the quaint Texas town and legendary vintage shopping mecca is the ideal holiday destination for those seeking retail therapy or antiquers searching for those one-of-a-kind finds. Round Top will host family-friendly programming for the first three weekends in December, making it a perfect holiday getaway for shoppers and families.

Cos Bar

Famed luxury multi-brand beauty retailer Cos Bar recently opened its second Texas flagship location in the posh River Oaks District (next to Van Cleef & Arpels). Known for delivering a one-of-a-kind customer experience, the brand carries luxury skincare and makeup offerings from the world's most prestigious collections. Brands include La Mer, Sisley, Tom Ford, Westman Atelier, Cle de Peau, Augustinus Bader, Chantecaille, Charlotte Tilbury, Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdiian, and many more.

DBS Living

Houstonians Larry Leonard and Sukaina Rajani (of Macaron by Patisse fame) recently launched a line of athleisure apparel called DBS (Don't be Scared). Featuring workout wear for both men and women, DBS is made of premium materials in vibrant colors. The line consists of cropped t-shirts, bra tops, bike shorts, and leggings for women and t-shirts and lined shorts for men. DBS is available for purchase online.

Dominique Sachse Closet Sale

Shop until you drop in Dominique Sachse's closet. The former news anchor and current YouTube star will be selling a curated collection of over 200 pieces of her clothing at madmeg on Friday, December 2, from noon to 6 pm. Sizes will range from XS to medium, and the event will have a "designer" section. Sachse will be on hand to sign copies of her book Life Makeover: Embrace the Bold, beautiful, and Blessed You. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Women's Home.

Elizabeth Anthony

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Uptown Park’s Elizabeth Anthony. The luxury boutique will be hosting a Gems & Jewels event December 1 to 17 featuring fine jewelry collections from brands including Cadar, Talkative, Goshwara, Moksh, Silvia Furmanovich, and La Molina. Elizabeth Anthony will also be offering a gift card with purchase promotion ensuring good things really do come in small packages.

Flea by Night

Customers can shop local for four consecutive weekends in December during the Christmas season at Discovery Green's open-air market, Flea by Night. Local artisans will showcase their vintage, handmade, recycled, repurposed, and local goods making it easy to find holiday gifts. In addition to shopping, visitors can enjoy noshing on bites from food trucks, listening to great live music from Houston bands or ice skating at the Green Mountain Energy Ice Rink.

The Gremillion & Co. Fine Art

This holiday season, shoppers have an ultra-rare opportunity to bolster their art collections with art from emerging and notable artists at the famed gallery Gremillion & Co. Fine Art. The art gallery is hosting its first and final sale after over forty years of business, beginning on December 3. (Read our full story here.) The sale is anticipated to run for one month and will feature approximately 500 pieces at price points ranging from $200 to $200,000.

Iris Gifts & Decor

Cross everyone off the Christmas list at Iris Gifts & Decor in The Shops at Memorial. The boutique offers customers an array of luxury and bespoke items for the home, gifts for men, women, and children, paper goods, drink and barware. Founded by Houstonian Sarah Connor, the store features many beloved Texas brands, including Paty, Kate Weiser Chocolate, and Texas Standard. Other notable brands include Two's Company, Zodax, Meri Meri, Lele Sadoughi, Lafco, Beekman 1802, Smathers & Branson, Jojo Maman Bébé, Pink Chicken, Tender Leaf Toys, Jan Barboglio, Hot Sox, and many more.

Krigler Aquarelle Candles

Four Seasons Houston's Krigler boutique has introduced its limited-edition Aquarelle Candle Collection, perfect for warming those cool winter nights. These large (56-ounce) scented soy candles come in hand-blown colored glass, are infused with an 18-percent Krigler perfume base, and boast a burn time of 120 hours. The collection includes Aquarelle Blue: America One 31 — a surprising mix of energizing neroli and spicy black pepper; Aquarelle Brown: Sierra Vista 2142 - a warm, woody ode to the US Southwest; Aquarelle Mint: Good Fir 11 — a crisp, mossy mix that conjures snow-capped mountains; and Aquarelle Pink: Lovely Patchouli 55 Classic — a cozy, sensual scent made for chilly nights.

Makeup by Mari

Beauty maven Mari Metzler just dropped her Holiday Lip Sets. Each beautifully boxed set contains travel-sized glosses in her best-selling hues from the Pink About It, It's Nude to Me and Born "Red"y lines. Makeup by Mari's lip glosses are super pigmented for long wear and contain antioxidant Vitamin E for hydration. The holiday sets are available at her store, Trellis Spa or online.


Swiss chocolatier Läderach, best known for their iconic FrischSchoggi (large slabs of fresh chocolate bark), launched their 2022 winter holiday collection inspired by the theme of gift giving. At the Galleria outpost, shoppers can find delectable treats for gifting and snacking, including everything from advent calendars and festive boxes of fresh Swiss pralines to the brand's beloved chocolate reindeer Finn.

Lafayette 148

Bundle up in the chicest way possible with Lafayette 148's recently debuted Aspen 148 collection. Located in The Galleria, the luxury collection is inspired by the Aspen slopestyle of the '60s and '70s. Aspen 148 luxuriously reinterprets classic alpine ski details and a cozy, rocky mountain sensibility with a modern New York aesthetic. There is no need for a lift ticket to wear the collection perfect for looking après ski-ready with sweaters and plush, shearling coats to technical puffers and Fair Isle everything.

Las Sureñas

Argentinian brand Las Sureñas, known for their size-inclusive and slow fashion pieces, will host a pop-up at Teressa Foglia in River Oaks District. The designers will be on hand for the two-day event on December 14 and 15 from 11 am to 7 pm.


Luxury gift boutique Léránt, located across the street from the Galleria, is re-opening just in time for Christmas shopping. Léránt is known for its holiday merchandise, high-end tableware and complimentary gift wrapping. The boutique is offering 20-percent-off storewide on Wednesday, December 14, and will be open seven days per week leading up to Christmas.

Local Foods Market

Find the perfect gifts for any foodie at Rice Village's Local Foods Market. Choose from a hand-selected seasonally-evolving collection of red, white, and sparkling wines. Shop for locally made holiday gifts, including Pop Soap Astros candles, Blood Bros BBQ sauce, Cochinita & Co., Kin by Evelyn Garcia, Chilaquiles, Mama Vanns Jerky, Inanuts, Zwita Harissa and Tatemada.

Paris Texas Apparel Co.

With a full line of Astros-related apparel and accessories, including the just-dropped Johnnie O Astros World Series Collection, Paris Texas Apparel Co. is the place to find a gift for the ultimate Astros fan. Also, check out the new commemorative book on the World Series Champion's 2022 season.

Pucci Cafe & Pet Boutique

Find luxury gifts for every discerning pet at the newly opened PUCCI Café & Pet Boutique at Cinco Ranch. The high-end Pet Boutique offers one-of-a-kind pieces ranging from dog collar bling to twill outfits and festive treats. Read more about the chic pet boutique here.

Stephen Dwek

Stephen Dwek, best known for his engraved precious metal, and intricately hand-carved and faceted gemstones, recently launched his latest collection at Neiman Marcus in The Galleria. Jewelry lovers will be delighted with the designer's newest gold pieces debuting just in time for the holidays.

Urban Harvest Winter Festival

Shop from more than 100 vendors at the second annual Urban Harvest Winter Festival on December 10, from 8 am to noon. Local farmers, ranchers and artisans will showcase their goods, making it easy and convenient to support local small businesses. Enjoy prepared and hot food vendors, photos with Santa and complimentary cooking decorating.

Zadock Jewelers

Discover the most dazzling gifts in designer jewelry & luxury timepieces at Zadok Jewelers' holiday trunk show series. View extended collections and visit with brand representatives from Dinh Van, J.B. Star, Mikimoto, Pasquale Bruni, Pomellato, Roberto Coin, and Phillips House throughout December.

Photo courtesy of Summersalt x Kendra Scott

Where to shop in Houston right now: 17 must-hit spots for August


The start of August means one last vacation to close out the summer, back-to-school shopping, and a tax-free weekend (Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7).

This month’s roundup features boutiques and pop-ups that will help students get prepped for the new school year. Locals searching for that perfect White Linen Night fit this week need look no further than to a hometown favorite. Plus, boutiques around the city are getting ready for fall.

Anthropologie recently announced its collaboration with Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program. Through Sunday, August 7, Anthropologie invites shoppers to recycle their denim at the Highland Village and CityCentre locations for $20 off a new, full-price jean purchase of $100 or more. Any type of denim apparel can be dropped off, including jeans, jackets, shirts, skirts, and more, as long as it’s made of 90 percent cotton or greater. Anthropologie’s first-ever denim circularity program aims to turn old denim into something new. The brand is accepting denim drop-offs through August 31.

Carla Valencia Design
The father-daughter duo is getting students ready for the new school year with two pop-ups. Join them Tuesday, August 2, and Wednesday, August 3 at Frock Shop (9135 Katy Freeway, Suite 104) and on Thursday, August 4, and Friday, August 5 at Paris Texas (1341 S. Voss Rd).

Chloe Dao
Chloe Dao always knows how to master the dress code. For the annual White Linen Night in the Heights, a neighborhood-wide event held Saturday, August 6 from 6-10 pm, the Project Runway champion has several tops, rompers, and dresses for the occasion. The Side Cut Out Romper and V-Neck Open Back Maxi will be your best bet for the outdoor festivities.

Tablescaping doesn’t have to be complicated thanks to Dovie’s modern heirlooms and curated collections of artisan goods. An easy way to brighten up the table is with a new tablecloth. We love the rich hues and block print in the Sakha Red tablecloth. Shop a mix of seasonal and go-to gifts as well as jewelry and apparel online or in-person at The Pop-Up Co-Op at M-K-T Heights.

Frasier Sterling
Los Angeles-based jewelry brand is popping up in LoveShackFancy's River Oaks boutique Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28 from noon to 5 pm. Houstonians can shop a selection of the celebrity-loved brand's best selling custom pieces, including freshwater pearl chains, playful charm hoops, and huggies. The brand, who counts Hailey Bieber as a fan, will offer on-site customizations in a floral-filled experience that's not to miss.

her and reese
Founded in October 2018, her and reese was committed to offering women the latest trends at an affordable price, without compromising on quality. The husband and wife team, Christina and J.J., opened the brick-and-mortar in May 2021 at the Stomping Grounds, a community entertainment, shopping, dining, and events venue in Garden Oaks. Shop women’s apparel and accessories, gifts, and more.

intelligent elixirs
Exfoliation is a must in every skincare routine but the key is to not over-exfoliate. The Citrus Facial Scrub from intelligent elixirs provides gentle-yet-effective exfoliation through both physical (via eco-friendly hydrated silica) and chemical (via naturally occurring AHA’s from apple fruit extract) exfoliation. The clean, clinically driven, and cruelty-free product can be found at various Central Market locations in Houston.

Kendra Scott
From statement pieces to everyday favorites, Kendra Scott has the styles for your every back-to-school, recruitment, or game-day look.

Additionally, the jewelry brand has teamed up with Summersalt on an exclusive swimwear collection filled with bold colors and sophisticated silhouettes, perfect to pair with your summer jewels from the brand’s Vacation Edit. The collection features Summersalt's best-selling swim styles reimagined with delicate gold chain details and the limited-edition print inspired by the Kendra Scott summer collection's best-selling stone — the Bronze Veined Turquoise Magnesite Red Oyster. This exclusive collaboration drop includes bikini tops and bottoms, one piece, and a cover-up. Prices range from $60-$125.

Marc Jacobs
New York-based designer Marc Jacobs is making his Texas debut this year with the opening of a boutique in the Galleria in late summer. Located on Level 1 near The Galleria Financial Center, the 3,094 square-foot boutique will include a full expansion of the line, including handbags, accessories, fragrances, ready-to-wear selections, and men’s and women’s shoes.

Canadian-based jewelry brand Mejuri is heading to the Bayou City. Opening this summer in the bustling Montrose Collective, Houstonians can expect stylish pieces at affordable prices. Kathy Maldonado of Radom Capital, the developer behind Montrose Collective, tells CultureMap exclusively that the store will span some 1,500 square feet.

Rice Village is welcoming a new tenant, Parachute. The modern lifestyle brand is committed to making one feel at home with its premium quality bedding, robes, and towels. Marking the first Houston outpost for the brand, the 3,184 square-foot space will open its doors Friday, August 5 at 2414 University Blvd., #180.

Q Clothier
The custom menswear brand invites existing and prospective clients to give their gently worn business attire a second chance to make a first impression by donating to the company’s annual Summer Clothing Drive benefiting organizations like Family Gateway, Salvation Army, and more. Donations are distributed to disadvantaged men, providing them necessary attire to help continue their upward path.

As a thank you, Q Clothier will offer 15-percent discount on any purchase at its Shops at Arrive location (2800 Kirby Dr., Suite B124), as well as its sibling store, Rye 51.

Women's clothing and accessory brand Reformation has opened its doors in the new Montrose Collective. The Houston store marks the brand’s 30th brick and mortar.

Reformation was created in 2009 by former model Yael Aflalo and has built it’s approach around being sustainable and eco-friendly. The Reformation motto: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2.” Today, Reformation is an established favorite among celebrity clientele and the fashion-forward, celebrated for their feminine silhouettes and figure-flattering styles, and ethical approach.

Source Vitál Apothecary
The clean skincare brand has everything Houstonians need to beat the triple-digit heat. As the summer wraps up and last-minute pool parties, pick up the Mineral Facial Sunscreen, an all-natural, non-toxic SPF 20 sunscreen featuring soothing aloe vera leaf extract and moisturizing Vitamin E. After a hot day at the beach, soothe your skin with the Matcha Cool Facial Mask. Curated with matcha and botanical extracts, the lightweight formula was created to quench dry and irritated skin.

Susana Vega Jewelry
The Venezuelan-born jewelry designer just launched a capsule collection, titled A Pearly Summer. Dubbing it the “must-have” pieces for summer, the capsule collection features the Ora small ear cuff, lined with pearls, in a variety of hues.

A proud moment for Vega comes this August with the latest Vogue Mexico issue, featuring Gloria Estefan and her daughter, Emily, on the cover. Inside the editorial, the Cuban superstar is wearing a red Carolina Herrera dress and jewels by Susana Vega.

Threadfare Children’s Boutique
School starts this month and new outfits are sure to calm the first-day nerves. The mother-daughter-owned shop stocks a variety of brands for girls and boys, ages newborn through tween. Some of the popular brands they have in-store and online are Jellycat, Rylee + Cru, Sophie & Lucas, Native Shoes, Tender Leaf Toys, and more. The family-owned boutique has unique outfits and gifts for any occasion.

Thrifted Threads
Laith Awad started Thrifted Threads at the age of 18 and launched the e-commerce site in November 2020. Today, the “not your average thrift shop” has a newly opened brick-and-mortar store at 2606 S. Shepherd Dr. Awad is not new to the industry; his family has worked in the wholesale business of second-hand clothing since 1998. Additionally, he is a partner of Flamingos Vintage in Austin, a popular vintage shop that sells by the pound.

At Thrifted Threads, Houstonians can expect complimentary ice cream every day. Awad aims to give shoppers the ultimate second-hand shopping experience. He tells CultureMap that this was a true passion project. “Shopping second-hand helps you be able to dress in cool and unique styles,” he says.

Shop the exclusive Summersalt x Kendra Scott swimwear collection today.

Where to Shop: August 2022
Photo courtesy of Summersalt x Kendra Scott
Shop the exclusive Summersalt x Kendra Scott swimwear collection today.
Photo courtesy of Dayton Box Photography

Where to Shop in Houston right now: 10 must-hit spots for July


With summer in full swing, Houstonians are enjoying beachy vacations and escaping the three-digit temps with endless pool parties or trips to cooler spots.

For the hottest looks this July, for home or travel, look to curated vintage from local experts, a new collection from Reagan Bregman’s athleisure line, a popular downtown mixer and market, and more.

Diamonds Direct
The worldwide leader in diamond sourcing and consumer education has partnered with Amy’s Ice Cream to offer an exclusive flavor, Diamonds in the Rough. To capture the sparkle of diamonds, the frozen treat features accented silver glitter, adding a new take on the classic Cookies and Cream. For every scoop of the custom flavor, Houstonians are entered to win a $250 gift card to Diamonds Direct. Winners will be pulled weekly. The flavor is available throughout July at 3816 Farnham St.

Evergirl Vintage
Some may know her as one of the co-founders of the Houston Vintage Market and Festival while others may know her for her knowledge and love of vintage. Stylist and owner of Evergirl Vintage Dawn Ohlsson Bell have teamed up with Omar Lisandro, a Houston-based globally published wardrobe stylist, to create a one-of-a-kind personal vintage department store experience each with their own wing to shop, per an Instagram post. Lisandro’s latest venture, Too Suit Yourself, promises to bring “a curated collection of vintage menswear for anyone who’s a lover of textile and bespoke garments.”

Join Bell and Lisandro Saturday, July 16 from noon to 4 pm at 201 Roberts Street for the grand opening of their brick and mortar. Shop curated vintage from the 1930s-1990s while enjoying light bites and drinks.

Reagan Bregman recently announced the launch of a new collection called Breaking Barriers. CultureMap editor Steven Devadanam sat down with the entrepreneur and mom-to-be to talk about the new hues — slate, olive, black, latte, and cappuccino foam — and why the pieces are meant to make women feel amazing. She also hints at a maternity collection in the future — and jokes about a potential collab with her husband Alex, the Houston Astros all star.

Jia Loungewear
Local eye doctor Katie Charrier is not alone in getting home from a long workday wanting to take her bra off. After becoming a stepmom to three kids, she struggled to find comfortable clothing or loungewear that provided enough coverage to be braless around the house. Enter Jia Loungewear, a line of cup covering, no elastic loungewear. Aimed at offering an alternative to the dreaded elastic shelf bra camisole, the invisible underlayer, called the JiaCup, drapes over the bust with soft foam cup inserts suspended in a layer of the top’s luxe jersey knit bamboo fabric.

Summer entertaining is elevated at the Galleria-area luxury gift shop with new merchandise that is perfect for outdoor barbecues, pool parties, and summer entertaining. Shop items such as sun-resistant, waterproof, and easy-to-maintain tablecloths from Le Jacquard Francais; Casa Buggatti Kissing Tongs; and Mario Luca Giusti dinnerware in summer colorways.

Just in time for summer, a New York City-based lifestyle brand has added a collection of sunglasses to its line of travel-inspired apparel. Shop six styles in multiple silhouettes including, heart-shaped, round, and oversized frames. With a look for every mood, this new assortment of sunglasses adds the perfect touch to any outfit coming in a range of pastel hues including posh pink, cool blue, and golden peach with floral trims and LoveShackFancy’s signature floral prints. The collection ranges from $165 to $225 and will be available at LoveShackFancy boutiques, including River Oaks District, and online.

Sam & Davy
Named after the Bayou City’s oldest area code, 713 Day is an unofficial day to celebrate all things Houston. Pop by Sam & Davy in River Oaks Shopping Center, 2043 West Gray St, for all your Houston and Texas apparel and accessories. After all, Houston really and truly is everything.

Shaftel Diamonds
The family-owned jewelry is prepping for 713 Day with Texas-shaped necklaces available in rose gold and white gold for $1,125. Additionally, Houstonians can support Houston-based charity by purchasing from the Sky High Collection, which features blue and orange jewelry, representative of Sky High’s colors but also perfect to support the Houston Astros. 20 percent of the sales from the collection will support Sky High’s mission of funding pediatric cancer research. Jewelry ranges from sapphire and diamond stud earrings in various sizes with prices starting at $835.

The Brunch! Mixer + Market
Downtown Houston’s popular mixer and vendor market is back at Pitch25 (2120 Walker Street) Sunday, July 31 from 1 to 6 pm. Expect to shop various local businesses with goods such as candles, accessories, bath and body products, and more.

Founded in 2017 with only 10 vendors, The Brunch! now curates more than 30 local vendors and has expanded to Austin and College Station. The one-of-a-kind event merges brunch, music, shopping, fitness, and family-friendly fun for Houstonians.

The iconic Australian luxury brand has opened its first location in Houston in the River Oaks District. The brand is continuing its North American retail expansion with Houston being their second store location in Texas and 16th in the country. Shoppers can expect a “physical embodiment of the brand’s relaxed femininity,” a release notes. Sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann founded their namesake brand in Sydney in 1991. Today, the brand is known globally for the aesthetic of sophisticated femininity, clever color combinations, and delicate original prints.

Shop Exiza's latest collection, Breaking Barriers.

Where to Shop: July 2022
Photo courtesy of Dayton Box Photography
Shop Exiza's latest collection, Breaking Barriers.
Photo courtesy of H-E-B

H-E-B rings up No. 1 ranking in new study of online grocers

E-commerce excellence

San Antonio-based H-E-B has once again bagged a big honor in the grocery business.

In its inaugural study of e-commerce retailers that sell groceries, “customer science” company dunnhumby ranks H-E-B as the best online grocer in the U.S. It beat retail giants Amazon, Amazon Fresh, Walmart, and Walmart-owned Sam’s Club to claim the top spot.

“Although the dominance of Amazon and Walmart in the online space might not come as a surprise, H-E-B stands out in first place,” the study says, “and it is worth highlighting the regional grocer has the best emotional connection … out of all of the retailers in this study.”

Here are H-E-B’s top rankings in the study:

  • First place for ease of using the H-E-B app.
  • First place for ease of paying for purchases.
  • First place for on-time order deliveries.
  • Second place for accuracy of charges.
  • Second place for speed of online shopping.
  • Second place for convenience of pickup and delivery time slots.
  • Second place for convenient location of brick-and-mortar stores.

Overall, H-E-B earns high marks for customer sentiment and financial performance in the online grocery category. Despite the “colossal size” of Amazon and Walmart, the study says, H-E-B stands tall “based largely on the strength of their customer value proposition.”

The study notes that H-E-B also excels in the online grocery department as compared with other regional grocers, such as Kroger.

“H-E-B distinguishes itself from other regional retailers for having great digital assets that customers prefer when grocery shopping for its ease of use and reliability,” the study says. “H-E-B customers trust its platforms and its ability to fulfill their online orders.”

The shoutout in the dunnhumby study is one of several accolades H-E-B has collected in recent years. For example:

  • Earlier this year, dunnhumby named H-E-B the second best grocery retailer in the U.S., behind Amazon.
  • H-E-B tied for second place in a 2020 ranking by Market Force of the top U.S. grocers for customer loyalty. Market Force measures the customer experience at retail stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.
  • Two years ago, Food & Wineanointed H-E-B the king of grocers in the U.S.

Sophisticated NYC fashion brand brings effortlessly chic looks to Houston

nyc vibin'

An elegantly luxe, New York-based fashion house is setting up shop in The Galleria. Lafayette 148, the familiar, female-focused (and women-run) brand is set to open on the Galleria’s Level 1 near Neiman Marcus this summer, per an announcement.

Fans across the globe have flocked to the brand — named for the address where the company was founded in NYC’s hip SoHo neighborhood — as it reflects an unquestionably New York sensibility. Looks are fitted but relaxed, hip but classic, and consummately urban, and include ready-to-wear denim, dresses, casual, formal, bags, and accessories, and shoes.

Founded by Deirdre Quinn, Shun Yen Siu, and Ida Siu, the brand now boasts an HQ in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, with its very own workshop and production facility. Those one-stop-shop components make the brand a rarity in the industry. In short, all pieces are in-house, from initial sketch to final design and store rack presentation.

This Galleria outpost marks Lafayette’s 148 first Texas presence.

“The addition of Lafayette 148 New York further bolsters our robust collection of luxury offerings that can only be found at The Galleria,” said Chris Lane, the Galleria’s director of marketing, in a statement. “With the arrival of this dynamic, first-to-market brand, there’s an even more compelling reason to visit and enjoy.”

Most recently, Lafayette 148 launched a new line of outwear that’s already generating buzz.

Photo courtesy of Hunter Bell

Where to Shop in Houston right now: 12 must-hit spots for June


June is a busy month, with lots to celebrate and commemorate: graduation; Father’s Day; Juneteenth; Pride; and the official day of summer, June 21.

Also, with school officially out for summer, many new grads are enjoying their last summer before college or entering the workforce. This month is a perfect time to toast the class of 2022 with gifts that capture life’s precious moments — and also, shop unique gifts for Dear Ol' Dad.

Specializing in sustainable footwear and apparel, this eco-conscious brand will open its doors this summer. Located at 2503 Amherst St. at the corner of Amherst and Kelvin St, Allbirds offers a variety of eco-friendly options for men and women.

Coolin' Curve
While dad grills or cools off in the pool, make sure a Coolin’ Curve, an ice bucket with a curved bottom, is nearby. This gift makes inserting his favorite beer, wine, or champagne a snap.

Dooney & Bourke
Dooney & Bourke’s third iteration of its All Weather Leather Collection is designed with the same leather as Norweigan snow boots — “handsome, durable, and waterproof, just like the water off a duck’s back.” The handbags are meant to withstand the weather and any wear and tear. The leather is now smoother, more refined, and luxurious to the eye and hand.

Hunter Bell
Hunter Bell’s summer collection is inspired by San Miguel de Allende, a city in the eastern state of Guanajuato. While walking the streets, Bell tells CultureMap she was endlessly fascinated by the vibrant saturated colors, cobblestone streets, intricate doors, paint-chipped walls, and lush flowers.

Bell is known for designing with texture and bold hues, and the city filled with baroque Spanish architecture proved to be the perfect backdrop for her designs.

Kendra Scott
Grads are on to the next chapter and a timeless, meaningful gift from Kendra Scott is one they can cherish for years to come. The Texas-based jewelry line has recently expanded its offerings with its first-ever watch collection filled with classic and trendy styles, as well as a new line of engagement jewelry.

These sophisticated watches are the perfect gift to get your grad ready for the workforce — or getting to their next class across campus.

Wandering through Léránt, you’re sure to find something for everyone, but when it comes to the perfect Father’s Day gift guide, Léránt has a variety of options for the classy gentleman in your life, such as the luxurious Baccarat glassware, old fashioned tumblers, and a matching decanter. Add a centerpiece to any side table with a Nachtmann Round Triangle Cigar Ashtray, which pairs nicely with an evening glass of brandy.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 7 from 5-7 pm for a Sip & Shop at Léránt. Shop 20 percent off the entire store while sipping wine. Enjoy complimentary gift wrapping as well.

Made of 100 percent sustainable alpaca fiber, Pacas are meant for the athlete in your life. The vented tops will keep your feet cool and they are moisture-wicking to keep them dry on those long runs or bike rides.

Shaftel Diamonds
Shaftel Diamonds has an incredible selection of men’s watches — both new and refurbished — at a variety of price points. Shaftel CEO, Danny Shaftel offers a selection of rare finds, including the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, an iconic piece from Omega. Fun fact: This watch was part of all six lunar missions and was the first watch worn on the moon by Buzz Aldrin.

Source Vitál
The local apothecary specializing in luxurious, all-natural products, including its men’s collection, Sir Vitál, has a variety of gifts for dad this Father’s Day. Customize a beard oil, pick up a travel kit for his future travels, or spoil him with the skin, shower, and shave kit.

The Galleria
Texas’ largest shopping destination has announced the addition of multiple brands new to the Houston and Texas markets. Arabian Oud is known as one of the most prestigious companies in the perfume industry and is now open on Level 1, near the Galleria Financial Center.

Beach Bunny is debuting its first Texas location and offers swimwear with classic silhouettes made with the finest fabrics. Offline by Aerie is new to the Bayou City and offers activewear made for movement using the softest luxe fabrics as well as a sustainable line supporting environmental causes.

Psycho Bunny, found on Level 2, is a first-to-market menswear staple that debuted in New York in 2005. The brand has garnered a cult following for men who don’t sacrifice irreverence for style.

Eco-conscious activewear brand is set to open its first Houston location in Rice Village this fall. Inspired by the active, coastal Californian lifestyle, Vuori makes premium performance apparel. Occupying 3,036 square feet, Vuori will be located at 5515 Kelvin St., Suite 90, and will neighbor the newly leased Allbirds and Australian-inspired coffee shop Bluestone Lane.

Womxn on the Moon
The LGBTQ+-owned resin jewelry business has crafted its first Pride collection. The four-piece collection features designs made with several different crystals such as onyx, rose quartz, and citrine. Produced with hypoallergenic materials, no two pieces are identical.

Hunter Bell's summer collection was inspired by San Miguel de Allende.

Where to Shop: June 2022
Photo courtesy of Hunter Bell
Hunter Bell's summer collection was inspired by San Miguel de Allende.
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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.