A List of 17 Fashionable Houston Newcomers Headed for River Oaks This Year Who’ll End Up on the Other Side of the Tracks

A LIST OF 17 FASHIONABLE HOUSTON NEWCOMERS HEADED FOR RIVER OAKS THIS YEAR WHO’LL END UP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS River Oaks District Under Construction, Highland Village, HoustonJohn Lobb, Akris, Kiton, Moncler, De Boulle, Giuseppe Zanotti, Etro, Chopard, Canali, Brunello Cucinelli, Brioni, Diptyque, Bonobos, Intermix. Haven’t heard of ’em? Well, how about Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli, and Dolce & Gabbana? They’re all luxury retailers who are new to Houston, and who’ll be arriving here about the same time that OliverMcMillan’s long-awaited (but not-so-accurately named) River Oaks District opens up on Westheimer between the Galleria and the Highland Village Shopping Center — only a mile away from the actual neighborhood called River Oaks — sometime this spring. [Real Estate Bisnow; previously on Swamplot] Photo of River Oaks District under construction: OliverMcMillan

17 Comment

  • I’m perplexed at this River Oaks District Development. First, it’s not accurately named, at least Highland Park Village is actually IN Highland Park. Second, Houston is hot, humid, and rainy, so why exactly would you want to walk around an outdoor shopping center, especially dressed to the nines. Uptown Park has been underused, Highland Village is a nightmare, everytime I go I see at least one wreck. The Galleria has endured for many reasons, but one of the main ones is that it had covered parking and is all climate controlled. It makes no difference if it’s hot, cold, rainy or windy. I’m sure this RO District will be a success, at least initially because of it’s exclusive to the market stores, but I don’t see this as any kind of rival to The Galleria. You see, Houstonian’s don’t like to perspire nor be inconvenienced in any way (hence The Galleria, The Astrodome, NRG, Minute Maid, I could go on and on). I have a feeling many of these stores will eventually find their way to The Galleria.

  • This will be a big hit for international customers.

    It’ll also provide options for all the Houstonians that travel to NYC or LA for these good.

    Also, these stores in NYC are on the street and the summers there are hot and muggy also.

  • Shannon, any chance you’ve been out to citycentre and have spent some time there before typing this screed? The place is always packed and the proximity of parking, as well as diverse set of parking options, to the shops make prevailing weather conditions a non-issue for most folks. You don’t have to park in the garages, you can still valet or parallel park. Beyond that, it offers a diverse array of entertainment, shopping and work/living options that can’t be replicated in an enclosed shopping center like the galleria. The issue with the galleria is it’s too big. It’s a major shopping destination for all income levels and desires. That entails large crowds of folks and families that are only there for specific destinations while ignoring the other 85% of the mall. Hard to justify paying rent there if you’re only planning on capturing a small portion of the foot traffic.
    Uptown park and highland village are still just strip centers at the end of the day and aren’t providing what the river oaks district development is going to be offering. If anything, we should hope for this site to have tremendous success and drive a death knell into the horrid highland village. It’s impact on westheimer can be much better mitigated than that of a bunch of strip centers with overpaid idiots standing in the middle of street to help clients disregard right of ways.

  • with that said though, this list of retailers is horrid. would be nice for Houston to be able to offer some designers that cater to a younger clientele rather than just 40+ folks. we obviously have a long ways to go before Houston can provide a comparable shopping experience as the east/west coast do for those below 40, but that’s probably setting the bar way too high to begin with.

  • Shannon, Houston in hot, humid, and rainy for a fraction of the year. You can still dress well and enjoy yourself outside even in the summer. You need to be more creative with your fabric choices and willingness to perspire a little.

  • @joel. Good luck with your wish of the death knell of Highland Village. A bunch of top tier designer boutiques has a very limited customer base and I’m sure this center is hoping to capture the wealthy international set that spends money like water here in Houston. Many of HV’s tenant base count themselves as their companies highest performing stores and say what you will about the parking (which is usually only a disaster on weekends and holidays), these mostly affluent Inner Loop housewives and interior designers want to pull up to the stores and load up their luxury SUV’s. Considering HV is a privately owned entity with very deep pockets, Haidar Barbouty isn’t going to give up his revenue stream. But more than agreed that the impede traffic rent-a-cops are a joke–here and everywhere else in town.
    @Shannon. Dallas is also hotter, colder, windier and still humid by other standards and it doesn’t stop the
    affluent Dallasites from shopping. People shop at Highland Village and walk so it isn’t as though we can’t handle it. The Galleria is a godawful nightmare–it is now just a bunch of wannabe’s walking aimlessly killing time dodging some Rambo hawking crap from the kiosk–plus 98% of the stores are clothing–you’d be hard pressed to find any non generic department store home goods.

  • This couture-heavy concept was tried at Pavilion Saks Fifth Avenue on Post Oak circa 1989 and failed. Has the Galleria’s new owner made it so tacky that a new center can muscle in? Also, I suppose there are a lot more rich people in Houston than we had in ’89.

  • Uh Joel, it’s the 40 plus set that have all the money for these type of stores. They’re not fools, they know who to market to. I have been to CityCentre, it’s very nice, but not even close to the Galleria in foot traffic. The Galleria is second to only King of Prussia in terms of top tier mall revenue. This RO District is no real competion, it will eventually go the way of the Pavilion, bulldozed for upscale high rises et.al. while The Galleria hums along as the number one destination in Houston.

  • John Lobb, Cucinelli, and Moncler cater to (rich) under-40s. Bonobos is also a youth focused brand.

    I have to assume these retailers will be primarily serving customers from Latin America.

  • I have no idea what upscale stores for below 40 you’re referring to. Houston has about every upscale store that exists. I lived in LA and Houston has much better shopping. LA doesn’t have one descent mall, nothing comparable to our Galleria (Glendale Galleria is worse than Baybrook). Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza are the only good malls and they’re in Orange County and neither is The Galleria. Please enlighten me on these great stores Houston lacks. Im curious

  • Maybe 25 years ago, I brought my mom (New Yorker) to The Galleria and she was thrilled to see people (shoppers) walking around who were actually wearing the goods that were for sale. It seemed very classy to her, like particular parts of NYC.
    Today I find the place is generally NOT populated by customers but by tourists. So, maybe the upper crust needs to move on to new enclaves…
    I know The Woodlands Mall is “up-scaling” its stores and not renewing leases for the more affordable retailers.

  • JT, thanks for pointing out that name Barbouti again. always some good reading on how Ihsan Barbouti built the family fortune and all the ties to WMD arms dealing in Iraq and Syria. The 80’s must’ve been some good times to be an Iraqi businessman.

  • Shannon is becoming our next Commonsense

  • A Moncler in Houston? Really?

  • Shannon is way worse and he is a DUDE!

  • re: barbouti – wow those are some interesting google search results.

  • Yay for a Bonobos in Houston. Definitely for the Under 40 set. Strange location for them compared to their other stores in other cities.