Refinery 29 and Simon Present: The Shopping Block

The Houston Preminum Outlets were once again the setting for another great and uber-fashionable event, The Shopping Block- hosted by fashion and retail powerhouses Refinery 29 and Simon. The event was put on as an effort between R29 and Simon to collaborate and commend the small culture and take back the mall, as well as the outlets. Refinery 29’s Athena Chen mentioned that, “[Simon] provided a lot of liberties to celebrate the ‘millennial culture’ of shopping and bringing them back in this environment by bringing in curated local vendors and designers to be apart of this experience.”

Houston was stop five of the seven city mall tour. The tour started in NYC, then went to Philadelphia, followed by Boston, Miami, HOUSTON, then Los Angeles and finally back in NYC. The event design was inspired by modernist artists Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, as well as Marfa, TX and its art and architecture- especially cubism. “This experience is supposed to be interactive and allowing us to celebrate something that’s very in the moment in a very spiritual and tangible way… It’s a way to bring in a crowd to engage with consumers in a new way for Simon and to interact with new consumers that they may not have reached in the past…” Athena explained.

Houston’s event was held under a large tent, where each of the vendors and interactive stations were set up like an intimate mini shopping mall within the mall. Lovely ladies in a matching gray tee, white pleated lacy skirt paired with cute tennis shoes and socks acted as the ‘Style Concierge,’ helping with questions and handing out curated style guides. Each event has guest hosts and for the Houston edition- siblings Hanna, Sophia and Joshua Anderson were chosen to host the event. The interactive stations included beauty bars by Designer Fragrances and Cosmetic Company and Elizabeth Arden and a DIY station where guests could personalize a tote bag, taking inspiration from two Fall 2014 runway trends- sporty and embellished. The booth featured a moodboard of each trend, an example of that tote and crafting materials. The local indie boutiques included: Height of Vintage (vintage clothing), Hatton Henry (handmade leather bags and accessories), Sun Child (online boutique based in Texas), Vida Antigua (“Vintage Life” offers vintage clothing), fLuxe Jewelry (handmade jewelry from copper sheet metal and patina chemicals, inspired by Art Deco, Aztec pottery and modern geographic design), Sal Miel (handmade unisex jewelry of created from mixed metals and textures) , Busy-Being + Solid Gold (a brick-n-mortar based in Austin that carries art and product from local artists and friends) and Settlement Goods (boutique in Houston that carries emerging and independent designers who manufacture in the USA).

It was a fun afternoon to get crafty, take photos in the selfie booth, catch up with friends, shop and try for a chance to win a shopping spree valued at $1,500 at a Simon mall.

Huge thanks to the vendors, Simon, DPWPR & Refinery 29 gals (especially Athena) for a lovely day!

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