26 Feb Previously headquartered in NY, Haus Alkire finds a new home in Round-Top, Texas.
HAUS ALKIRE is designed by Julie Haus Alkire and Jason Alkire. Julie Alkire began her fashion career when she founded Julie Haus in 2001. The label was carried in nearly 600 hundred retailers including several majors and an eponymous store in SoHo, NYC. Julie is self-taught as well as trained by her grandmother, a one-time co-op dressmaker in Texas. Throughout her career, Julie has performed projects for specialty retailers including Barneys New York, Takashimaya, and Henri Bendel. Jason, a Houston native with a marketing degree from the University of Houston, formed his fashion career from backgrounds in several creative disciplines. Along with being a professional photographer, graphic designer, and former advertising executive, Alkire has been a lifelong painter. He uses these backgrounds and knowledge of garment construction to create custom textile prints while co-designing the collections. Jason also produces a limited number of menswear pieces, and he acts as an in-house creative agency.
HAUS ALKIRE, by Jason Alkire and Julie Haus Alkire, Photo courtesy of the CFDA
The Texas-grown duo founded HAUS ALKIRE, the direct-to-client designer label back in 2012 and have succeeded in gaining a strong following along with collecting some impressive, they include awards, sponsorships, and memberships and the team is affiliated with some of the most distinguished fashion organizations in America like the CFDA. They have even received rave reviews from the likes of top fashion magazines willing forth compliments like “…the Next Wave of American Designers” by Vogue and “One to Watch” – by Harper’s Bazaar.
Their intimate atelier space in TriBeCa, NYC was the anchor of their concept. Through the appointment-only shop and traditional in-client-home trunk shows, the designers have strategically grown their business one discerning patron at a time. Last year, however, during the pandemic, HAUS ALKIRE ventured towards a new direction. Texas will now see a homecoming of sorts as the duo will open a 2,000 square-foot shop and art gallery in Round Top, Texas. The new concept shop will carry the expanded home collection, fine art from various artists as well as Alkire’s own, one-of-a-kind antique restorations, and the award-winning women’s ready-to-wear collection. The designer’s intent is not to over-distribute or produce – but to leave behind thoughtful, meticulously designed collector’s pieces. They have also, from time-to-time, partnered with customer-centric retailers including Forty Five Ten, Louis in Boston, Suite 1521, and Moda Operandi.
Photo Sourced at hausalkire.com
Catch their latest interview with Nicky Campbell below as we learn more about their big move to Texas.
NC: Why was it important for you to open a physical retail location during this time?
HAUS ALKIRE: We have had a physical retail space since we started – and we feel it is at the core of a designer business. It provides an intimate experience where clients connect to our design, inspiration, and process in a meaningful way.
Photo Courtesy of the CFDA
NC: What attracted you to Round Top, Texas?
HAUS ALKIRE: Round Top is, and has been for a long time, a place where affluent families get away for the weekends. Located between Houston and Austin, the proximity and feel is similar to that of the Hamptons to NYC. The area is truly a playground for artists with abundant nature, retreats, farm-to-table restaurants, world-renowned classical music, vineyards, boutique lodging, and of course friendly locals. Plus, Round Top is arguably the best place to shop for high-end antiques in the U.S. There is a newfound excitement and financial investment in the area – as many people have escaped the cities – and discovered a better quality of life. That said the peace of mind that we get from sunsets and sunrises is unequivocal.
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NC: Can you describe the overall aesthetic and feel of your store?
HAUS ALKIRE: Our shop is as near a New York loft as one can get. Dark concrete floors with 18-foot ceilings on the first floor with hardwood on the second-floor balcony. An enormous amount of natural light comes in from the skylights – yet there is ample light from the art gallery fixtures. We have a few antiques that are for sale and functional to the space, which warms it up and encourages people to linger. Fine art is located throughout the space – all for sale – and represented by a well-known gallerist. A large entertaining area is separated by a pair of French doors where we will have wine tastings and private dinners for our clients.
Photo courtesy of the CFDA
NC: You also brought in pieces from fellow CFDA member Gigi Burris. Why was this a good fit for the location?
HAUS ALKIRE: Hats are an integral part of Round Top attire. Gigi has a couture sensibility but the pieces are very wearable. There’s a hint of southern wit in her work, which resonates with hat collectors and our clientele. And, Gigi has been a friend and an artistic collaborator of sorts for a long time – so working with her is natural. She allows us to make custom one-off pieces, which is something our clients appreciate.
Photo courtesy of the CFDA
NC: In light of COVID-19, what are some of the safety precautions you’ll be taking in the store?
HAUS ALKIRE: We are doing what would be considered normal by now. PPE on hand, social distancing, and masks. We are operating mostly by appointment and sanitizing the space heavily between guests.
Photo courtesy of the CFDA
NC: What do you love about fashion retail?
HAUS ALKIRE: We compare it to having an art opening every day where we get to walk clients through our work. Plus, the personal connection to the client and having the ability get to know each one allows us to solve their needs at a higher level.
Photos Courtesy of the CFDA & HAUS ALKIRE
Interview with Nicky Campbell provided by the CFDA