Let’s face it. Many shopping destinations tempt Dallasites from one end of the city to the other, but downtown just doesn’t make the list. Long gone are the days when those sidewalks bustled with retail commerce. The iconic Neiman Marcus flagship on Main Street remains our sole reminder of a time that once was.
Come February, things could change.
A few new residents are looking to breathe some life back into downtown streets. Leading the brave pack is L.A.-based boutique, TenOverSix.
Following a debut on Melrose four years ago, TenOverSix quickly gained a loyal fan base. The gallery-like locale is heavy on design aesthetic, and known to stock its shelves with expertly-curated and limited-edition clothing, accessories, and home décor.
In downtown Dallas, a new outpost of TenOverSix is will be part of the Joule Hotel’s current rejuvenation. The boutique will join several new shops housed in the Neiman’s-neighboring hotel once the project is completed in February.
Anticipating TenOverSix’s upcoming opening, we hit up co-owner Kristen Lee (pictured above, left, with partner Brady Cunningham) about what she has in store for Dallas, why she wants to dress the Joule’s staff in pajamas, and much more. Interlaced are a few of her favorite TenOverSix offerings.
DFW Style Daily: You studied fashion design at Parsons. Why open a boutique with friends rather than design your own line?
Kristen Lee: “Brady [Cunningham] and I both went to Parsons, worked for other designers in New York, started our own lines, and worked as fashion stylists before opening the store. TenOverSix is an extension of those experiences. We opened it to offer L.A. a solid edit of the best of the fashion-insider brands we love from the design community we know.”
3.1 Phillip Lim Quilted Bubble 31 Minute Bag, $695
You opened TenOverSix four years ago and have the L.A. market fit to a tee. Why branch out now, and why choose Dallas?
“We opened TenOverSix in 2008 right after the stock market crash, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We’ve always watched every dollar since, conversed with our customers, and figured out how to really maximize our buys. We were ready for the next step, and this Dallas opportunity came to us at just the right time! We love the people we are working with at the Joule, and we’re all falling in love with Dallas!”
Why do you think the Dallas store will be successful in its downtown hotel setting? What steps do you plan to take in order to entice shoppers to come downtown and revitalize the area as a shopping hotspot?
“Well, we have a few things going for us at the new location. We have a built-in customer with the hotel guests, and have carefully selected some amazing gift items for them. The amazing new group of retailers and restaurants the Joule has put together will also be a draw, and will find us in great company.
“We aim to provide something fresh and special, and I think we can do that in downtown Dallas like we did in L.A. We were the first independent, multi-label concept store in our West Hollywood area, and we love the challenge of turning new customers on to more niche brands. We hope our offering will bring customers from all over Dallas. I’ve definitely spotted our customer in Oak Cliff!”
TenOverSix for LOOKMATIC “Marlowe” Glasses, $130
Along with co-owning TenOverSix, you’re also the Creative Director and Buyer. How will the curation for Dallas differ from L.A.? Give us a few examples of designers you think Dallas will love.
“I have to say, we are so excited to open! We’ve bought from 102 of the best and brightest in fashion and design – from Paris, Stockholm, New York, and Los Angeles. The offering will be pretty insane.
“The fashion buys have a more put-together from head-to-toe feel about them that we think the sophisticated Dallas girl will love. Without giving away all of our secrets, I’ll say we’re very excited about Chris Benz, Suno, and Patrik Ervell this season. We will have some of the same designers we carry in L.A., and some different choices.”
Have you visited Dallas frequently while the store is in progress? What are some favorite local spots?
“Lately, we are in Texas all of the time. I’ve really fallen in love with both Dallas and Austin. In Dallas, Oddfellows is my favorite place for breakfast, Forty Five Ten is lovely, and the Nasher is a must see for me every time.”
Patrik Ervell Button Collar Shirt, $325
Where does the store’s name come from?
“The song ‘White Rabbit’ as covered by Patti Smith. Plus, we love the ubiquitous nature of numbers.”
You describe the concept of the store’s Private Label as “uniform dressing.” What does that mean, and will the uniform change for Dallas?
“Well, we love the idea of dressing made simple. We happen to sell such amazing accessories, shoes, and handbags that we often find ourselves wearing very simple garments. This is where the idea originated.
“And, speaking of uniform dressing, we are designing some pretty amazing new uniforms for the Joule Hotel staff, to debut in Spring, based on the idea of silk pajamas. We felt if Marni, Prada, and Louis Vuitton have already started down this road, the world will be ready to see hotel staffers dressed in this vein. More on that soon!”
TYPE by Henrik Vibskov Parfume, $110
TenOverSix is known for frequent designer pop-up shops and limited-edition collaborations. Can we expect the same for the Dallas location, and what is an example of a designer you would love to see set up temporary shop at TenOverSix Dallas?
“We are lucky to have many friends in fashion and other creative fields who are always up for doing something special. We have a host of special events lined up for the year, starting with our opening party in March! You can expect some musical appearances, art shows, designer trunk shows, and book signings.”
(All photos courtesy of TenOverSix.)