REAL ESTATE

Women’s clothing start-up promising stress-free shopping expands footprint

BY Marianne Wilson

M.M.LaFleur has put down roots in Houston.

The New York-based online women’s clothing brand and styling service has opened a 2,300-sq.-ft. location at Post Oak Central, a mixed-use development in Houston’s Uptown neighborhood. It is M.M.LaFluer’s seventh permanent showroom and follows a successful pop-up in the Bayou City. Other locations include New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and pop-ups in Seattle and Portland.

Launched in 2013 by Sarah LaFleur, Narie Foster and Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen, M.M.LaFleur was founded with a goal of helping women rethink the shopping process by taking the work out of dressing for work. The company targets professional women with a curated assortment of versatile pieces — everything is designed in house — that have a sophisticated, minimalistic aesthetic and are designed to look good on a range of body types. Many of the fabrics are machine washable. Prices range from approximately $110 for a top to $325 for a statement dress.

Personal styling support is core to the M.M.LaFleur experience — online and off. Showroom customers fill out a brief online survey and arrive to find a selection of items curated to their fit and style preferences waiting in the dressing room for try on. They can work one-on-one with a personal stylist while enjoying coffee and prosecco. Hemline alterations are provided free of charge.

“During your complimentary hour-long stylist session, our goal is to treat you to the most productive, personalized, and stress-free shopping experience of your life,” the company says on its website.

Online, the brand is best known for its “Bento Box.” A customer take a quick online survey and, based on the results, a MM stylist creates a personalized box that includes a selection of clothing item and accessories. The company emphasizes that the offering is not a subscription service. After a customer receives her first Bento, she can re-order — or not — as often as she likes.

Tom Havron with Newmark Knight Frank led leasing efforts for M.M.LaFleur’s street level retail space at Post Oak on behalf of Parkway Property Investments.

“Post Oak Central provides our clients with a prime Post Oak Blvd. location near The Galleria with easy access and parking,” said Katie Twidwell, senior director of retail operations and experience, M.M.LaFleur “The gallery-like space is a perfect backdrop for our collection, allowing us to expand our inventory beyond the pop up and also providing us the capability to host in-store events.”

Post Oak Central, which is LEED-Gold certified, was designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson. Encompassing three, 24-story Class A office towers totaling 1.2 million sq. ft., the 17-acre complex features one of Uptown’s largest green spaces in addition to one of the area’s highest walk scores.

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