OOn a recent trip to the newly opened Reformation boutique in the mixed-use development of Montrose Collective, a group of shoppers were in awe of the store’s huge touchscreen. This allowed them to easily shop from the monitor.
It’s a perk they haven’t found on recent Reformation shopping trips to London, so it was an exciting find at their new Houston store.
That’s just one reason the eco-conscious California import is a favorite among those who appreciate Reformation’s take on fashion that’s modern, pretty and sustainable. Houston’s Reformation is the brand’s first store in Houston and its fifth in Texas. This is equivalent to New York in number of stores.
“We are excited to expand further into the growing Texas market following an excellent response from our Austin and Dallas communities,” said Hali Borenstein, CEO of Reformation. “Houston is a fast-growing city and one of our strongest e-commerce markets.”
New shop adventurers, take note. The shop is across a street from the Montrose Collective, so look for the sleek storefront with green and white checks to the front.
Once inside, the boutique is sunlight and cool breeze, nature and technology all rolled into one. Clothing collections are grouped by color and tone, making it easy to navigate. The racks feature one of every style on the sales floor, so when a shopper sees something they like, they can select items (in the color and size they want) to try on – and keep browsing for more. as items are loaded into their dressing room.
Sellers are also available to scan items and have them sent to one of six fitting rooms.
One wall houses the brand’s selection of Ref shoes, including the recent launch of fully-enclosed sneakers. In terms of consumption, they are designed, manufactured, used and handled to eliminate the concept of waste.
The sustainable design concept behind Reformation’s Montrose Collective store incorporates natural and recyclable materials, including durable dressing rugs, vintage furniture, eco-friendly fabrics, FSC-certified wood hangers and reusable corpse bins of animals. The store will also offset 100% of its electricity consumption with wind energy.
Reform and technological life
Reformation’s embrace of technology-driven retail began in 2017, maximizing the best of online and in-person shopping. The goal, says Borenstein, is to eliminate the shopping frustrations found in brick-and-mortar stores.
“With this model, we’re also able to stay smarter about in-store inventory and deliver what our customers want on a more localized level,” says Borenstein.
Much of Reformation’s offerings are ideal for Houston’s climate and stylistic sensibilities, but the Reformation team takes the localized approach a step further in the new Houston store, sourcing staple items from like skirts, shorts, mini dresses and sleeveless tops.
A full-length screen plays playful branded videos, showing models of all sizes wearing Reformation apparel. Sizing inclusiveness is another priority for the brand, with garments available in sizes extra small to 3X and small. The initiative was launched in 2017 and continues to evolve.
“Size diversity is important to us at Reformation,” says Borenstein. “We always want everyone to look their best in our clothes, regardless of shape or size. We have started rolling out a full range of styles to select Reformation stores and are focusing on raising awareness of in-store sizing availability to create consistency so shoppers know what to expect in the future.
The one Reformation style that needs no introduction is the much-loved (and imitated) Twilight dress. It is a universal favourite, flattering and ideal for multiple occasions. The Twilight Dress is made from Reformation’s Better Viscose, a breathable and rapidly renewable fiber sourced from sustainably managed forests for minimal environmental impact.
“The Twilight dress has been a huge hit with our customers,” says Borenstein. “It has a fitted bodice with a relaxed skirt, so you get both structure and comfort.
“We’ve started offering the silhouette in a range of colors and prints, including our rich Emerald colourway available from Ref Houston.”
For those with older Reformation pieces hanging in their closets, the store is honoring its RefRecycling program at the Montrose Collective location.
Bring in used Reformation items like shoes, jeans, sweaters and activewear and receive Ref credit towards future purchases. Shoppers receive $25 for old shoes, $15 for denim, and $10 for sweaters and sportswear.
Durably chic and technically savvy, Reformation’s Houston boutique attempts to set a new standard for the next wave of shopping. The best part? You don’t have to jump across the pond – or go to California – to experience it.