At the top of every week, “My Top 5” highlights an enterprising Houston tastemaker who is shaping the city’s culture and character. This week we are delighted to present Vivian Wise, founder and CEO of the new Heart of Fashion event, who reveals her own Inner Loop favorites.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Vivian Wise
- Mucky Duck – I can’t live without owners Rusty and Teresa, who just celebrated 25 years of music! It’s such a special Houston gem because it’s a mom and pop, family-run operation that is steeped in Houston history and promotes live music in our city. It’s always a group of familiar faces that reminds you of Cheers, where everyone knows your name.
- Under the Volcano – This bar on Morningside and Bissonnet has the best frozen screwdrivers in Houston for the drinker and Kaliber Na Beer for the non-drinker. Volcano’s patio is on higher ground and has personally saved me from more than one flood. Plus you can always stay cool there with the fans and misters.
- Katia Boutique – Katia has some of the best curated fashion in town. Tell the owner, Denise, that you want to see the good stuff – the harder to find labels such as Plein Sud, L’Agence, Malene Birger, Skaist Taylor, Pam & Gela and Josef – because she keeps it in “the back.”
- Lankford Grocery – Lankford Grocery takes me back to part of my childhood in El Paso, where some of the best meals I have ever eaten came from unassuming “hole in the wall” types of places, like H&H Carwash. The best hamburgers ever I have ever eaten is from Lankford, but avoid looking at the floor!
- Traders Village – When you need anything from car tires to China and a side of nachos, this is the place to make a pit stop. I was blown away that one can get everything under the sun here, plus still hear live music! From the moment I walked in, I thought it was incredible.
About Vivian Wise
The colorful and fun-loving Vivian Wise is a staple in Houston’s fashion scene. In the fall of 2015 she’s debuting Heart of Fashion, a new three-night party and philanthropic event celebrating 12 fashion designers and their curated collections. Attendees will have immediate access to designs taken straight from the runways of Paris and New York, while supporting the works of Meals on Wheels, Legacy Community Health Services and the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF). Originally from El Paso, Texas, Wise grew up adoring her grandmother’s closet of couture, and valued her wise perspective. “My grandmother always told me, ‘Dress the way you want to feel.’” She graduated with honors from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she first operated her infamous Velvet Slipper shoe emporium concept, before relocating to Houston in 2001.