turning the page
Texas fashion designer closes all stores, including Fort Worth shop
Fans of Elaine Turner learned on November 14 that the popular Texas designer was closing her final store. Turner posted a letter on Instagram saying that she and her husband, Jim, had decided to close the last remaining location, which was in Houston's CityCentre. Her Fort Worth store at The Shops at Clearfork, barely a year old, closed quietly in September.
“This letter is extremely emotional for us to write,” Turner explained. “As many of you know, we have been talking about transformation and adapting to the new era of retail but as more time as passed, we have come to the awareness and realization that the challenges before us are too great to overcome and call for a complete transformation of our current business model.”
CultureMap reported on some of those transformations back in July, including the company’s new Elaine Turner Edit Box, which delivers individually curated head-to-toe fashions direct to customers’ doorsteps. Concurrent to the box’s launch, Turner decided to close all but three of her brick-and-mortar stores in cities across Texas.
In July, a company spokesperson confirmed that the Fort Worth store was the only one remaining open in Dallas-Fort Worth. It opened at the Shops at Clearfork in September 2017.
"Elaine Turner closed late September, and Climate has temporarily taken over the space to sell ski apparel and accessories," a Shops at Clearfork spokeswoman said November 16.
Judging by Turner’s Instagram note, the company plans to re-launch and re-brand itself as a fully online company. “We want to create a more content driven, digital platform that focuses on educating and empowering women,” Turner wrote.
Indeed, that concept has always been the foundation of Turner’s company. Influenced from an early age by her travels to the Mediterranean and the effortless beauty she saw in women there — including her own mother’s sense of chic, accessorizing with oversize hats and sunglasses – she not only internalized the message that every woman can be beautiful, but realized she wanted to help others see beauty in themselves.
The Texas native founded her eponymous company with her husband in 2000, and rapidly became known for updating classic styles with modern touches. “Houston’s handbag queen” became just as well-known for her infectious laugh as for her clutch purses with bamboo and cork details.
The Turners parlayed their business success into helping causes they felt were important. In 2015, the pair helped launch Autism Rescue Angels, in honor of their daughter Marlie. The organization is dedicated to helping families with the financial burden of raising a child diagnosed with autism.
“We loved our stores and feel grateful we had the opportunity to build them,” Turner’s note continued. “Yes, they were beautiful, but most importantly they were sacred. They gave us the opportunity to manifest our brand’s highest purpose and vision – using our fashion platform to change lives and make a difference.”
The last day of operations at the Houston CityCentre location will be December 10.
Here is her full Instagram note.
Turner thanked her customers for their patronage and encouraged supporters and friends to visit the CityCentre store in the next few weeks to say goodbye, promising great deals on handbags, accessories, and clothing.