Quantcast
Photo courtesy of Sabal

Growing up in Dallas, where she spent summers at the University Park Elementary School pool, Hartley Lynn basically lived in a swimsuit. As she grew older, she continued spending summers in the sun and in the pool, but she could never find well-fitting swimsuits that made her feel confident, fun, and feminine.

So Lynn, now 31, a Highland Park High School and TCU graduate, took it upon herself to create form-flattering swimwear for women like her. Her new brand, SABAL, launched August 22 and is aimed at women with smaller chests, from AA to C cups.

SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces. The company also sells swim cover-ups, scrunchies, hair clips, sunscreen, and sheet masks. Prices range from $30 to $98.

As a self-proclaimed member of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” Lynn wanted to design swimsuits that wouldn’t “fake it” but simply enhance what she had without lumpy padding or inserts. Lynn says she shopped everywhere looking for the perfect fit and found a gap in the market for swimwear designed for small-chested women. There were so many brands for full busts, but none for the opposite side of the spectrum.

“I just never found bikinis that were made for me,” she says. “They were either too big, awkwardly fitting, too much padding, or just straight up unflattering.”

Before starting SABAL, Lynn considered “going under the knife” to enhance her bust, she says, but she decided she didn’t want to alter her natural body. She simply wanted swimsuits that would make her feel good about herself.

SABAL uses custom, waterproof silicone inserts to create a pushup feel without acting like a typical pushup top. Most pushups that swimsuits lose shape or become lumpy when they leave the water, but SABAL swimsuits are specially designed to retain their shape and feel in and out of the water, Lynn says.

“I really just want our customers to feel comfortable in their own skin,” Lynn says. “If [SABAL] can help any one person feel that way, then I will feel great at night going to bed.”

As for the brand’s name, Lynn says she named the line after the “small but mighty” Sabal palm tree. The first plant she and her husband planted in their Dallas home was a Sabal palm because she wanted a constant reminder of her happy place, the beach. When creating SABAL, she wanted the brand to remind customers of a happy, warm and sunny place.

Lynn says the company planned to launch at the beginning of the summer, not at the end, but she wanted to make sure she perfected the brand before launching. But she feels confident despite the late summer launch. The designer says she has already seen repeat customers in the first week of business and feels encouraged by the sales so far.

In the future, SABAL may branch into women’s active wear and lingerie, Lynn says. For now, the swimwear line is available online only, but Lynn hopes to eventually get the brand into local stores.

Bikinis in blue and "tropical punch" print.

Photo courtesy of Sabal
Bikinis in blue and "tropical punch" print.
Photo courtesy of Monica Millington

Dallas-Fort Worth designer serves up new sustainable loungewear inspired by Juicy Couture

Sette-ing new standards

North Texas designer Monica Millington is launching a new loungewear brand that, she hopes, will provide an ethical alternative to fast fashion while playing on millennial nostalgia. Called Sette, it's a line of sustainable, unisex loungewear officially launching online Saturday, August 27.

The brand consists of two collections: the Sweat Sette Collection (a bamboo-cotton blend crewneck pullover, sweatpant, tee, shorts, and socks) and The Towel Boy capsule collection (cabana shirt, tee, bralette, two styles of shorts, and a jogger made of Turkish toweling fabric).

Millington, 31, a Highland Park High School and Baylor University graduate, says she wanted to create a brand for current audiences that was also timeless.

“[Sette] is for someone who is looking to do great things with their life and wanna look fabulous doing it,” Millington says.

She was inspired by the wildly popular Juicy Couture sweatpants and track suits of the early 2000s, she says, which have been making a comeback. She fondly kept her own Juicy tracksuit for 15 years before it frayed apart, and now she wants to appeal to that millennial nostalgia — something wearers could “throw on and live in” and feel proud to keep in their wardrobe for a long time, she says.

Sette's pieces are casual, sporty, and comfortable, and designed to mix and match and dress up or down.

They're high quality, but also affordable, ranging from just $30 to $150.

Millington dreamed up the loungewear line during the pandemic when she, like most people, lived in loungewear daily. But she was disheartened and frustrated by the number of big brands making “crappy” clothes without sustainability in mind. She could spend more than $100 on a pair of sweatpants at a store like Zara, she says, but those sweats wouldn’t last more than a few washes without pilling or falling apart.

Splurging to spend hundreds on a pair of designer sweatpants wasn’t a good alternative because she would be afraid to spill something like spaghetti sauce on them.

“I was looking at this huge gap, thinking, ‘It’s not that hard to create something like this that’s at a reasonable price point, that’s made ethically, that’s made well, that’s made with eco-friendly materials. Why is no one else really doing this well?’” Millington says.

Sette will create garments in limited quantities with a mission to create fewer, better clothes. Each Sette garment is made from 70 percent bamboo and 30 percent cotton. Millington says she uses primarily bamboo because it’s a low-impact resource that is easy to grow and harvest ethically. When bamboo is used to make clothing, it gets softer with age without weakening — meaning it’s perfect for clothing meant to last a long time.

For each garment bought, a tree will be planted in Indonesia through the brand’s partnership with One Tree Planted, an environmental nonprofit that plants trees around the world.

As for the name, "Sette" is Italian for seven, which is Millington's lucky number, and Italy is her favorite place to vacation. Plus, the idea of the brand is that everything is part of a mix-and-matching set. The word also evokes the brand's tennis motif.

Sette loungewear is not the designer’s first foray into the fashion industry. In 2020, she launched Tropick, a men’s performance wear that got her noticed in the fashion world. Shortly after debuting Tropick, she was cast on The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition on Netflix. She was a finalist on the show, which gave her the traction to launch Sette, a brand more personal to her.

Millington now lives in Singapore with her husband, but she returned to her hometown to launch Sette at a private Dallas event on August 24. On August 27, the line will become available online only, but Millington hopes to do some Dallas-Fort Worth pop-up events and to get the brand into local stores soon; watch for updates on Instagram.

Sette is a new loungewear brand from North Texas native Monica Millington.

Photo courtesy of Monica Millington
Sette is a new loungewear brand from North Texas native Monica Millington.
Macy's

Macy's debuts a special free-standing Backstage store in Grapevine

Shopping News

Grapevine stand by, you're in for some shopping: A Macy's Backstage store is opening at Grapevine Mills, featuring trendy clothes at a discount price. According to a release, it'll open May 14.

The off-price, on-trend concept sells quality brands for fashion-loving customers with constantly changing merchandise.

Macy's Backstage at Grapevine Mills is at 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy., #127, spanning more than 22,000 square feet. It's a free-standing store (versus inside a mall), featuring an elevated open environment where all merchandise is easily accessible on the floor.

That merchandise includes:

  • apparel for women, men, and children
  • wide range of toys
  • housewares
  • beauty products
  • designer handbags
  • activewear
  • gifts
  • pet supplies

Macy's VP of off-price Michael Hersh says in a statement that they're thrilled to be opening a third DFW area store, stating that "Macy's Backstage continues to accelerate the expansion of its off-price concept to locations nationwide."

Backstage has expanded to nearly 300 Macy's stores nationwide, including six store-within-store locations and two free-standing locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, allowing customers to shop both Macy’s full-line and off-price merchandise offerings in one trip.

It's part of a "small format" expansion that Macy's initiated in 2021, when it opened two free-standing Backstage locations at The Village at Allen and The Centre at Preston Ridge.

Macy's also debuted three Market by Macy's, a smaller-format retail store with a smaller assortment of merchandise, also in an open environment, in Dallas-Fort Worth including Southlake, WestBend, and the Highlands of Flower Mound.

Athleta/Pinterest

Texas gymnastics hero Simone Biles unveils new clothing line full of girl power

G.O.A.T. GEAR

One of the biggest sports superstars on the planet has unveiled a new clothing line aimed at nurturing future stars: Simone Biles' new collaboration with sportswear brand Athleta, called Athleta Girls x Simone Biles, was released April 19.

Biles, 25, the most decorated gymnast in history, announced the launch on social media. “It’s finally happening,” Biles posted on Instagram, informing her 6.9 million followers that the limited-edition line was available. She co-created the series, which shoppers can add to their carts here.

The line consists of stylish athleisure aimed at girls aged 6 to 12, with streamlined tees, hooded sweatshirts, reversible vests, and more, plus bike shorts and Capri pants and outerwear and accessories. The vivid items are designed with a spring and summer vibe.

But more than simply creating a perfect fit for an active life, the Biles/Athleta line aims to boost girls’ self confidence. Each article of clothing comes with a hidden message from the GOAT herself.

Biles noted to People that these hidden passages are “little love notes” that she tells herself each day, such as “you can do it,” “the floor is yours,” and “no dream is too small or too big.”

“I think [the messages] should be a daily reminder so if [wearers] ever feel down or are feeling like they can't do something,” she added, “they just look in whatever piece of clothing they’re wearing and they find that love note.”

The new collection comes on the heels of a whirlwind year that included a touring gymnastics show (presented by Athleta) and getting engaged to boyfriend Jonathan Owens.

Recently, Biles hinted at a competitive gymnastics comeback, teasing to The Today Show, “I might push it a little bit more to see.”

Worthy Books

Millionaire Texas jewelry maven Kendra Scott writes next chapter with dazzling memoir

Turning the page

She launched a jewelry company now valued at $1 billion. She received the national EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017. Two years later, she was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. And she’s been a guest “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank. And just last week, she released a bridal capsule collection in collaboration with a popular blogger.

Kendra Scott, founder of the Austin-based jewelry company that bears her name, reigns as a Texas and American success story. Now, she’s telling her story in her first memoir, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love.

The memoir, published by the Worthy Books division of Hachette Book Group, is scheduled to be released September 20. It can be preordered now.

“With a voice that’s vulnerable, wise, funny, and poignant, Kendra takes us on a journey of personal stories and tough life lessons, from her humble beginnings as a bullied middle-schooler in small-town Wisconsin, to launching a business in her spare bedroom with $500, to the devastating accident that turned her world on its axis,” Worthy Books says in a news release promoting the book.

“Through the ups and downs, her struggles and triumphs, Kendra builds a life — and a career — grounded in joy, kindness, purpose, and doing good, a life she desires for every reader,” the release continues.

Scott began creating jewelry in a spare bedroom at her Austin home in 2002. Fourteen years later, the Kendra Scott brand operates more than 115 stores across the country, including two in San Antonio, and rings up annual sales in the neighborhood of $360 million.

In 2017, Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners invested an undisclosed amount in the Kendra Scott brand. The deal valued the company at $1 billion.

In February 2021, the company announced Scott would step down as CEO of the brand but stay aboard as executive chairwoman and chief creative officer. Forbes last year estimated Scott’s net worth at $800 million.

Today, Scott is a professor of practice at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas. She also serves on the boards of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“Kendra Scott is a generous philanthropist, an unwavering optimist, a devoted daughter, and a mother with a squad of strong female friendships. Her entrepreneurial spirit developed at an early age and her path to success is unique, intriguing, and certainly not an easy one,” the Worthy Books news release says. “In 20 years, she has catapulted her eponymous jewelry line, which started as a hobby in her home, into a mega-popular business that has garnered a loyal following of clientele across the globe.”

Texas retailer Neiman Marcus takes steps for its future fur-free world

Faux Fur News

Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group is standing by its commitment to go fur-free with an innovative new approach to get rid of the old fur and bring in the new (faux) fur.

Working with the Humane Society of the United States, the company adopted a new Animal Welfare Policy in June 2021, with a goal to eliminate fur products at all NMG brands, including Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, by March 2023.

To date, fur inventory levels across NMG have been reduced by more than half, and the company plans to continue reducing throughout the next year.

To educate clients on fur alternatives, NMG has begun to introduce several new sustainable and ethical product alternatives to satisfy the tastes of their luxury customers.

CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck says in a statement that NMG is embracing its role as a leader in luxury retail to build a better future. Cool!

"It is clear the future is fur-free, and that includes the ultra-luxury space," van Raemdonck says. "Since our announcement, we've seen many of our brand partners join this movement, further assisting our efforts to implement this much-needed change and create a more sustainable future for fashion."

Their program involves two steps: introducing new sustainable alternatives, and making a plan for how fur salons will evolve.

Sustainable, ethical alternatives
The company is launching new programs at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, featuring products made with sustainable materials, including bio-based vegan leathers such as Prota Fiori, a Certified B Corp founded by Jennifer Stucko who has pioneered the use of apple leather in women's footwear made in Italy.

"We are bringing our brand partners and customers along with us and sharing educational resources every step of the way," says Chief Merchandising Office Lana Todorovich. "We have several brand partners who are leaders in this space. And for some of our brand partners, they are just beginning their journey."

NMG has partnered with The Humane Society and Textile Exchange to encourage reputable training for brand partners.

"We will continue to sell products approved by The Humane Society, made from synthetic, faux fur materials, and traditional animal fabrics like cashmere, leather, shearling, mohair, down, wool, and silk," said Todorovich. "We will also continue to monitor animal welfare concerns associated with these materials and work with brand partners to promote best practices related to their sourcing, production, processing, re-use, and innovation over time, including through our Sustainability Edits that feature products with certified materials and other preferred product attributes for consumers."

NMG's Animal Welfare Policy and the launch of its brands' new sustainable product edits will help the company meet its goal to increase revenue from the sale of sustainable and ethical products by 2025.

Transitioning fur salons
Existing fur salons at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores will be converted into spaces customized for modern luxury experiences. Over time, the salons will be converted into spaces featuring alterations, personalization, dining, and other experiential customer moments.

"We intend to continue offering customers access to fur services, including storage, alterations, and repairs," said Demuth. "Our experts are trained on caring for, maintaining, and altering existing fur products, lowering the demand for new ones while driving progress toward our ESG goal to extend the useful life of 1,000,000 luxury items through circular services by 2025."

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Fort Worth's TCU celebrates milestone the best way: with special-edition wine

Vino News

Texas Christian University is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the unprecedented release of two special-edition wines, made by a California winery with a TCU connection.

According to a release, Saarloos + Sons winery in California’s Santa Ynez Valley has created a cabernet sauvignon and a sauvignon blanc to commemorate the university’s sesquicentennial.

The winery is operated by the Saarloos family, a fourth-generation business run by Keith Saarloos — brother of Kirk Saarloos, the head baseball coach at TCU.

"TCU supports my brother, and our family loves this school so much that I immediately said, 'Let's do it,' when we were asked," Keith says.

Keeping with family tradition, Keith's daughter Brielle will attend TCU in the fall.

Normally, Saarloos wine is sold only at the winery, located in Los Olivos, California, or else direct. But they're making an exception for the TCU 150, which will be available in limited quantities at the TCU Campus Store by spring.

“Every one of our wines is an estate wine, which means we grow the grapes, we pick them and we bottle the wine,” Keith says.

Food writer June Naylor Harris, herself a ’79 TCU graduate, provided tasting notes on the two wines, as follows:

Sauvignon blanc: A medium-bodied wine with smooth balance of mineral and acidic tones, softened with notes of stone fruit, honeydew, and fresh herbs. Pair with soft cheese such as goat, feta, and green peppercorn brie, with grapes and granny smith apples, smoked salmon, salty nuts, Thai-spiced shrimp, and herb-grilled chicken.

Cabernet sauvignon: Rich and bold with moderate acidity, dark fruit tones, earthy notes, and a hint of spice and herbs at the finish, with tannins and structure throughout. Pair with spice-rubbed beef tenderloin, lamb skewers with rosemary-blackberry glaze, venison, elk, charcuterie boards with hard cheese, cured meats, & berries, and dark chocolate truffles.

The labels were created by TCU partners using a gold anniversary crest, reserved for limited use. The back of the bottle includes the primary 150th mark in addition to details about the wine.

The sauvignon is $69, and the cabernet is $119. They'll be available at the Campus Store in late February, in limited quantities.

TCU creative director Kris Copeland calls it "a really special year," stating, "not only do we get to create materials that celebrate 150 years of our history, but we're also creating the artifacts that future generations of Horned Frogs will look back on."

New ways to work out — including in a movie theater — abound in Dallas-Fort Worth this February

Fit Feb

Raise your hand if you're still going strong with that resolution to work out more or improve your health. Now raise your hand if you believe every day is a new start, and February is as good a month as any to start a new good-for-you habit.

There are lots of new fitness and wellness studios proving the February theory, with openings galore.

Read on to get caught up on where you should be visiting next, then make note of the fun classes, races, and events happening around Dallas-Fort Worth this month.

EōS Fitness, which recently became headquartered in Dallas, is opening its first Texas location, in Euless at 2401 Rio Grande Blvd.

Memberships start at only $9.99 a month, and include start-of-the-art equipment, group fitness and cycle classes, an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, a Kids Club, and the unique MOVEoS Cinema, where members can work out while watching a big-screen movie in a theater-like setting.

SweatHouz — which already has locations in Plano, West Village, and Watters Creek — has opened another infrared sauna studio in Preston Royal, at 5959 Royal Ln. It boasts eight private sauna suites and offers cold plunge, hydromassage, and Celluma red light therapies.

Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy has opened two new locations, in McKinney (1620 N. Hardin Blvd.) and Richardson (212 Campbell Rd.).

Restore provides whole body and localized cryotherapy, IV drip therapy, stretch therapy, Cryoskin facials, mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, infrared sauna, red and near infrared light therapy, compression therapy, and micronutrient testing.

Dallas Yoga Center has a new home above Gloria's Latin Cuisine at 4140 Lemmon Ave. There are more than 40 classes per week in-person and digitally, with private yoga lessons also available. Single classes, 10-class packs, and monthly memberships that include the wellness immersive experience range from $25 a class to $120 a month.

Fashion brand LoveShackFancy has teamed up with wellness brand BelliWelli to launch a probiotic chocolate chip cookie snack that's free with all purchases at LoveShackFancy stores. The snack bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-sugar, and were designed to help those with IBS improve their gut health.

And now for classes and events. Mark your calendars for:

Stage West First Tuesday, February 7
Yes, this is put on by a theater company, but who better to help you tap into your emotions and leave feeling great? Tune Your Heart with Sound Healing, lead by Sara Southerland, will start at 6 pm and last approximately 90 minutes (the first 20 minutes include a complimentary drink and snacks from the bar).

Sara will then use her voice, crystal singing bowls, chimes, and drum to recharge and relax participants.Tickets are $20 each, with discounts for the theater's season ticket holders.

Hot Chocolate Run, February 11
A chocolate lover's oasis awaits following this 5K, 10K, and 15K, with fondue, dippables, and hot chocolate. Those 21 and up can add one free shot of RumChata, peanut butter whiskey, or Irish cream, if they so choose (be sure to bring your ID!).

Love on the Run, February 18
Be one of the first 350 participants to complete this inaugural USATF-certified race that includes a 10K, and 5K run/walk. All fitness levels are welcome to this family-friendly event, which begins at Toyota Music Factory and benefits the Irving Schools Foundation.

Black Girl Magic Ride, February 20
Head to Grit Fitness in the Design District for these two 60-minute spin classes (6 pm and 6:45 pm), highlighting the studio's Black spin instructors and celebrating Black musical artists.

And be sure to come back on Saturday, February 25, for the Black Business Girl Boss Pop-Up Shop from 8 am-12 pm.

The Cowtown Marathon, February 24-26
See the sights in Fort Worth, from the Stockyards to the Museum District, TCU to Trinity Park, during this half-marathon, full marathon, ultramarathon, healthy HIG relay, kids 5K, adults 5K, and 10K. With so many choices, you're sure to find a race that's right for you.

'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams brings 2023 tour to Fort Worth with rock 'n' roll-icon guest artist

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena - and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping in Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical currently is on stage at Dallas' Music Hall at Fair Park (through February 5) and is coming to Fort Worth's Bass Hall, February 7-12.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.