The Sole of Ghana
Race Street is the city’s up-and-coming hot spot for artists and entrepreneurs, with more shops and studios opening every day. Recently, the neighborhood welcomed the flagship brick-and-mortar for Kwame Baah footwear. Fort Worth engineer George Kwame Baah launched the line of fashion-forward men’s and women’s sandals as a way of helping the talented and hard-working people of his home country of Ghana by creating jobs and infrastructure. He also donates a portion of profits to local charities throughout Fort Worth. Business boomed through online sales and pop-up shops, so Baah and his wife, Heidi, decided to open a store to bring their shoes — and their philanthropic mission — to a wider audience. This charming spot hosts the entire Baah line, from strappy gladiators to slip-on leather loafers, along with giftables from Ghana, ranging from colorful beaded jewelry and fabric purses and pouches to hand-carved serving pieces, and a wide selection of elegant twine-wrapped orchids and other petite plants from Kokedama by Cannon and Co. Shoe prices range from $59.99 to $92.99. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2907 Race St., Fort Worth, 817-568-1997; www.kwamebaah.com.
Siding with the Groom
Sometimes when you want something to be a certain way, you have to do it yourself. And that’s just what three friends did when they founded the Bedford-based men’s hair-care company 18.21 Man Made. Since launching last May, 18.21 Man Made’s products can be found in nearly 1,500 salons across the country, and this month, its first fragrance debuts, Sweet Tobacco Spirits.
“We feel like we’ve elevated grooming products for guys,” says Aston LaFon, who co-founded the company with brothers Angel and David del Solar. The debut collection consists of a hair and body wash, plus three types of styling creams.
“It’s a cool time for men right now, because there don’t seem to be any rules for style — everyone can wear his own thing and own it,” LaFon says. “That’s why it was important for us to create a range of products that was so versatile.”
It all started when LaFon and the del Solars saw a void in the market. They were working as luxury women’s hair-care product distributors when they noticed that men often were being offered women’s styling products. Then, they discovered that some high-end salon owners were privately mixing up their own men’s products to offer to customers. It seemed to them to be a bit like Prohibition, where speak-easies operating by word-of-mouth bypassed the status quo to give customers what they craved. Within that analogy, the trio found their inspiration. “We thought, ‘Let’s bootleg our own stuff,’” LaFon says. And 18.21 Man Made was born.
The name is a play on the 18th and 21st amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which enacted and then repealed Prohibition, and a 1930s-era aesthetic touches all corners of the brand, from packaging designs that incorporate the shape of a vintage whiskey flask to the sepia tone of the website design and the company motto, “Don’t take any wooden nickels,” adopted from the Depression-era reminder to be wise in business dealings. All formulation and manufacturing have been handled locally.
Perhaps the most distinctive element about the line is the fragrance. The signature aroma, called Sweet Tobacco, is a custom blend of 40 essential oils, and LaFon explains that its complexity is part of the reason that the line took a year and a half to create. But sales are increasing every day, and LaFon says he’s even hearing reports that a new type of customer is falling in love with the products, especially the hair and body wash. “It’s women,” he reveals. “They’re stealing it from their husbands in the shower.”
For more information about 18.21 Man Made and to find a salon that carries the products, go to www.1821ManMade.com; hair-care products retail for $24 each and Sweet Tobacco Spirits cologne for $80 (100-milliliter bottle).
Jimmy Choo MAN launches
Women have long swooned over all things Jimmy Choo, and now there’s something for men to covet, too. The British luxury label has launched Jimmy Choo MAN, a crisp, vibrant fragrance that blends citrus notes with a subtle fruit sweetness, calming lavender, a touch of patchouli and base notes of amber-based wood. It’s all contained in a bold, smoky glass bottle inspired by an antique flask. Available in two sizes of eau de toilette, $62 for 1.7 ounces and $82 for 3.3 ounces, at Macy’s, Dillard’s and Sephora.
Tiffany Salutes the New York Minute
Anyone familiar with Tiffany & Co.’s New York City flagship knows that the entrance boasts a 9-foot Atlas clock that marks minutes for the hustle and bustle of shoppers along Fifth Avenue. Founder Charles Lewis Tiffany unveiled the spectacular timepiece in 1853 as a tribute to the city’s legendary 60 seconds of excitement, the New York Minute. Such was his commitment to quality and customer service that, when standard time was adopted in 1883, he offered weekly regulation for the 400-plus clocks that had come from his company. Time remains of the essence at today’s Tiffany & Co., as exemplified by the CT60, a dynamic new chronograph collection for men and women launched this month. Inspired by a gold Tiffany & Co. watch given to President Franklin D. Roosevelt near the close of World War II, the CT60 incorporates Swiss movements in three distinctive styles: stainless steel with blue finishing and silver numerals; 18-karat rose gold with gold numerals and diamond bezel; and an 18-karat rose gold calendar watch with a sapphire crystal and a 42-hour power reserve that is available in a limited edition of 60. Also launching is the East West collection which takes time in a new direction — literally. The CT60 collection starts at $4,250; The East West collection starts at $3,500. Both are available in Dallas at Tiffany & Co., 330 NorthPark Center, 214-378-9800; and 13350 Dallas Parkway, 972-458-2800, www.tiffany.com.
Phantom of the Ivories
What to do when you can’t call up a Cliburn artist to entertain at your next dinner party? Invest in the next best thing, an old-fashioned player piano. Except, there’s nothing old-fashioned about Steinway & Sons’ high-tech Spirio player piano system. Available in three existing Steinway piano models (music room grand, medium grand and living room grand), the Spirio uses a combination of new technological advancements to produce high-resolution playback that, the company says, “captures the true essence, nuance and soulfulness of a live performance.” Each piano comes with a complimentary iPad to wirelessly connect for control of the playlist, volume and intensity. A catalog of more than 1,700 works recorded by Steinway artists is available through the Spirio app, and as new music files become available, they are automatically added to the listings. Prices range from $84,000 to $116,000, depending on model. Steinway Hall, 3717 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-665-1853, www.steinwayspirio.com.
Cliburn for Kids
While the rest of us are aging, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is getting younger. The Cliburn, the foundation that presents that famous quadrennial battle of highly talented ivory pounders and also one for amateur pianists, will add another competition to its roster when it presents the first Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival on June 21-28 at PepsiCo Hall and Ed Landreth Auditorium at TCU.
“We want to scout them when they are young and let them get to know the Cliburn and love Fort Worth,” says Cliburn president and CEO Jacques Marquis. The competition will feature 24 pianists between the ages of 13 and 18; most are far along in their studies at elite music conservatories. And about half of them will come from outside the U.S. to compete. But Marquis stresses that the approach and goals of this junior competition will be different because the event, which attracted 160 applications from 26 countries, is not intended to launch careers, as is the case with the original Cliburn competition. “The junior thing has to be a learning experience. That’s why we call it a competition and festival, because it will have a lot of occasion to learn. There will be seminars and master classes. They will learn from each other, they will play with each other and they will talk to each other.”
The pianists will compete through four rounds for cash prizes and scholarship money; three finalists will get to perform with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are free for the June 21-22 preliminary round, $10 for the June 23-24 quarterfinal round, $20 for the June 25-26 semifinals and $40 for the June 28 final round. For more information, visit www.cliburn.org or call 817-738-6536.
‘Curly Top’ Treasure Trove
In the early days of Hollywood, few people gave any thought to the value of movie memorabilia. A star would wear a costume or wield a prop and once the scene was done, that item would be put away and forgotten. But this was not the case with Shirley Temple, the adorable child star and Depression Era box-office heavyweight. Temple’s mom, Gertrude, took pains to preserve everything from little Curly Top’s career: costumes, props, celebrity gifts, dolls and letters. Temple, who died last year at age 85, wanted to share these amazing pieces with her fans. And now it’s happening. The hundreds of items that make up a traveling exhibit aptly titled “Love, Shirley Temple” will be on display June 20-27 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. The collection includes Temple’s most recognizable movie outfits, including the iconic red polka-dot dress from her breakout film, 1934’s Stand Up and Cheer, and a vast stockpile of personal treasures, from favorite dolls to signed letters and photos from such luminaries as President Roosevelt, Irving Berlin, Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles. The exhibition also includes paintings and illustrations done for her by famed artists, animators and cartoonists of the period. Admission is free; 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth, www.fwcac.com.
Splash into Summer
If your vacation plans don’t include a trip to a beach or water park, help the kids get their fill of the sand, slides and surf with these special summer events and attractions sure to make a splash closer to home.
Slide the City: Happy birthday, Fort Worth! Celebrate the city with the Trinity River Authority at PantherFest, a one-day festival of all things local that will include craft beer, food, musical performances and a fireworks show. The festival’s big draw will be Slide the City, a 2,000-foot vinyl water slide made slick by water from the Trinity River (and returned afterward). Tickets to Slide the City have sold out, but volunteers who sign up to work a shift can receive a free pass. The festival is free. If you already purchased a ticket, be sure to line up to slide during your designated session. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. June 6. 817-698-0700; http://pantherfest.com.
Safari Splash: The Fort Worth Zoo recently opened the Safari Splash zero-depth water area. The 14,000-square-foot splash pad is the perfect way to cool off before or after a zoo visit. It features a water playground with climbing areas, slides, water cannons and a water dump tower. The water is shallow, but there is a designated toddler area with activities geared to the youngest visitors. Safari Splash is open seasonally during regular zoo hours. Tickets are $5 with zoo admission and $4 for members. (Age 2 and younger, free.) 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 817-759-7555; www.fortworthzoo.org.
Fantasy in Sand: Click your heels and head to Globe Life Park in Arlington for Fantasy in Sand. The experience features 16 scenes from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz carved in detail from 3 million pounds of sand. Follow the yellow brick road through the story as Dorothy meets her companions and visit a 20-foot-tall Emerald City. Visitors can also try their hand at building their own creations in a 2,000-square-foot sandbox. Parents can relax with a drink on the observation deck while the kids play. To combat the Texas heat, everything is under a giant air-conditioned tent in Parking Lot F. Through Aug. 23. Hours vary; open until 11 p.m. following Rangers games. $17-$21. 682-300-1837; http://fantasyinsand.com.
Aloha, Hawaiian Falls: Popular water park Hawaiian Falls in May opened its newest location in White Settlement. The venue is a combination adventure park and water park. The adventure park, which opened last fall, has a ropes course, climbing wall and indoor arcade. Water highlights include a wave pool, lazy river, floating obstacle course and slides. Most activities are kid-friendly and all allow anyone over 48 inches tall to participate. Season passes grant visitors access to all seven water parks and to adventure parks through Labor Day. Through Sept. 7. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; Fridays until 10 p.m. $20-$27. 8905 Clifford St., White Settlement, 817-591-1159; http://hfalls.com/whitesettlement.
A New Take on Timeless Design
In today’s age of flash fashion and designer hype, two men decided to build a brand that took a different approach to menswear — a brand that emphasized honest, classic design, quality materials and expert craftsmanship and construction to ensure a flattering fit that could stand the test of time. That brand became HonourMark, and co-founders Mike DeNunzio and Shaun Aharam have built a loyal following since launching last fall in San Francisco. Every piece, from the bestselling British Motorcycle Jacket ($945) to the indigo-dyed Italian denim jeans ($195), soft Japanese cotton knit short-sleeved shirt ($115) and other luxury basics, is designed in San Francisco and made in limited-edition batches either in the Bay Area or in Los Angeles. Up next: a capsule collection of Ventile all-weather canvas and leather bags and other travel accessories and a luxe leather jacket, just in time for the holidays. Find the line (and special savings for Father’s Day) at www.honourmark.com.
Bringing Fashion History Home
As the largest traveling couture runway show in the world, the Ebony magazine Fashion Fair is a legend, as is its founder, publishing visionary and style leader Eunice W. Johnson. On June 10, fashionistas will have a chance to own a piece of this fashion history as Chicago’s Leslie Hindman Auctioneers offers Treasures from the Ebony Fashion Fair, which includes more than 500 garments considered the “best of the best” of the collection. From dramatic runway gowns from Oscar de la Renta to several Yves Saint Laurent looks that had been included in the designer’s Petit Palais retrospective in 2010, there’s hardly a haute couturier missing from the list of available lots: Cardin, Dior, Lacroix, Halston, Ricci, Rabanne, Valentino, Westwood and more. View the complete collection at www.lesliehindman.com beginning June 5. First-time bidders must register online 24 hours in advance. On June 10, bid online via two bidding platforms, http://lhlive.lesliehindman.com and www.bidsquare.com.
Heading into History
Stetson turns 150 this year, and to celebrate the longevity of this classic brand, the historic Garland-based hatmaker has launched a capsule collection of anniversary-themed gear. There are hats, of course. Traditionalists will love the 150X Paragon Straw ($300), which features a hand-tooled leather band with a gold-accented silver buckle, while those going for a more modern look will want to doff the Kelvin ($90), made of a durable Milan braided straw. But there’s also much more, like cool graphic T-shirts ($30), men’s and women’s boots ($330-$450) and even a cotton throw printed with a vintage photograph from the John B. Stetson Co. archives ($300). Find the entire collection at www.stetson.com/150th-collection.
Coolers Just Got Cooler
When you have a full summer schedule of backyard barbecues and outdoor gatherings, the Igloo cooler can be a frequent and functional — albeit unattractive — part of the patio’s “party decor.” But a wrought-iron embellished wooden ice chest made by Fort Worth artisans Tom and Moonyean Burton will change all that. Calling their business Moonbeams, the “mom-and-pop team” build and paint customized wooden structures that cleverly conceal 48- or 70-quart Igloo coolers, making the task of keeping beverages cold on the pool deck a much more attractive proposition. “At first we were just making these as Christmas presents for friends and relatives,” Moonyean says. “But people went kind of crazy for them, and we got a little more serious about it.” Styles range from the most popular Texas Rustic (pictured) to Bluebonnets and Coastal Rustic, with each Moonbeam cooler handpainted and stained by the duo, then outfitted with convenient features like handles, a metal bottle opener and a faucet. Measuring 27 inches high, the 48-quart cooler easily doubles as a sturdy outdoor bench. The creators consider each piece a work of art and say custom designs are available upon request; send an email to Moonbeamsrustics@gmail.com. Other pieces include plant stands ($62.50) and bluebonnet birdhouses ($52.50). Average pricing is $250 for the 48-quart model and $330 for the 70-quart “husky”; available at Foreman’s General Store, 3801 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, 817-281-7252, and Cross-Eyed Moose, 2340 N. Main St., Fort Worth, 817-624-4311.
Preppies, Phone Home
From college campuses to country clubs, preppies of all ages consider colorful hand-stitched needlepoint belts from Smathers & Branson to be the finishing touch to any traditional ensemble. Now the Maryland-based accessories company has launched two new accessories, an iPhone case and a silver-plated money clip. The money clips ($85) come in 12 styles, ranging from bold American flags to a ship-shape striped anchor. The iPhone cases, sized for the 5s ($39.50) and 6s ($45), come in 16 whimsical styles — a dollar-bill motif on a black case, a yellow Lab on a navy case, a Texas flag on a navy case and the classic Jolly Roger on a black case (of course). Find these new designs and more from Smathers & Branson at The Squire Shop, 4516 Hartwood Drive, Fort Worth, 817-927-8722, www.thesquireshop.net.
The Hideaway Spa and Salon has opened at Bella Ranch in southwest Fort Worth. Owners Sandra and Jose Munoz have built a fabulous 6,000-square-foot retreat boasting nine treatment rooms to deliver a full range of services, including hair styling, lash extensions, laser hair removal, airbrush tanning, body wraps, manis/pedis, facials, massages and more. 12201 Bella Italia Drive, Fort Worth, 817-443-3890, www.hideawayspaandsalon.com.
Orvis celebrated its grand opening in Southlake’s Park Village shopping center at the end of May. This new location of the national outdoor retailer is loaded with men’s and women’s sportswear for fly-fishing, hunting, shooting and other outdoor pursuits, plus home goods and even dog gear to bring man’s best friend along for the adventure (dogs are welcome in the store, too). 1101 E Southlake Blvd., Suite 400, Southlake, 817-251-0262, www.orvis.com.
Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salon in downtown Fort Worth, which bills itself as the salon for the modern man, is offering a Father’s Day special that’s just right for gifting: Spend $100 on a gift card, get a $25 card for free. 150 Throckmorton St., Suite 116, Fort Worth, 817-912-5518, http://eighteeneight.com.
The Bridge Boutique has always been about balance — balancing comfort and style, maturity and modernity, fit and fabulousness — and now it’s changing to allow for work-life balance, too. This month, everything in the store is on sale, including new arrivals, with savings up to 80 percent. Starting in July, owner (and mom of two) Carolyn Wang will open only for appointments and for special events and sales. She has already scheduled exciting events for the summer, including trunk shows complete with style tips and refreshments. 9108 Camp Bowie W. Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-560-0011, www.thebridgeboutique.com.