I have heard over and over again that Houston does not have what it takes to compete with cities like New York and L.A. We don’t have a place where all fashion minded people can go and display their work and showcase their talents. Well, guess what? Houston, we have style, and Houston, we have SPACE, the Showroom. The Houston SPACE Showroom is a beautiful 1,200 square foot showroom on Fannin Drive that showcases the talent of many designers and artists in Houston. The brainchild of Jerry Mathis and James Kelso, SPACE was founded in January of 2016, and the name has great significance because they wanted to create a space for brands to sell their products and exhibit their talents.
Launching Into the Houston SPACE
This multi-line showroom represents bridge and better contemporary brands and utilizes its industry resources to provide increased visibility and further evolve emerging design talent. The bare white walls and concrete floor are the perfect white canvas to show off the articles of clothing that are displayed in this Houston SPACE.
SPACE came into existence because Houston is one of the world’s fastest growing metropolis’, and this didn’t exist in the city. Dream team Jerry Mathis and James Kelso wanted to streamline the buying process for local retailers by bringing new ideas and visions closer to their target markets.
This particular Houston SPACE is not just a four wall dwelling. It is a full-service showroom that offers sales representation, marketing assistance, production coordination, and tradeshow representation. Stylists and bloggers are invited to tour the showroom to pull looks for media and approved clientele.
The SPACE Dream Team
Jerry Mathis, co-owner of the Houston SPACE Showroom, has an extensive background in the fashion industry, but that is not how he got started. Jerry began his college career as a pre-med psychology major, and then he learned about the careers you could have in fashion.
Growing up in Houston, Jerry loved fashion, but he didn’t think you could earn a living at it, so he considered it a hobby.
I loved getting dressed and shopping. I would also go shopping with my grandmother. We stayed in the mall. We would always go to Almeda Mall and browse the department stores. She would always buy me something.
Jerry changed his major and earned his B.S. in Family Consumer Science with a minor in Fashion Retailing and Merchandising from Lamar University and studied Fashion Merchandising and Communications at The Paris American Academy in Paris, France.
His wealth of experience in the fashion industry includes working for brands such as Tory Burch, Macy’s, Express, Forever 21, Talbots, and Abercrombie and Fitch just to name a few. He has also worked in many different facets of the industry, from PR to Creative Direction.
James Kelso, the other half of this dynamic duo, grew up in New Orleans and was surrounded by art, music, history, food and culture. Kelso developed a passion and appreciation for quality and craftsmanship in fashion and for looking his very best from when he was a child from his mother and his grandmother, who bought him new clothes often.
Attending art based schools while growing up in New Orleans, allowed his creativity to flourish, along with his realization that fashion is also art. At the age of 18, James moved to Houston and began his first job as a keyholder at Buckle.
This first job in retail turned into years of fashion industry experience; leading top volume stores for major leading brands such as Guess, Express, Gap, and Club Monaco. James spent over nine years in the retail industry, where he has done everything from merchandising, hiring and training personnel to event production. He has also worked with top PR companies in LA, and he still helps put on fashion events during Fashion Week LA.
The Future of SPACE
James admits he would love SPACE to become to Houston what Motown became to Detroit.
Motown started in Detroit which was not known for its music, nor the place where musicians went to become famous. They took little known local talent and made them stars. They made their market then took from the larger markets of the music industry and became a destination.
And, Jerry’s vision for SPACE?
I want Space Showroom to be the premier destination for buyers to gain newness for their stores. As a multi-line showroom, I want to represent a blend of brands from all over the world. To house different product categories, such as home, beauty, along with apparel and accessories. I want us to expand to other markets in the US and abroad to places that do not already have showrooms but have a tremendous design talent or many retail establishments.
Before you go to visit this Houston SPACE, make sure to make an appointment and get ready to have a new experience, and see that Houston, we have style.