As we know, Austin must be kept weird, San Antonio must be kept lame, and Dallas must be kept pretentious. Now, web designer Vernon Caldera is trying to make “Keep Houston Rich” happen. Caldera (disclosure: a friend of Hair Balls) got the idea for his campaign when a friend came over in a “Keep Dallas Pretentious” T-shirt. He started turning over ideas for Houston and hit upon this one looking at photos of an opening at the Hotel ZaZa.
“You had all these very, very, very interesting characters,” he says. “You had doctors and plastic surgeons walking around with mannequins basically…There’s this huge stripper society that exists here in Houston.”
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Caldera’s quick to point out that the slogan can be interpreted many ways – in terms of the diversity of the city’s population and the treasure trove of arts organizations, for example. But it seems to us the slogan’s most important association is its obvious one: money. Caldera’s design for the “Keep Houston Rich” logo features an oil derrick and the dollar bill font.
There’s T-shirts, onesies, coffee cups and a host of other “Keep Houston Rich” loot available online here. Caldera’s talking to a couple of galleries about partnering to do higher-end, limited-edition shirts too.
The “Keep Houston Rich” Web site features some notable Houston-related YouTube moments, including footage of The Art Guys, Lynn Wyatt, Victoria Osteen and, um, the Press’s own superstar sink-hole reporter, Craig Malisow.
– Cathy Matusow