Central and Chic
New fashion and old favorites make for great shopping adventures along Old Metairie’s main vein.
Shoppers in New Orleans know there’s more than one fashion-friendly street that starts with the letter “M.” Located centrally in the metropolitan area, Metairie Road in Old Metairie presents a convenient alternative to some of the city’s other shopping districts while also maintaining its own unique charm and character. From clothing boutiques to jewelry stores and antiques, Metairie Road has a little of everything for the discerning sidewalk shopper.
Women’s fashion boutiques along Metairie Road are popular with locals from all over New Orleans, as well as visitors from out of town.
“Metairie Road is famous for its shopping,” says Kasey Brosset, owner of Mirabella (605 Metairie Road, Suite C, 828-3888, facebook.com/MirabellaShoes, (ShopMirabella.com coming soon)). “People are visiting even from Baton Rouge and looking for things they don’t have there.”
Mirabella is known for its selections of women’s shoes, accessories and handbags, and this fall Brosset will be adding clothing to Mirabella’s merchandise. “We’re bringing in affordable clothing,” says Brosset, “Contemporary dresses and tops to pair with our accessories and jewelry.” Mirabella features lines by Cynthia Vincent, Charles David and Rebecca Minkoff among others.
Located next door, Hemline (605 Metairie Road, 309-8778, ShopHemline.com) carries an array of designer clothing for every occasion.
“We have something for everyone,” says owner Lesley White. “From gowns and cocktail dresses to jeans, flip-flops and T-shirts – we stock some of our favorite designers and brands such as Free People, French Connection, Hudson, Nicole Miller and BCBG.”
Hemline has been in Old Metairie for five years and, according to White, the area has its own feel and style. Her customers are edgy yet casual, interpreting trends in their own way.
“We strive to bring them the best, offering exclusives and doing trunk shows,” says White.
Shoppers exploring the 600 block will also want to stop in at SNAP (617 Metairie Road, 849-9988, SNAPNewOrleans.com). Owner Jenny Carr describes SNAP as a “better contemporary women’s clothing store” that stocks top brands such as Haute Hippie, Missoni, Alice + Olivia and ALC.
“We’ve been on Metairie Road for nine years and love this neighborhood,” says Carr. “We’re close with customers and enjoy getting to know them and their personal styles.”
In addition to clothing and accessories, Carr offers a personal closet service for organizing and rearranging as well as completing one’s wardrobe.
Personal service is a recurring theme among Metairie Road boutiques and is no different at FeBe (474 Metairie Road, Suite 102, 835-5250, FeBeClothing.com).
“We have a loyal clientele,” says Ron Jones, Store Manager at FeBe. “Sometimes three generations of women will get their full wardrobes from us. People enjoy our help in styling and putting outfits together.”
FeBe is proud to offer designer collections such as Black Halo, David Meister, Tibi and Theory, whose Theyskens’ Theory line is only available in a handful of stores. This fall, FeBe will introduce Rachel Zoe shoes, handbags and apparel.
Elizabeth’s (204 Metairie Road, 833-3717) caters to the sophisticated shopper with chic taste and carries over 140 brands of women’s ready-to-wear (casual to cocktail) accessories, shoes and handbags. Additionally, Elizabeth’s offers alterations.
“We love classic styles,” says owner and buyer Sal Trentacoste, “as well as ‘classic with a twist’ – great fabrications that offer something unusual and different.” According to Trentacoste, Elizabeth’s vendors, such as Donald J Pliner and others, are more exclusive to specialty stores and won’t be found in a department store. This September, shoppers can look forward to a number of trunk shows.
Taking a “green” approach to designer fashion, Swap Boutique (115 Metairie Road, 339-5605, SwapBoutique.com) specializes in designer consignment and offers a current, contemporary selection of clothing, handbags and accessories. Owner Michelle Reinhardt calls the boutique “a haven for fashionable and budget-conscious women,” as each item is hand-selected for the discerning eye of Swap customers.
Shoppers on a budget can expect designer brands marked 50 to 70 percent off of the original retail price, and because of Swap’s unique sales model, additional markdowns occur as items remain in the store.
“Our great deals allow women who can’t necessarily afford the more exclusive brands a chance to build their wardrobe,” says Reinhardt.
Second Skin (701 Metairie Road, 322-2931) satisfies the need for intimate apparel in Old Metairie, stocking everything from bras and panties to pajamas, robes and shape wear.
“Everything is pretty and practical,” says owner Ericka Frey. “We do bra measuring and fit people for correct sizes and offer top quality brands – Chantelle, Wacoal, LeMystere and Cosabella, among others.” Other services include helping with lingerie and shower gifts for brides.
Having been open on Metairie Road for two years, Frey loves the combination of new and familiar faces she sees. “We’re a close-knit family in this area, and it’s nice knowing your neighbors and neighboring businesses.”
One of New Orleans’ largest providers of traditional children’s clothing calls Metairie Road home, inhabiting what was once a library at Atherton Drive and Metairie Road. Banbury Cross (100 Atherton Drive, 837-0447, BanburyCrossOnline.com), the creation of Peggy Roth, offers a large selection of head-to-toe children’s clothing both casual and dressy.
Portraits, weddings, communion and christenings are just a few of the occasions for which customers turn to Banbury Cross for clothing. Clothing ranges from infant to 16 in girls and infant to 12 in boys.
“We have back-to-school and holiday apparel in this month, so we’ve got a full house,” says Roth, who also stocks gifts, toys, shoes and other accessories.
Fine jewelry has had a presence in Old Metairie for decades at Boudreaux’s Jeweler’s (701 Metairie Road, 831-2772, BoudreauxsJewelers.com). Family-owned for 79 years, Boudreaux’s has had a location in Old Metairie since 1985.
“We maintain a lot of the finer brands in the industry today with a focus on engagement,” says Brian Boudreaux, President.
“Tacori, Verragio, Simon G, Jewels by Star are a few of our fine bridal lines, and we also have many of our own custom-made creations.” Boudreaux’s also deals in high fashion with sterling and 18-karat gold lines reasonably priced and great for gift giving.
Hiller Jewelry (923 Metairie Road, 837-8200, HillerJewelry.com) is in its fourth generation of specializing in custom jewelry design with the atmosphere of a personal jeweler.
“We do have featured designers that we carry, but our specialty is our custom designs,” says Lisa Biderman, great-granddaughter of founder Alphonse Hiller. With a comfortable, intimate showroom, Hiller ensures a personal shopping experience, an important aspect of the engagement ring or wedding band decision-making process. Those with their own ideas for the perfect band are invited to consult with Joe or Lisa Biderman.
In addition to sprucing up your wardrobe and jewelry collection, Metairie Road also has options for the home. At Dunleith Designs & Antiques (1537 Metairie Road, 272-0879, DunleithDesigns.com), high-quality antiques and decorative arts fill 3,000 square feet of space with history, craftsmanship and beauty. Additionally, owner Ken Rogers specializes in home design and is setting up an in-store design center.
“There aren’t a great deal of antique stores in Old Metairie, and customers have told us we’re needed here – it’s the same for design services,” says Rogers, who’s excited to introduce weathered stone as one the latest options for wall coverings, and which he has on display in the store. Stop in to see this new product and their new design center, as well as Dunleith’s extensive antique collection.