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Current Influences

Fashion and flare along Magazine Street

Monomin

Cheryl Gerber

Even the most unfamiliar of visitors to New Orleans know its iconic street names and what sights and sounds can be found lining each thoroughfare. From the art and antiques of Royal Street and the music of Bourbon and Frenchmen, to the oaks and mansions along St. Charles and Esplanade avenues, each offers its own treasures and discoveries for both discerning patrons and curious wanderers. Over the past few decades, Magazine Street has grown in fame for fashion and home furnishings. As its popularity has soared, so has the addition of other businesses, from restaurants and exercise studios to spas, business offices and art galleries. Visit a few storefronts, both old and new, and you’ll get not only a glimpse of a neighborhood but of the current trends, styles and designer aesthetics influencing our culture.

Stretching from Audubon Park all the way to the CBD, Magazine Street runs through many neighborhoods but remains a shopping mecca for much of its over file miles. On its westward end, near Audubon Park, Perlis has been a New Orleans staple for over 75 years with its Southern-style clothing.

“Our fashions are updated traditional for the most part, but, to be honest, our more modern and trimmer-fitting looks are really taking off for both men and women,” says President David W. Perlis. Some brands currently on the rise at Perlis are Ecru and Jude Connally for the ladies, and Southern Tide, Peter Millar and Bonobos for guys. In accessories, Perlis is finding that customers love Brantley Cecelia jewelry as well as men’s pocket squares and patterned socks.

“Spring is really our season,” says Perlis. “Whether dressing up or down, seersucker, linen, and lightweight cottons are big business for us in spring. Our signature crawfish collection is great for both festivals and gifts. Wedding attire is also a specialty of ours for men,” he says. In addition to their clothing sales, Perlis offers rentals in men’s formalwear.

A few blocks down is another Southern-inspired, Louisiana-centric clothing store that emerged quickly in the months and years following Hurricane Katrina.

“We create and sell products that we think most identify with the spirit of the city and the locals that call her home,” says Dirty Coast General Manager Jill Poole. “It’s our constant goal to curate awesome products that relate to our local following, as well as quality products – mainly T-shirts – that speak the true message of New Orleans for out-of-towners.”

Last month, Dirty Coast released its newest series, “Love, Louisiana,” which serves as an ode to the Pelican State and features some of its oldest and most prominent residents: the brown pelican, the magnolia and the Catahoula hound. Each design is available as both a framed print and T-shirt.

In addition to the series, Dirty Coast welcomes spring with a plethora of local culture-infused tank tops and T-shirts, koozies and go-cups for crawfish boils and Cocktail History and Bucket List Pocket Guides for wedding parties.

In 2014, Khoobehi & Associates set up a practice location on Magazine Street, just west of Napoleon Avenue. Focusing on advanced surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, New Orleans plastic surgeon Dr. Kamran Khoobehi and Dr. Jules Walters perform plastic and reconstructive surgery for the face, breast and body. Dr. Sophia Mai is a board-certified dermatologist focusing on all aspects of cosmetic dermatology including skin care, lasers, injectables and hair restoration.

“Our Uptown patients like that we offer convenient, off-street, free parking. They’re busy and want to come in, have their procedures and get out quickly looking fabulous,” says Dr. Khoobehi. Popular procedures at the Magazine Street location center around skincare, fillers, Botox and Coolsculpting – an FDA cleared non-surgical fat reduction treatment.

“We like to call them ‘lunchtime fixes’ because they’re quick, have little to no downtime and our patients love the results,” he says.



LEFT: Pilot & Powell, RIGHT: Sucré



A Magazine Street lunch-hour probably isn’t complete without a little shoe shopping, and for a remarkable eight years in a row Feet First celebrates the status of “Best Local Shoe Store” as voted by Gambit Weekly readers. Just two blocks downtown of Napoleon Avenue, Feet First is a family-owned business specializing in women’s fashion and comfort shoes, handbags, jewelry, apparel and accessories, including numerous locally designed products. This season, “athleisure” is arriving in full force.

“We are loving all of the various white platform bottoms, slip-ons and sneakers we’re seeing for this spring,” says Owner and Buyer Evie Poitevent. “And our popular boutique lines All Black and Summit by White Mountain both nail these trends right on the head while using high quality materials and keeping comfort in mind,” she says.

Festival season is also flip-flop season, and Feet First is excited to again be working closely with locally based line Feelgoodz. Speaking of festivals, you can catch Feet First at their booth at Bayou Boogaloo this May.

A newcomer to Magazine, Pilot & Powell opened last year on the corner of Magazine Street and General Taylor. A luxury retail and lifestyle concept store, Pilot & Powell features a “freshly edited” collection of women’s fashions and accessories. Offering a mix of exciting brands, classic designer apparel and progressive contemporary sportswear, Pilot & Powell is intended to appeal to the sophisticated woman searching for an individualized shopping experience.

“We’re loving bright, feminine colors for spring, seen in pieces like our Rodebjer Organza shirt in a bright and cheery bubblegum pink, or a pretty little Nellie Partow mini dress in an orangey red that really pops,” says Co-Owner Coeli Hilferty Boron. Other items she and partner Kathryn Bullock Joyner love are the new black poplin Rosetta Getty halter dress and a tangerine Rejina Pyo dress with exaggerated sleeves – a trend Boron says will be sticking around.

One block away sits The French Library, a unique Magazine Street shop that boasts the largest selection of French children’s books in the country, says Owner Katrina Greer.

“The French Library was born through a distinct lack of French literature in the city of New Orleans – and as it turns out, nationwide. In our city alone, with thousands of children in French immersion schools or programs, I recognized an emergent need for books to entertain curious little minds,” says Greer.

Enter through the store’s blue doors and experience a world filled with French customs and particulars, from the café in the rear of the shop to a flower market at the doorstep.

“We’ve been working on incorporating all things French and being inclusive to all French-speaking countries,” says Greer. In March and April, The French Library will host a series of etiquette classes for children inspired by the Madeline series, as well as a book signing and meditation class en français with Whitney Stewart.

There’s a chance all that reading will remind you to update your lens prescription, and you’ll find no lack of new frames to complement your wardrobe at Art & Eyes, just a few doors down and across the street.

“If you don’t think you could look better in glasses, you’re wrong,” laughs Co-Owner Starr Hagenbring. “It’s a whole new you – your attitude changes,” she says.

Opened in 2011, Art & Eyes specializes in high quality frames that range in style from conservative to unbelievably unique. The focus at Art & Eyes is on the individual, from finding a style and price range that works for the client to making sure their prescription lenses are made by the best. The store is known for its diverse and ever-changing collection of frames, from chunky to sleek, classic to one- (or two-) of-a-kind.

Get ready for spring and summer with a new pair of sunglasses – the store stocks a sizeable collection of local brand KREWE – and every pair of frames at Art & Eyes can be made for optical or sun.

Whether you’re walking or driving Magazine Street, a break to refuel is always in order, especially when it means lauded confections to complement an energizing shot of espresso. Once you cross Louisiana Avenue, you’ll encounter Sucré a few blocks down. Since opening on Magazine Street in 2007, Sucré has grown to three retail locations and is known for their vibrant assortment of French macarons, artisan chocolates, hand-spun gelato and assortment of petit entremets.

“With the New Orleans heat experienced mostly year-round, shoppers love to drop in for an iced coffee, tea or one of our 14 flavors of gelato to enjoy in the boutique or take on the go as they shop,” says Brand Manager Rachel Guillot. “Our cupcakes and cakes make for great office treats or birthday celebrations, and the macarons and chocolates are perfect on-the-go gifts wrapped in our signature boxes,” she says.

The store will celebrate its 10th anniversary in April, and promises in-store specials and surprises all month long.

About three doors down from Sucré’s tantalizing scents is the second New Orleans location of another successful local brand. Queork designs, manufactures and sells a variety of accessories for lifestyle and the home that are made from cork fabric, which comes from the Cork Oak grown mainly Portugal.
 





TOP: Zèle, BOTTOM LEFT: Feet First, BOTTOM RIGHT: The French Library



“Cork is for everyone who wants to experience the beauty and simplicity of a sustainable and thoughtfully designed accessory,” says Owner Amanda Dailey. Queork is excited to introduce a mini version of their most popular bag, the “Flapper.”

“Coming in a variety of colors and patterns, the “Mini Flapper” is compact yet versatile with adjustable sizing. It makes a fashionable and secure cross-body bag for all of NOLA’s favorite festivals,” says Dailey. Other new designs shoppers will encounter this season include Queork’s “Empty Pocket Trays” available as a catch-all for keys, change, jewelry, etc. “It’s a beautiful accessory for your bedroom dresser or an entryway table,” says Dailey.

Caddy-corner from Queork is NOLA Couture, another New Orleans-inspired clothing company that features apparel and accessories highlighting the city’s robust culture through colorful prints and patterns on neckties, bowties, belts, hats, totes, pocket squares, dog collars and home goods.

“Our top picks this spring are our new Mint Julep bowtie for men and boys, and seersucker dresses for women,” says Owner Cecile Hardy. “We’re very excited to be offering women’s and men’s ready-to-wear in our stores, which are manufactured at our local factory, NOLA Sewn. Our spring 2017 collection will hit stores this April,” says Hardy.

Complimentary refreshments are offered at NOLA Couture every weekend, and store events happen regularly.

An indoor multivendor art market, nearby Zèle boasts being the first of its kind in the New Orleans area and brings the arts and crafts of over 100 local artisans to the shoppers of Magazine Street. Ranging from jewelry and furniture to crafts, wall art and home décor, the store gives Magazine Street wanderers a chance to view works from established and emerging artisans without having to wait for a pop-up weekend or evening art market.

“Wall art is in abundance along with cooking fashions, such as pot mittens, hot plates and a range of cutting boards and handmade pottery suited for eating and cooking,” says Stacy Martinez, who owns the market with husband Anthony Martinez.

“We are a success based on the talent of the people who live here in New Orleans,” says Anthony, adding that people can take pride in shopping at Zèle and knowing their money goes back to the people of the city.

Continuing down Magazine Street, right before you hit Jackson Avenue, is Clover, a fashion-forward boutique with a focus on minimalist, understated style. According to owner Melissa Coleman, pants are all the rage at Clover this season. A variety of styles will include cropped, wide leg and track pants, to name a few. A variety of fabrics will further diversify the lineup with beautiful silks, linens and cottons. New for spring, Clover is excited to introduce designs from Mason by Michelle Mason in addition to its best-selling designs from IRO Paris.

Accessorizing with sunglasses will also be big at Clover this spring. “People are now curating a wardrobe of sunglasses, and we love it. It’s a fun way to add to your outfit while protecting your eyes,” says Coleman.

As you cross Jackson Avenue and head towards the Lower Garden District, you’ll encounter Monomin fashion boutique, whose name is an aggregate of “monochrome minimal,” says Owner and Buyer Rachel Hall Taravella.

“My background is in architecture and design, which is apparent in the Monomin brand – clean, simple, classic, minimal, feminine,” says Taravella, whose design-build firm is also housed within Monomin and renovated the shop.

Monomin offers styles for a variety of occasions, from chic casualwear perfect for shopping to elevated day-to-night sophistication and little black dresses for nights out on the town. For festival season, Taravella loves loose-fitting attire with a hat and sunglasses to shield from the sun. She recommends The Fifth Label Wildest Dreams cotton dress with their latest Lack of Color Jethro hat and Krewe’s STL II sunglasses.

Monomin will soon be launching new brands and is also excited to announce “Monomini” this spring – the same minimal concept for infants to 3 years old, which goes to show you’re never too young to hit the Magazine Street shopping scene.
 


Art & Eyes 3708 Magazine St., 891-4494, Facebook.com/ArtandEyesNOLA Clover 2240 Magazine St., 272-0792, Facebook.com/Clover.NewOrleans Dirty Coast 5631 Magazine St., 324-3745, DirtyCoast.com Feet First 4122 Magazine St., 899-6800, FeetFirstStores.com The French Library 3811 Magazine St., 267-3707, TheFrenchLibrary.com Khoobehi & Associates 4500 Magazine St., No. 1, 514-7504, Khoobehi.com Monomin 2104 Magazine St., 827-1269, Monomin.com NOLA Couture 2928 Magazine St., 319-5959, NolaCouture.com Perlis 6070 Magazine St., 895-8661, Perlis.com Pilot & Powell 3901 Magazine St., 827-1727, PilotandPowell.com Queork 3005 Magazine St., 388-6803, Queork.com Sucré 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311, ShopSucre.com Zèle 2841 Magazine St., 450-0789, ZeleNola.com

 

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