Six miles is just under a quarter of a marathon, and those dedicated to going the distance on Magazine Street won’t regret it. Of course, we’re not talking about running. We’re talking about shopping the six miles of designer merchandise. Stretching from Canal Street to Audubon Park, Magazine Street has become an epicenter for locals and visitors looking to freshen up their wardrobes, hairstyles, homes and overall weekday or weekend experience.
Providing a comprehensive listing of Magazine Street merchants, MagazineStreet.com is the go-to source for shopping info from the Magazine Street Merchants Association (MSMA).
“Basically, we promote businesses along the street and provide a safe, fun place for people to shop,” says Hope Martin, Marketing Director of MSMA. In addition to providing support to Magazine merchants, the association puts on events throughout the year, including the Champagne Stroll on Saturday, May 11th.
“Participating shops will be open and pouring sparkling wine. It’s a time to enjoy the weather and see new merchandise,” says Martin. “It’s also a great time to take mom out, as it’s Mother’s Day weekend.”
Shopping the distance requires the right footwear for the job, and conveniently enough, Physical Therapist Virginia “Gini” Davis has opened just the place for such a shoe – Perfect Fit Shoes (5525 Magazine St., 456-5993, PerfectFitShoes.net) marries comfort and style without sacrificing either.
An outgrowth of her work in physical therapy and her own love for shoes, Davis seeks to debunk the myth that “comfort” is synonymous with “orthopedic” or that comfortable shoes can’t be stylish. The boutique brings in brands previously unavailable in the area and has several upcoming trunk shows.
Voted “Best Shoe Store in New Orleans” by Gambit Weekly readers for the fourth year in a row, Feet First Shoes, Handbags & Accessories (899-6800, FeetFirstStores.com) stocks a vast selection of designer footwear. Previously located at 4119 Magazine St., Feet First relocated into a newly renovated space across the street at 4122 Magazine St.
“It has a new look and an upscale, cozy, boutique feel,” says co-owner Evie Poitevent. “We feel like the new space finally reflects the level of products we’re carrying.” Confirmed spring trunk shows include Born, Isola, Poetic Licence and Nicole with Bernardo, FitFlop and Naot in the works.
On Fridays, enjoy a shoe-shopping happy hour at Angelique Shoe (891- 8992, AngeliqueStores.com) from 3 p.m. until close. Shoppers enjoy an early start to weekend fun by sipping cocktails as they shop for outfits and spruce up their makeup and tans at Tisa Beauty Bar, located inside Angelique Shoe at 5421 Magazine St.
“Now’s a great time to see our new deliveries, which we’re getting every day,” says co-owner Angelique Palumbo. “Our handbag lines go from the young to the more sophisticated, and we’ve got a brand new line from Pour la Victoire, which is very fresh and perfect for spring.”
Mimi Bowen, owner of longstanding fashion boutique Mimi (5500 Magazine St., 289-Mimi (6363), MimiNola.com) offers some spring fashion tips for the wardrobe weary.
“Spring is coming fast with neon brights highlighting the basics of white, beige and black. Spring is our most anticipated season, and these colors are happy and appropriate for any age or venue. Bring on the orange, green, yellow and lavender!” says Bowen.
Mimi’s spring trunk shows featuring Fall 2013 lines – the latest designs, so get your pick of the best – include Michael Kors, Lela Rose, Kevan Hall and a couple of shoe designers for CeCe Shoe. To eliminate parking hassles, Mimi has introduced valet service Wednesdays through Saturdays.
In January, Swap (304-6025, SwapBoutique.com) opened its third location at 5530A Magazine St.
“We are thrilled to be on Magazine,” says General Manager Caitlin Clifford. Swap specializes in designer consignment, offering clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories for budget-conscious shoppers. According to Clifford, items often end up at around 10 percent of their original retail costs, depending on how long they remain in the store.
“The Magazine location brings in a new clientele with higher-end merchandise – we’re getting pages of Vogue, items only a season or two old rather than a couple years,” says Clifford, who welcomes new consigners.
Another newcomer to the Magazine scene is NK Boutique/Eve’s Apple (304-5072, EvesApple.com). First a Baton Rouge boutique, then an e-commerce store, the 3640 Magazine St. location was created to provide a “completely unique, indulgent, shopping experience that transports you to a realm of fearless fashion,” says co-owner Michele LaCour Percy, “a place where you can be lured into new fashion experiences, gaining fresh insight on expertly reviewed, meticulously edited collections.”
Featured brands include Virgins, Saints, and Angels, Alice + Olivia, Haute Hippie, Elizabeth & James and Tory Burch. Drop in March 15 and 16 for a St. Patrick’s celebration of food, drinks and special in-store promotions.
Martha Duval, manager of Ballin’s LTD (2917 Magazine St., 891-4502, NewOrleansKnitWear.com) is one of the clothing pioneers of Magazine Street, selling designer clothing long before there were any other clothing merchants in her area.
“We built our mail order business from tourists who came here looking for antiques and discovered our store,” says Duval. Today, visitors to the store can expect designer-wear in classic styles, both dressy and casual, in cotton knits and poplin, linen, silk and seersucker. Duval invites guests to experience the relaxed atmosphere of the store, emphasizing the friendliness of staff and approachable nature of the business.
Fashion forward mothers and mothers-to-be have come to love Baby Bump Maternity & Children’s (304-2737, NolaBabyBump.com) now in its 3rd year at 2917 (#102) Magazine St. Maternity offerings include designer dresses and denim, such as J Brand Jeans, as well as accessories for both pregnant and nursing women.
Owners Robbie and Julie Allen are excited to introduce children’s clothing to the store and according to Robbie, spring apparel for both women and children will be a beautiful collection full of colors for the season. Baby Bump carries children sizes Newborn to 4T. Additionally the Allens have brought in a shoe line of stylish flats from Yosi Samra.
A growing national trend new to New Orleans just landed at 5530 Magazine St.; Blo (BloMeDry.com) is a blow dry bar, a convenient, quirky place to get a quick wash and style for any occasion. For $35, clients choose from a menu of styles, from the “Red Carpet” classic blo to the “High Society” up do, the “Sex, Hugs and Rock & Roll,” a disheveled, curl-filled edgy look, and more.
“The response has been great,” says franchise partner Emily Kupperman. “We have clients come in early before business meetings, before parties, as well as students getting ready for proms and balls.” Appointments are not necessary but highly recommended.
In addition to fashion, Magazine Street is known for its array of art galleries, antique shops, and home design boutiques. One of the latest home-focused entrepreneurs to arrive on the scene at 4610 Magazine St., is Rivers Spencer of Rivers Spencer Interiors (609-2436, RiversSpencer.com). An exclusive provider of the Amy Howard Home Collection, Rivers offers antiques, antique reproductions, original artwork, and gifts and accessories as well as custom design services.
Current featured artists at Rivers Spencer Interiors include Houston-based Austin James and Louisiana artists Sarah Griffith and Amy Dixon, who were recently featured at Taste of the NFL during the Super Bowl.