March On Magazine
Six local retailers describe what’s in store for spring.
The six-mile stretch along Magazine Street, from Uptown to the Lower Garden District, is easily accessible and filled with shops, restaurants, galleries and other local businesses. March, when the weather is balmy, and city has slightly calmed down and recovered from Carnival, is a perfect time to take a stroll and wander into some of the city’s popular retail spots – whether you’re window
shopping or looking for something in particular, you’ll probably find something that you need.
6070 Magazine St., 895-8661, Perlis.com
Since 1939, Perlis has been known for carrying unique Southern style clothing for men, women and children. According to Bebe Rafferty, marketing coordinator for Perlis, the store will be carrying new spring wear for ladies, from new vendors including Drew, Halston Heritage, Iris and Tori Richard. She says Perlis will also offer a more extensive collection of Scott Barber for men and other “fun, Louisiana-themed T-shirts and outerwear from Southern Marsh and Southern Tide.”
She notes that the store sells products to all ages, and also offers tuxedo rentals. “Our main clientele is local customers who like high-end and preppy fashion, with a Southern flare,” she says. Perlis is also known for its loyal customers. “When you walk in, the employees remember your name,” says Rafferty. “They treat you like family, since it’s a family-run business.” What sets the store apart, she says, is that customers have shopped with us for years, and some of our employees have been with us for almost 50 years, so in an age of online shopping, our personalized and sincere customer service sets us apart.” Additionally – and this is important, because parking can be tricky in the area – the store has its own parking lot, so shoppers “don’t have to worry.”
4122 Magazine St., 899-6800, FeetFirstStores.com
Owned by Debby Poitevent, Feet First has just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Over the years, the shop has been popular for its inventory of shoes, purses and accessories. Manager Kagan Taylor says that Feet First is currently stocked full of bright-colored flats, slip-ons, mules, sneakers and other open-toed shoes for the warmer months. The age range, she says, is from “16 to 86” – meaning the inventory is diverse. “We have trendy stuff for teens and 20-somethings, as well as items for our more mature customers; we have things with bling, but we also have a lot of muted and more understated styles.”
Taylor says that cork shoes are popular this time of year, as are moccasins, loafers and things with “tassels and bows.” She says the shop is mostly on the medium end of affordability – shoes tend to sell for anywhere between $60 and $120. Accessory-wise, she says they are stocked with purses and earrings. “We have a bunch of chandelier earrings and pom-pom earrings, and a lot of long, drop earrings.” Feet first is also selling a line of colorful scarves – perfect for the in between weather when you occasionally need a light cover-up, but not necessarily a coat.
Kevin Gillentine Gallery
3917 Magazine St., 891-0509, KevinGillentine.com
The contemporary space owned by Kevin Gillentine and Vincent Bergeal is part gallery, part print shop and it offers a range of interior design services. “We do a lot over here,” says Bergeal, who primarily works in custom framing. Gillentine works on fine art and is an interior designer. This spring, Bergeal says that they will be introducing 10 new lines of custom frames. He notes that springtime is a great time to update your art collection and try out some new items for the home.
3714 Magazine St., 533-9670, HilltopShoppe.com
Owned by Mary-Martin France and Rosalind Jenkins, Hilltop Shoppe is a gift shop that carries a wide range of high-end bath necessities, pajamas, table top items, bar accessories, linens, throw pillows, art, books and accessories, including jewelry.
The owners, who grew up going to summer camp together, say they were always excited to receive small gifts – which France refers to as “happys” from home. The name Hilltop Shoppe, she says, is derived from their many years spent at the camp, away from home. They always dreamed of opening a store filled with the types of items that they so cherished as children. Says France, “Hilltop Shoppe is a one-stop shop for all your gift needs, ranging from home decor to baby and wedding registry” items.
3427 Magazine St., 309-5026, SosusuBotique.com
Owned by Susu Stall and managed by Erica Geldersma, SOSUSU opened in late 2016 – a long time dream of Stall, who grew up loving fashion. The shop brings contemporary fashion from around the globe to her hometown and offers a “welcoming” atmosphere. Customers are greeted with refreshments and champagne as they browse the clothing – which is a blend of high-end, luxury clothing, but also clothing at more medium price points.
The fashions range from “casual to cocktail” attire, says Stall. “We have great daytime clothing, and certain lines are very bright and flirty. But we try to put in a little something for everybody in here.” The store also carries “tons of shoes, mostly of European label … I don’t think anywhere else in the city can quite compare.” One of Stall’s goals is to carry clothing for a range of ages, and also offer brands of clothing that can’t be found anywhere else in the city. The shop also offers jewelry and other accessories. This spring, Stall is excited to carry Sara Roka brand items, as well as women’s shirts by designer Patty Perry.
3318 Magazine St., 895-0444, ShopLucyRose.com
Owned by the bubbly sister duo of Kaitlyn Tufts and Lindsay Laws, Lucy Rose opened in 2013, and quickly expanded when another building next door conveniently became available. (Since then, they’ve also opened up locations in the French Quarter and Old Metairie.) “We always wanted to sell clothing, home décor and gifts,” says Tufts. The clientele they appeal to are both locals and tourists. “We carry items for a wide age range,” she says, noting that both teenagers and their mother shops there. They also sell a lot of affordable gifts in the $20 price range, along with dressier clothing, casual attire and cocktail dresses. “We really shop for the season,” says Tufts. “So we’ll be getting in a lot of festival season inventory soon.” The shop also carries shoes. “We want to dress the customer from head-to-toe,” she explains. This March, the store added a number of embroidered tops – one of the hottest fashions at the moment – to its inventory. “We have a lot of great things in stock,” she concludes.