Cecile Hardy, Owner/Designer
How did NOLA Couture start? After Katrina, I moved back to New Orleans from San Francisco to help in the rebuilding. Designing New Orleans-inspired prints in fun, vibrant colors was a way to celebrate and support the city’s unique culture and help lift spirits.
Why is there a demand for it? No one else has created a whole brand of accessories around the iconography of the city. People wear our items with pride, from expats around the world to tourists who take a part of New Orleans with them.
Does it only appeal to people from the South? We have customers all over the world. If people love New Orleans, like vibrant colors and upscale accessories, they love our brand. We get a kick out of selling to people from Italy, France, Australia, Japan and elsewhere.
How has business been? Great, even during the usual summer retail lull, we’re busy with custom designs for groups such as the Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras krewes, Follow Your NOLA, restaurants, schools and nonprofits.
How many retail outlets do you have? When we started in 2006 we designed and manufactured for other stores. We opened our first store in ’12 in the French Quarter, then on Magazine Street in ’13 and we’ve just opened a larger store three doors away from our first location.
What’s your personal favorite? It changes, but right now, it’s the Etouffée Orange Mini-Gulf Oyster Tie.
What else makes you special? We make the majority of our products right here in New Orleans!
NOLA Couture 2928 Magazine St., 319-5959, 542 St. Peter St., 875-3522, NolaCouture.com