Tell us a little background about your business. Dark Garden supports uncommon beauty with beautifully curated boutiques centered around our world-renowned corsetry line. My team and I are determined to provide clothing to fit any body type and any personal style because I firmly believe everyone deserves to feel beautiful. I established Dark Garden in 1989, originally creating custom-made clothing and costumes. The store eventually shifted to a focus on corsetry and special occasion attire in 1993.
Why did you choose to open a new store in New Orleans? I’ve always been inspired by the past; the richness and romance of New Orleans history combined with the culture of revelry and costumes are a perfect fit for the creativity and style of our offerings. It’s literally a dream come true for me to have a boutique in New Orleans.
What are your bestsellers? People love our Valentine corset. It provides amazing bust support while also reducing the waist and smoothing the hips. It can be worn both as foundation, like the best strapless bra you’ll ever find, or as outerwear, creating the bodice of an ensemble.
What do you recommend for first-time buyers? I recommend visiting the boutique and exploring our offerings in person. Each of our standard-fit styles suits a different natural proportion; our fit specialists will help you find the best corset for your needs. Our corsets are so comfortable and supportive that many of our clients (men and women) rely on our corsets in place of orthopedic back braces. People often start with our cotton poplin corsets, but others love our lightweight mesh and silk Risqué corset.
Do you have any options in addition to corsets? Dark Garden is much more than a corset shop and we delight in continually finding new styles, designers and artists to feature. We offer skirts and dresses of our own creation as well as many delightful accessories made by artists local to both San Francisco and New Orleans. We also carry jewelry, gloves, robes, hosiery and even our own perfume created in collaboration with Bourbon French.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about yourself or your business? My production team at the flagship (in San Francisco) is amazing. I take great pride in supporting domestic manufacturing, offering a fair wage and a great work environment. Many of our team members have been with the company for a decade.
Dark Garden, 3528 Magazine St., 417-9751, DarkGarden.com