Innovative designers—with the help of some boldfaced names—are turning the Big Easy into a surprising new style hub, one complete with banana-leaf printed jumpsuits, vintage sunglasses, and neon-tipped desert booties. Intrigued? Read on.
Last November, Stirling Barrett opened a studio for his vintage-inspired eyewear brand, where he does fittings by appointment. The lightweight glasses come in a kaleidoscope of colors (eggplant, avocado, champagne) and are made of high-tech acetate that molds to your face so there’s never slippage. 800 Common St.
Decorators from New York and L.A. flock to Julie Neill for her ornate chandeliers and sconces finished in bronze, silver, and brass. But you don’t need to be an industry pro to buy ready-made pieces or put in a custom order at her showroom. You can also see Neill’s fixtures in a local institution: her birdcage lanterns light up the bar at the refurbished Brennan’s restaurant. 3908 Magazine St.
Tippi Clark is earning raves from locals with her new denim line of upcycled embroidered jackets, perfectly flattering jeans, and 1970s-esque overalls. Find them at her other start-up, Little Flea NOLA, a Lower Garden District market held every second Saturday of the month. 1173 Magazine St.
Solange Knowles recently moved here from Brooklyn, and became the creative director of this boutique owned by her friends Lizzy and Darlene Okpo and Armina Mussa. Situated on a breezy side street in the French Quarter, Exodus Goods feels like a secret you want to tell everyone. With its mix of global and New Orleans–based designers, the store reflects the women’s modern, idiosyncratic style. Banana-leaf-printed jumpsuits by Australian brand Cameo the Label and neon-tipped Brother Vellies desert boots from Africa stand out against the chipped walls and cement floors. Local goods include Dvra pouches, silk-screened with a pineapple design, and a vetiver-based perfume oil by Smoke. Since the collections are small, there is little chance you’ll see someone wearing the same thing—unless you happen to bump into Solange and her crew out in the Quarter. 518 Conti St.
Inspired by his European travels, Louisiana native Joe Rotolo rolled his life savings into a men’s bespoke-suiting business. With its leather chairs and boldly striped walls, Rotolo's tiny Magazine Street atelier packs a lot of style into a small space—and his designs are equally economical. You can walk out with a suit made with Italian fabric for less than $700. 2049 Magazine St.