Gabbi and I had the incredible opportunity to participate in “A Weekend with KREWE” at the beginning of October. We hopped on a plane Friday morning and by midday we were soaking up the New Orleans sunshine! KREWE has been a vibrant addition to both stores, and its continued growth as a brand has been amazing to watch. If you are an Instagram or Facebook lover, I know you’ve seen someone in your feed wearing the popular ST. LOUIS style or sharing a photo of their favorite celebrity rocking their KREWE shades. We were both very excited to visit the city and meet the KREWE team in order to have a better handle on the future of the brand.FRIDAY
We stayed at the Ace Hotel, and as we pulled up, we noticed a line of people about half a block down. We rushed over to take a peek and realized there was a KREWE sample sale going on, which was open to the public. It was a madhouse! There was a line to get in and people were carrying around multiple frames, taking selfies and asking for their friends’ opinions on which to purchase. It was fun to see so many customers so excited about the brand.After wandering around the area, it was time to head to the French Quarter and KREWE’s flagship store on Royal Street. The store is modern and clean, complete with an espresso bar. As soon as we walked in, we noticed some of the new releases already on the shelf. Gabbi and I also FINALLY got to meet our KREWE liaison, Keelan, who we constantly e-mail with about orders and new styles. After trying on (almost) every frame in the store, we ventured down the shotgun style hallway to the courtyard for cocktails. It was a sea of beautiful glasses and everyone enjoyed the conversation, cocktails and background noise of the city. Later, we had a family-style dinner on the rooftop back at the Ace Hotel. KREWE provided a beautiful spread of cheeses, salads and the main course was a seafood stew that was so rich and showcased classic New Orleans flavor!
After breakfast, we went to the KREWE office just a few blocks away to participate in brand education and learn more about the birth and subsequent growth of the line. The founder and creative force, Stirling Barrett, was there to give us the history and show off the direction of the collection. The growth of the brand is very distinct. Anyone can see that the design team members are hitting their stride in creating an identity for KREWE. They continue to offer inventive designs that embody the spirit of NOLA.Stirling told us about his journey from being a successful artist to creating KREWE, as well as about the exciting collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and how their participation is opening doors and helping to spread “KREWE Vibes” world-wide. We were able to ask questions, and it was refreshing to have the opportunity to have a conversation about the brand. Surrounded by the “who’s who” of independent optical and fashion retail from across the country, it was interesting to hear other retailers’ perspectives, which opened up the floor to a wide variety of questions.
After a brief break, we jumped into a Pedi cab (our first time doing this and a great way to see the city), and visited a quintessential New Orleans mansion, complete with classic creole architecture, balconies and a beautiful courtyard where food and drinks were served. It was a mesmerizing place! Nicholas Cage once owned the home, but legend has it, he moved out because he thought it was haunted! Prior to becoming a private residence, it served as a popular recording destination for many successful musicians, including Emmy Lou Harris, R.E.M and Iggy Pop. After exploring the beautiful home, we grabbed a drink before heading out to the courtyard. Everything was classic NOLA – po’boys, gumbo, and endless oysters, and a DJ was situated on the balcony above.
We ended the evening at Café Du Monde, enjoying beignets
and coffee before wandering around Jackson Square, soaking it all in before it was time to head back to the hotel to prepare for the next day’s departure. I’m convinced, after this visit, that no matter how long you plan to stay, it is never long enough. The city was a beautiful backdrop for the weekend and provided a full KREWE experience. We look forward to our on-going partnership with the brand, and this weekend was a great opportunity to re-establish our KREWE frame of mind.
“The SS17 collection is forever inspired by New Orleans.
The collection’s structure- the angles, proportions
and lines- drew from this idea of being surround by
architecture while simultaneously being enveloped in
the color of a lush tropical climate.
Do something from somewhere no one would expect.”