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Sister Act

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re-Katrina, twenty-something native New Orleanian sisters Angelina and Christina LoCicero dreamed of opening a clothing boutique of their own. Last month, the day after Thanksgiving, they turned the dream into a reality as owners of Sorella (2036 Magazine St., 309-6256), which means "sister" in Italian. Instead of viewing the city's devastated areas and diminished population as economic deterrents, they embraced those challenges as motivators to succeed in business and invest in the rebuilding of the city they love.

"After the storm we decided to stay and help bring the economy back," says Angelina, who agreed with her sister that the way to do that was to offer fashion-forward lines at affordable prices. "We wanted to be a place where you can come and put together an outfit, whether it's for a casual Friday night or a Christmas party, and where the prices allow you to shop frequently."

Initially, the sisters targeted women in the 25- to 35-year-old age range. But brisk sales since they opened have already shown that their merchandise has appeal beyond their core market -- to women ages 20 to 50.

"We really try to have a variety without going too broad," says Angelina, explaining that while the shop's identity is youthful and contemporary, its inventory is also designed to work for women with very different styles. "We've had mothers and daughters come in and shop together," she adds.

The seasoned fashion maven will recognize the trends -- animal prints; kimono sleeves; feminine, lace detailing; tops cinched with wide belts; blouson and wrap silhouettes; and platform, peep-toe pumps. But Sorella works hard to bring in an assortment of fresh vendors and pieces so shoppers won't see themselves coming and going. Current lines include Shelly M. Couture, Karlie, Emphasis, Jak & Rae and Jordi Labanda as well as denim by V Jeans (the brainchild of a former Baton Rouge store owner) and the Italian label Parasuco. Hats, purses, scarf headbands, jewelry, lip balm kits and candles also are part of the mix. Both Milestones Jewelry by Paulette Callahan and fleur de lis-emblazoned plaques made from weathered roof slates are locally made, another way that the LoCicero sisters are supporting the rebirth of a city brimming with creativity.

Sisters Christina and Angelina LoCicero at Sorella, their new - boutique on Magazine Street
  • Sisters Christina and Angelina LoCicero at Sorella, their new boutique on Magazine Street

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