2014: a very fashionable year

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It's hard to believe that just five years ago, New Orleans didn't have a fashion week. Now it boasts two, along with a revitalized local chapter of Fashion Group International and the newly launched Southern Coalition of Fashion and Design. Thanks to these and other organizations, individuals and businesses, 2014 saw our fashion industry step further into the national spotlight. Let's look back...

STORE OPENINGS
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk reopened in grand style after undergoing a $70 million renovation. The gleaming, 250,000-square-foot mall is the nation's first downtown outlet center. National retailers continued to make their presence felt on Magazine Street, when West Elm opened in a space formerly occupied by Pippen Lane (which moved across the street). At The Shops at Canal Place, Armani Collezioni and C. Wonder opened.

Leaders from the Howard Hughes Corporation celebrate the opening of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. - ADRIENNE BATTISTELLA PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC
  • Adrienne Battistella Photography, LLC
  • Leaders from the Howard Hughes Corporation celebrate the opening of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk.


April saw the opening of Exodus Goods, where Solange Knowles is co-owner and creative director. Other new boutiques include Adorn and Conquer, Clover, Debsons Clothing, Decked Studios, Fairfax Fabric CompanyMadewell, Moonshine NettieNeon Heart, Pelican Coast Clothing, Sincerely Luxe and Tooth & Nail Trading Company. Local eyewear brand Krewe du Optic opened a showroom in the CBD. Saint Claude Avenue forayed into the fashion fold when Blisset Textile and Frontier held pop-up shops at Bywater Art Gallery. Chip Kennedy and Niki Walker-Kennedy launched a modeling agency, Kennedy Management.

Pelican Coast celebrated its grand opening this year. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Pelican Coast celebrated its grand opening this year.

FASHION WEEK SUCCESSES
Fashion Week New Orleans held its fourth successful season, as well as an awards gala at the Joy Theater, where Bonnie Broel, Mignon Faget, Dr. Lisa McRoberts, Robert Hudson, Albert Brown, Harold Clarke and Sandyha Garg were honored. NOLA Fashion Week underwent a transformation when co-creator Andi Eaton re-named and rebranded the event. Now called Southern Design Week, the runway shows, presentations and workshops created new connections between local and national designers and businesses. Eaton added another feather to her cap by authoring New Orleans Style (History Press).

Models at Southern Design Week's Calle de Mar show. - GIOVANNI VELASQUEZ
  • Giovanni Velasquez
  • Models at Southern Design Week's Calle de Mar show.

ANNIVERSARIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Rubensteins celebrated its 90th anniversary this year, and Jolie & Elizabeth founders Jolie Bensen Hamilton and Sarah Elizabeth Dewey sold their 10,000th dress. Celebrities Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry stepped out in Trashy Diva frocks. New Orleans was also spotlighted when NOCCA student  and designer Tieler Garsaud was featured on Project Runway: Threads. Solange Knowles held her wedding at Marigny Opera House, and photos were featured in Vogue.

Katy Perry shows off a Trashy Diva look on Instagram.
  • Katy Perry shows off a Trashy Diva look on Instagram.

Kudos to the New Orleans fashion industry for these achievements.  Please comment below if there's something I overlooked — it's been quite a year!


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