A neon sign illuminates the store.
(321 Chartres St., 504-523-7296) celebrates its grand opening Saturday, Dec. 12 with a second line led by Big Fun Brass Band at 2 p.m., cupcakes and balloons. "We love the Quarter," says marketing director Stephen Bailey. "[Fluevogs] are unique soles for unique souls. You couldn't pick a better city to open in."
Fluevog Shoes was launched in 1970 by designer John Fluevog. It now has 20 locations in North America, and Bailey says there's a good chance the "eccentric" brand will soon open a store in Europe. Though he didn't disclose sales figures, Bailey said the company expands through sales and profit. "If we can open a couple stores in a year, we've had a good year," he says.
Limited-edition "Brandenburg" men's shoe
Ranging in price from $150 to $500, the art-deco inspired leather shoes are made in limited quantities in small factories worldwide. Sixty percent are made in Portugal, Bailey estimates, 20-25 percent in Peru, 5 percent in Mexico, 10 percent in Vietnam and 1-2 percent are made in China. A special design unique to New Orleans was crafted in Portugal: 20 pairs of the women's shoe and 15 pairs of the men's shoe will be sold.
The French Quarter location features dark "patent green" walls, salvaged black walnut shelves and floral shoe-leather topped couches and counters. A custom light installation by Bocci will illuminate the store, which has approximately eight full- and part-time employees, Bailey says.
Limited-edition "Vivian" women's shoe
This is not Fluevog Shoes' first foray into the French Quarter. It opened a storefront in the Pontalba building briefly in 2014, but the location wasn't ideal. Bailey is confident the brand will reach new and existing "Fluevoggers" with its new storefront. "We were determined to be a part [of New Orleans]," he says. "It's such a fun brand, and the Fluevoggers are unanimously electric people. The energy is crazy."
The window display facing Chartres Street.