Its July in the city; the termites are swarming; street construction seems to be everywhere; and your clothes and hair are sticking to you like paste.
There is almost nothing you can do to get your core temperature down. If you were an evil-doer in a former life, it almost seems fitting to be banished to New Orleans to battle the heat, construction, potholes and the interesting cast of characters on every street corner.
However, New Orleans must have done something right because we have here a little bit of retail paradise. On the corner of Octavia and Magazine streets, the former location of Mimi’s Boutique, is Joseph Stores — a high-end luxury goods store that is heavily focused on the most amazing shoes and accessories. The boutique carries the finest designer shoes, handbags, jewelry and apparel collections in the country. The inventory, for fashion followers, is truly heaven on earth or at least heaven on Magazine Street.
Joseph Stores has locations in Memphis and Houston as well. Under the direction of Barrie Wexner-Wurzburg, daughter of the founder of Wexner Company, Philip Wexner, Joseph is one of the top five retail operations in the United States outside of Neiman Marcus Group and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Wexner Company was established by Philip and Henry Wexner when they leased their first shoe department in the 1930s at Levy’s in Downtown Memphis, and Joseph, a Chicago fashion institute dates back to the early 1940s.
Jessica Doyle, who has quite the resume when it comes to high-end retail, is the New Orleans Joseph Stores manager. Jessica had a passion for fashion since college and worked in both the visual and buying side of retail. “I loved working behind the scenes, reading inventory reports and working closely with vendors,” Doyle says. “It was my relationship with a vendor who introduced me to Barrie Wexner-Wurzburg.” Doyle, after meeting with Wexner-Wurzburg and her team, was quickly adopted into this close-knit family business.
There are ample amounts of glorious goods at Joseph Stores that Doyle and her staff, Katherine Paquette, assistant manager, and Katie Geist, sales and visual specialist, can gather up for you to aid in your summer travels or to help you survive another New Orleans summer. In order to survive, you must be at-the-ready to sweat profusely outdoors and freeze up like a sno-ball in the A/C indoors. You also need to be able to sprint like a track star to avoid the mid-afternoon monsoons. Joseph Stores has on-trend white denim by J Brand, the perfect hands-free cross-body bags by Chloé, and sheer, weightless foundations by Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier. Doyle’s dream beach vacation tote would include a colorful scarf by Janavi, Valentino rock-stud flip flops, a floppy hat from Eric Javits, (Doyle takes great care of her skin, not leaving the house without her Ultra Moisturizer with SPF 30 by Kiehl’s), and bright baubles and hair accessories by Deepa Gurnani. She is as equally chic and fashion-forward as the newest fashion haven on Magazine Street.
Regardless of your location this summer, whether in the urban tropical rainforest of NOLA and its environs, or at some easy-breezy beach, Joseph Stores has posh possibilities to outfit you for any haute adventure. We welcome this little bit of shopping heaven on earth.
Happy summer and happy shopping!
5500 Magazine St.
–Aimée Gowland and Corrie Pellerin, ALG Style