New eye candy for couture lovers
This month there are a few decadent things transpiring about town. I am not speaking of scandalous costume balls or of delicious chocolates, but of new and noteworthy stores to add to our flourishing fashion repertoire.
The Shops at Canal Place added some notable retail venues within the last year and, like the city, has been fortunate to avoid some of the fateful economic trends most malls across the country have faced. The effervescent energy that New Orleans is experiencing correlates to favorable consumer spending. In 2011, Canal Place secured high-profile brands such as Michael Kors, J. Crew and French Sole. Brooks Brothers had a facelift and Home and Garden moved to a larger space. General Manager Lisa Marse Manzella is anticipating even more new retail for 2012. “It is because of the continued successes of both the city and The Shops that we are able to draw retailers exclusive to our city and state,” she said. Persuading new retailers takes time; however, when prominent companies see renowned stores like Anthropologie or Saks Fifth Avenue thriving, The Shops becomes an attractive location. “Currently, we have a list of clients we are courting and a few prospects that are in negotiations,” stated Manzella.
Je Amie les Chaussures!
Melanie Perret, local owner of French Sole New Orleans, chose to open her shoe boutique in Canal Place because of its central location and customer base. She connected with the owners of the French Sole location in Manhattan, fell in love with their product and recognized that a store here would be an ideal fit for the city and this location. “We carry the perfect walking shoe for the tourist customer and our local lady-about-town,” said Vaughn Thames, the store’s manager. You’ll find a variety of trendy and classic footwear—the majority are flats—that costs from $100 to $325. “Selection, style and comfort at an affordable price is what every woman looks for in a pair of shoes,” said Perret. “We are here to help women express themselves in a stylish yet comfortable manner.” What’s not to love?French Sole New Orleans (504) 267-9000 www.frenchsoleneworleans.com firstname.lastname@example.org
If Cupid Missed
Many deem Valentine’s Day as a marketing scam devised by card companies to swindle us into purchasing saccharine greeting cards and overpriced roses or to excuse poor service at a restaurant. As luck or love would have it this year, instead of fighting for a reservation or watching your flowers droop, go check out the new J. Crew. This apparel mega-brand, famous for classic American staples such as cashmere cardigans, khakis and Oxford shirts, as well as their more fashionable collections, is slated to open on V-day. “J. Crew is so excited to be a part of The Shops at Canal Place and New Orleans,” said Market Director Erik Meadors. The new store will occupy the large space on the first floor adjacent to Anthropologie. Toast your love of fashion this day and grab one of their No. 2 pencil skirts. With its flattering fit, it’s a pre-requisite for every wardrobe.J. Crew (504) 830-3405 www.jcrew.com
Project Canal Place
Michael Kors, successful American sportswear designer and Project Runway judge, opened his lifestyle-brand boutique next to BCBG right before the Thanksgiving rush. The location carries his basics, such as oversized aviator framed sunglasses, a bevy of boots and wedges, his logo-heavy handbags, watches and some sportswear. On a recent visit, I was not sure if there was an episode being filmed for Real Housewives of Orange County or was all the clientele tall, tan and blonde? Though I was quite contrary from the customers that particular afternoon, the lovely and attentive manager, Kelly Fazende, was able to satisfy my need for awe-inspiring and suggestive footwear.Michael Kors Canal Place (504) 523-9223 www.michaelkors.com
If you truly desire something to satiate your need for anything other than fashion this Valentine’s Day, Sucré opened a precious pop-up shop on the first floor. Recharge after your cardio-shopping experience with treats like stylishly hued macaroons or pastries packaged like couture from this sweet boutique.Sucré www.shopsucre.com
Love Makes the Heart Mad
If anyone was in Canal Place on Black Friday, it was evident that this once tranquil place, usually short on crowds the day after Thanksgiving, was full of animated and energetic shoppers. This Canal Street anchor is lively with consumers from here and across the globe. No need for a lover this month when you can feed your passion for fashion at The Shops of Canal Place.