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Friday, March 20, 2015

ULTA Beauty celebrates its grand opening today

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 1:02 PM

ULTA Beauty celebrates its grand opening in Magnolia Marketplace today.
  • ULTA Beauty celebrates its grand opening in Magnolia Marketplace today.

ULTA Beauty
celebrates its grand opening in Magnolia Marketplace (2900 S. Claiborne Ave., Suite 400) this weekend with giveaways and free makeovers. On Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, the first 100 attendees receive a "beauty treat" worth $5 or $10, as well as a free skin or hair service.

"It's the first 100 people in the store regardless of timing, each day," says general manager Leslie Teal. "It varies how early people get to our stores to line up. Some customers come two hours before and some one hour before. Doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday."

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Friday, March 13, 2015

ETCH Studio presents laser-cut jewelry at Southern Design Week

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM

Mallory Estopinal (left) and Zoe Ganch turned an Instagram shop into a thriving business in less than a year. - KATIE HOPE
  • KATIE HOPE
  • Mallory Estopinal (left) and Zoe Ganch turned an Instagram shop into a thriving business in less than a year.

Mallory Estopinal and Zoe Ganch are full-time LSU students in their final year of architecture school. They're completing projects, looking for jobs in industrial product design and, in their spare time, running a jewelry business, ETCH Studio.

The best friends started ETCH on whim in January 2014. Since then, the business has racked up more than 900 orders, 10,000+ Instagram followers and a $4,500 prize from the the Louisiana Business & Technology Center’s Venture Challenge, as well as its Audience Choice award.

"This semester has been hectic and crazy, but we've managed to work it out," says Estopinal, a New Orleans native. "I'll go check on the website or work on production while I'm taking a break from my studies. ETCH doesn't seem like work."

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Meeting of the makers

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 1:58 PM

From left: Kathi Keppel, owner and designer of DVRA, and Patti Dunn, owner and designer of Tchoup Industries, in their shared storefront. - MISSY WILKINSON
  • MISSY WILKINSON
  • From left: Kathi Keppel, owner and designer of DVRA, and Patti Dunn, owner and designer of Tchoup Industries, in their shared storefront.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, customers drift in and out of a weathered 19th-century space, chatting over a sewing machine's occasional staccato whir. Three businesses occupy the petite storefront's 690 square feet: local bag companies DVRA and Tchoup Industries, plus record label Disko Obscura.

"We share the responsibility and rent. I couldn't have done it myself," says Patti Dunn, owner and designer of Tchoup Industries.

Prior to opening the joint venture at 1113B St. Mary St., Dunn shared a French Quarter space with Kathi Keppel, owner and designer of DVRA. Her business was online only at the time, but Dunn dreamed of opening a brick-and-mortar shop. Keppel's husband Joey Buttons also wanted a physical home for the record label he founded in 2009. When the St. Mary Street address became available, the three "jumped on it," Dunn says. 

"Sharing the space takes a lot of pressure off, which I think is necessary if you want to take creative risks," Keppel says.

"And it is cool having Joey's records in here, because it brings in a whole different crowd and is great cross-promotion," Dunn adds.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five ways to use scents in your home

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:52 AM

Jonathan Steadman in his home studio.
  • Jonathan Steadman in his home studio.


Jonathan Steadman, creator of Obeah fragrances, has "always been intrigued by scent." The Slidell native and current NYC resident's first perfume was a love potion that combined six aphrodisiac scents: sandalwood, vanilla, jasmine, rose, orange and licorice. "I was going on a date, and I wanted some help," he says.

Steadman's new collection includes room sprays, linen sprays, bath crystals and custom perfumes. An art director for luxury brands, he designed the Obeah logo and chose black Italian glass bottles for his scents. At home, Steadman uses fragrance the way most people use lighting, accessories and other design elements — to create a mood. He'll whip up a custom scent to complement a dinner party or cocktail soiree.

"I am big about matching scent to activity in the home," Steadman says. "For a cocktail party, you do something like relaxing and warm like an amber. If I make Moroccan food, I might make a scent that has a spice and apricot note."

The right smell, Steadman says, is nothing short of magical, which is why he named his brand after folk magic that originated in the Caribbean islands and made its way to Louisiana as part of voodoo.

"[Scent] can change the environment or mood in the room or take you back to a place or time you’ve been," he says. "For me, that was magical, and that's why I decided to name [my product line] after something magical."

Below are five ways Steadman sets a mood with scents.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Home decorating tips from HGTV's John Gidding of Curb Appeal

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 3:15 PM

John Gidding has a master's degree in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • John Gidding has a master's degree in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.
This weekend, the NOLA Home Show hosts more home improvement experts, professionals and celebrity guests than you can shake a spade at. Among them is John Gidding, architect turned host of HGTV's Curb Appeal. On the show, he helps homeowners make their house exteriors more eye-catching.

Gambit interviewed Gidding for tips on maximizing the appeal of porch-centric NOLA homes.


Gambit: As I’m sure you’ve noticed, New Orleans has some beautiful architecture. What do you like about the homes here?
John Gidding: I've always been drawn to porches, covered verandas and balconies — all of which are expressed beautifully and in a multitude of ways in New Orleans. They're a much appreciated extension of the interior and a way of bringing in the exterior, but what I love is the sense of community they engender. Neighborhoods with porches and balconies encourage the kind of casual, unplanned interactions among neighbors and passersby that create stronger communities with the additional benefit of better upkeep and maintenance. Just what the Curb Appeal guy likes.

G: What does "curb appeal" mean, and is it something only people selling their homes should be concerned with?
JG: It was initially a real estate term. When people pull up to a house for sale, it's the first thing to judge by -— but HGTV's long-running show with the same name has taken the term to a broader platform, and for good reason. All too often, home improvements are for the benefit of an upcoming sale — when they'd be much better appreciated by the inhabitants of the home as they lived in it. This is especially true for curb appeal: it affects your neighborhood, it improves safety, and also impacts how you feel when you get home. These are things that people should create for themselves and benefit from, and that's why I think Curb Appeal has developed broad appeal.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Shopgirl (and guy) style: Ali McNally and Chris Scheurich of Neon Heart

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 12:54 PM

Stylist and model Ali McNally can add another feather to her cap: boutique owner. Last month, she and husband Chris Scheurich opened Neon Heart (1022 Lowerline St., 504-202-7983, @neonheartshop), where McNally curates an international mix of brands she discovered in her previous life as a beauty editor at London's FIASCO magazine. These include Malin + Goetz products, Valley Eyewear, Minnow Bathers and Bully Boy lingerie, Maria Francesca Pepe and RP/Encore jewelry and Hayley Elsaesser bags.

"I'd already used or worn all of our products before we decided to carry them," McNally says. "This shop is a real labor of love, and I only wanted to sell things I really believe in."

Neon Heart owners Ali McNally and Chris Scheurich (and shop dog Kitty) outside the boutique. - MISSY WILKINSON
  • Missy Wilkinson
  • Neon Heart owners Ali McNally and Chris Scheurich (and shop dog Kitty) outside the boutique.

What led you to start a business in New Orleans?


Ali: First and foremost, it was love! I met my now-husband back in 2012 when I flew over from the UK to New Orleans to style a music video. I subsequently fell in love with both him and the city and started to feel like it might be the right time to leave London. And so I ended up here. I'd always thought I might like to have a shop one day, so when the space that used to be Homestead became available, we jumped at the opportunity.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

2014: a very fashionable year

Posted By on Fri, Dec 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

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.


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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Secondhand cookware shop Seasoned opens on Broad Street

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Sometimes, you really need a set of tart tins — but really don't want to pay William-Sonoma, top-dollar price.

The answer might just be Broad Street's latest edition, Seasoned, New Orleans' first store devoted exclusively to the sale of secondhand cookware.


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Stupid Time Machine's parody Urban Outfitters ad draws online outrage — but is it justified?

Posted By on Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

An image from a parody commercial produced by the New Orleans comedy group Stupid Time Machine. The fake ad for Urban Outfitters skewers the use of Native American imagery and iconography in pop fashion — but not everyone is laughing.
  • An image from a parody commercial produced by the New Orleans comedy group Stupid Time Machine. The fake ad for Urban Outfitters skewers the use of Native American imagery and iconography in pop fashion — but not everyone is laughing.

The New Orleans comedy group Stupid Time Machine released a clever video over the Thanksgiving holiday — it's a fake commercial for Urban Outfitters, which has drawn criticism in the past for some of its controversial clothing lines. Some Native Americans were particularly incensed by the clothing chain's "Navajo" line (which included hip flasks and panties), which seemed to inspire Stupid Time Machine. The website Bustle described it well:
The video opens with some Vampire Weekend-esque, trendy, indie-style, drum-led music, and some “cute” hipsters in eclectic outfits gaily bounding down some stairs in what appears to be a fairly barren industrial area of a city. The voiceover says, “Let us give thanks for a new type of tribe,” as a hipster pushes a Native American guy out of frame, and a purple-haired girl in a pink shaggy coat unfurls an American flag. The video then quickly devolves into a montage of Native American headdresses next to Urban Outfitter’s range of records and record players, American Spirit cigarettes, beaded vests and “honoring heritage by making it sexy”—and making me laugh out loud, because it’s so on point.
(The "fairly barren industrial area of a city" is Crescent Park in the Bywater.) 

Anyway, it's pretty pointed satire about co-opting native cultures ... unless, of course, you take it seriously.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

New underground record store Sisters in Christ opens on Freret Street

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Bryan Funck, left, and Michael Moises in their new Freret Street record store Sisters in Christ.
  • Bryan Funck, left, and Michael Moises in their new Freret Street record store Sisters in Christ.

Vinyl records are large, unwieldy, and, as anyone who’s ever hefted a milk crate full of them knows, very physically present. There was a time when these characteristics seemed like liabilities, but as technology strives to further alienate us from our music, shifting lately from locally stored MP3s to remote, server-dependent streaming, plenty of people crave vinyl’s warm sound, big gatefold covers and hands-on playback. New Orleans has a lot of good record stores, and on Nov. 22 the city gains one more — the underground-oriented Sisters in Christ at 4920 Freret St.

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