"It's been going very well, way beyond expectations," says Cristy McNabb, who owns the store with business partner Jennifer Webber. "We thought that the men in New Orleans needed to be catered to with nice, upscale clothing and direct service that we didn't think was offered anywhere else."
The decor and layout of the store invites men to relax and linger, with a pool table in the back part of the shop, a seating area in the front and refreshments on request. In addition, McNabb and Webber offer personal advice about selecting both casual and business clothes that are versatile and attractive. Style Lab does offer a few suits but focuses more on those with jackets that can be worn separately with more casual pants and accessories and shirts and pants that can double as work clothes or outfits for less business-like endeavors.
"It's high-end casual, but the type that's offered at Barney's Co-Op or Fred Segal -- things they won't find elsewhere, but in a non-department store setting," Webber says. "Here they can concentrate on themselves."
Among the names Style Lab carries are Theory, Trovata, J. Lindeberg's golf series, Ted Butler, James Perse, Energy, 7 Diamonds, 3 Dots, Juicy Couture, Diesel, Von Dutch accessories, and shoes by Donald Pliner, Jack Black, Born, Medium and the Colehan G series, as well as luggage by Jack Spade. McNabb and Webber plan to introduce at least three new lines next spring.
The two women say they plan to expand their fashion concept to other locations in the next year or so.
The Face of Fashion
There are several ways to improve a person's vision, and optometrist Dr. Ted Brown believes his way also can encompass improving their visage. Brown, who owns Uptown Eyecare (3640 Magazine St., 899-EYES (3937); www.uptown-eyecare.com) with his wife, Laura, runs a full-service eye-care center that offers eye exams, contact lenses, designer eyeglasses, treatments for eye diseases and injuries. He and Laura recently gave the office a facelift -- she has experience in the interior design field -- and added skin care products to improve the health and look of the entire face.
The new cosmetics lines meld well with the fashion-forward eyeglass frames Uptown Eyecare offers from designers such as Kate Spade, Gucci, Valentino, Oliver Peoples, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Lafont, Ottica Veneta, Burberry and others.
"We're trying to create a niche where we focus more on high-fashion glasses as more than just a medical device, glasses that are fun to wear and not just something [people] have to wear," Brown says. "People have a lot of options today: contact lenses, refractive surgery, glasses. We're trying to make it more fun."
The cosmetics and skin care lines were added, partly in response to requests from customers for recommendations about quality products, Brown says. Some of the products offered include Green Cream, a retinol anti-aging treatment developed by New Orleans dermatologist Dr. Nia Terezakis; SkinCeuticals products that correct damage to skin, protect healthy skin and prevent future damage; and Kinerase products for skin of all ages.
"We started with things that would work well around their eyes," Brown says. "It has grown from there to the whole face. We have a line of mascara, for instance, that's designed so it's much safer to use for contact wearers."
A Pet Project
Help an abandoned animal find a nice home for the holidays by becoming a sponsor in the Animal Adopt-a-thon, a project that features photographs of animals that are available for adoption from local shelters and groups. The photographs will appear in the Dec. 14 issue of Gambit®Weekly and on the paper's Web site: www.bestofneworleans.com, along with information about where people can adopt the pets.
To participate, send $20 for each animal you wish to sponsor to Gambit Weekly, 3923 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70119 or call Sarah at 483-3100. You also can include a message on the photograph telling who sponsored the pet. The animals will come from the Louisiana SPCA, the Humane Society of Louisiana, St. Francis Animal Sanctuary, Spaymart, Vet Adoptions, Pet Adoption Services, St. Bernard Parish Animal Control, Cat Haven and others.
Jewel of a Raffle
For just $5, you have a chance to win a designer piece of jewelry from Aucoin Hart and support women's cancer research. The Foundation for the LSU Health Sciences Center is conducting a raffle through Dec. 14 in which $5 tickets will be sold for a chance to win jewelry from Aucoin Hart trunk shows featuring designers Penny Preville, Mikimoto and David Yurman. The jewelry pieces are worth a total of $10,000. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit research into women's cancer. To buy a raffle ticket, go by Aucoin Hart (1525 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9999) or visit LSU's Web site at www.foundation.lsuhsc.edu.