Together, Champagne and her sister, Kate Burns, target young, twenty- to thirtysomething women with four Louisiana stores: Bellini in New Orleans, Material Girl and MG Denim in Baton Rouge, and Tangerine in Houma. With Bellini's move Uptown, Champagne anticipates new shoppers, who may not have had the chance to visit the store's previous Metairie Road location. For others who prefer shopping from home, Champagne's merchandise also is sold through her Web site, www.ShopItUp.com.
When it comes to carrying the season's trends, Champagne sees to it that Bellini not only has them covered, but that there's enough variety that shoppers can find what works for them. The store currently carries 18 brands of jeans, including hot sellers like Stitches, 1921 and Habitual, with more than 60 styles from which to choose. Bellini consistently offers fresh takes on the tee with must-have labels like Flux Nouveau. It also stocks unique, wardrobe-building pieces from everyday casual wear to entrance-making cocktail dresses.
Among the items expected to be eagerly snapped up this holiday season are Audreyesque cigarette pants, velvet suits cut with a lean '70s-inspired silhouette, and imported Chanel-style leather-and-chain bracelets with fleur de lis charms. New Orleanians, it seems, aren't the only people who favor the beloved French insignia these days.
"We're seeing fleur de lis all over fashion right now, especially in jewelry," says Champagne. "And since it is traditionally known as the symbol of New Orleans, it comes at the perfect time as we try to rebuild our city.
Animal Lovers Need Apply
If you love the idea of helping to make a better life for the furry friends who give us so much unconditional love, volunteer with the Louisiana SPCA (701 Thayer St., 368-5191; www.la-spca.org). Volunteers must be at least 18 and complete a volunteer orientation to work directly with the animals. Call volunteer program coordinator Ginger Morvant at 368-5191, ext. 1420, or email email@example.com.