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15 Apr

Krewe Shares Bringing Its Uniquely Recent Orleanian Spirit to Consumers

Founded in 2013 by Stirling Barrett, a Recent Orleans native, Krewe was created with the “goal of making something unexpected from a spot nobody would suspect.” Today, the eyewear brand serves as a testament to the cultural hub that’s rooted locally.

In conversation, Barrett told WWD he was inspired to create the corporate by Recent Orleans itself, describing it as a vibrant, diverse place.

“I saw that as a chance. Town does a very good job of celebrating culture through the entire things it’s famous for — food, music, Mardi Gras and tourism. I saw a chance to have a good time individual style and create community by starting a fashion brand from a spot that nobody would expect. It’s meant numerous various things over the past 10 years but in some ways, we’ve lived as much as that original goal we set out to realize.”

Barrett said when he thinks about celebrating 10 years of Krewe, it feels a bit surreal, mixed with heavy gratitude. “Ten years went by within the blink of an eye fixed, no pun intended. To not say it wasn’t difficult since it was, but you learn to roll with it. ‘The precise thing will occur at the proper time’ becomes the motto.”

Krewe’s Recent York flagship location.

Named in reference to the Recent Orleans phrase meaning a bunch of those who “roll together in a Mardi Gras parade.” This Krewe, or company, Barrett told WWD, is “one where we accomplish great things by growing together and helping one another, all with the intent of creating a difference on the earth. We would like to do that with respect for the place that we come from, Recent Orleans.”

Furthermore, it’s an incredible group of individuals, Barrett said, that the corporate owes its success.

“Now we have had and have such amazing team members. Individuals who love, care and steward this brand we’re constructing — whether in our stores, achievement, distant or at our headquarters. Consumers have come to like us as a consequence of our authenticity. It’s why word of mouth continues to stay our strongest marketing channel.”

Like many brands at first, Krewe began small. Actually, the brand’s first store was actually a cart that the team would travel with from festival to festival to sell frames. The second Krewe store, Barrett said, was the Krewe office and the third “was born from necessity, we would have liked a spot to sell that wasn’t disrupting where we worked.”

Krewe’s Recent York flagship location.

While much has modified as the corporate continues to grow, Barrett said he doesn’t feel there is a large difference. The intention for the corporate was at all times to create a destination that each celebrated the product and created spaces, giving people a reason to interact with the brand and spend time in a spot without it being transactional. This concept got here to life in the corporate’s original store with a version of a coffee bar within the back.

Through the pandemic, Krewe built a fleet of “tiny houses” to launch in locations it desired to test out. These tests were a necessity, Barrett said who shared the uncertainty many others were feeling around the long run of retail. With these experimental retail spaces, the corporate learned to be flexible and meet people where they’re.

“When you’re a self-funded brand, you don’t have the chance to fail like if you find yourself venture-backed, which in turn creates the need to know your consumers and markets higher. This Tiny Home strategy matches inside our belief of the concentric circle growth model and constructing our Krewe in that way. The Tiny Home concept embodies rather a lot about who we’re as a brand. When something isn’t working, we get to the foundation of why, and solve for it.”

With the mobile spaces, the brand was capable of meet customers where they were while still holding true to its look after design and architecture. The mobile retail experiences were built so that customers didn’t “feel mobile” when someone is in them. Nods to Recent Orleans architecture were used along with intentional natural light within the skylights.

Looking across all of Krewe’s spaces, Barrett said, the “recent and the old spaces don’t feel that different to us from an inspiration standpoint. We’ve at all times had a vision of Recent Orleans and shortly after Recent York being flagship markets for us, in order that’s been amazing to see come to life through our Maison du Krewe projects.”

Maison du Krewe, the brand’s Recent York City flagship location, opened in late 2022 at 67 Gansevoort Street as a multipurpose creative and communal space for the brand and its guests. The inviting space is designed to merge the “bustling spirit of Recent York” with the “comfortable energy of the Northernmost Caribbean city.”

The space design was a shared project between Barrett and interior designer Olivia Erwin, who has collaborated on designs for Krewe’s Recent Orleans headquarters and other stores. The duo used the brand’s core tenant — experience in discovery — and worked to make consumers’ visits experimental and exquisite. Included within the space are a responsibly sourced wine lounge with a lounge for guests and an open flame fireplace.

Krewe’s Recent York flagship location.


Krewe’s approach to retail, said Barrett, has at all times and continues to be to check, iterate, grow and create community through its spaces. “All that in DNA links back to the unique store, or cart. How we’re willing to speculate and bet based on consumer demand has allowed us to do larger and more audacious things. We’re really proud but more excited to see what’s to return out of those recent spaces.”

Barrett told WWD he has “no clue what the subsequent 10 years will hold. There continues to be loads of opportunity and market share inside Optical and sun in addition to growing the brand within the U.S. When you’re an independent brand, focus is the whole lot. I don’t see us losing give attention to optical sun and people services inside the subsequent three to 5 years.”

All of it comes all the way down to people, he said, “we’ve at all times taken advantage of opportunities in certain areas when the proper person comes along. Ultimately, it comes all the way down to what our consumers need to see from us. We’re at all times all the way down to try recent things and construct our community and partners. We wouldn’t be here today without the amazing people and community who’ve supported us along the best way. We hope to maintain doing this for one more 10-plus years.”

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