Beignet Boys is a New Orleans based streetwear brand that avoids the usual imagery and tones associated with the Crescent City, such as wild debauchery or drinking. Instead they offer calm and relaxed vibes that show through their quality clothes and accessories. While the brand does create well designed graphic t-shirts, their true skill is creating timeless pieces like their “Washed Logo Bucket Hat” and their “Premium Stripe Rugby.” These pieces show that Beignet Boys has the potential to become New Orleans’ own Ralph Lauren or Guess by relying on the strength of their name and reputation to sell product instead of flashy graphics or trends.
The homegrown feel and classic New Orleans imagery is what makes them so special as a community builder. Despite being a cultural center amongst cities in the United States, New Orleans is still small in terms of the creative industries that can be found there. In my opinion, this is caused by a lack of representation stylistically. There are not many New Orleans based streetwear brands representing New Orleans in a creative way, and this has caused the city to be overlooked in terms of everything except music and food. Hopefully more creatives follow their lead, and start representing New Orleans in their own unique ways possibly finding a niche. If that were to happen, the three dimensionality of The Big Easy would begin to be shown in popular culture.
DNO(formerly Defend New Orleans) is “a scrappy labor of love” created to represent New Orleans through “value-driven product creation and curation.” The brand first started in 2003, and has since grown into a multi-location retail business. Their products have a classic feel that reminds me of the shirts found in the French Quarter in the 90s, but with a modern aesthetic. They have paved their own lane in the ecosystem of New Orleans, but what sets them apart is their adherence to their mission. Defend New Orleans is not just a name, but an order.
Their main way of accomplishing this goal(#DefendNewOrleans) is by using a portion of their proceeds to support New Orleans based non-profit organizations that focus on enriching “the community through cultural, environmental or social issues.” They’ve donated to the “Arts Council of New Orleans, Gulf Restoration Network, Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp" and countless more. Make sure to visit their website, or one of their stores to help defend New Orleans next time you have the chance to.