LOCAL DESIGNERS TACKLE THE T-SHIRT: Ten Unique Takes on a Wardrobe Staple

The t-shirt is an unequivocally classic piece of clothing – and probably the most commonly owned.

Designers from Givenchy to Helmut Lang have built entire collections using this iconic piece. It’s an item that can be thrown on with a pair of jeans, jazzed up with a few jewels, or reinvented with a new pair of kicks. Luckily for all you fashion lovin’ folks, New Orleans’ local designers are changing the game with fresh tees customized for the Crescent City. Check out INVADE’s top ten picks for t-shirts by local designers.


1. Kids With Krowns


Make memories on your life journey

The Bon Voyage t-shirt by Kids with Krowns is all about meeting new people, learning from them, sharing experiences, then accepting the fact that you must go your separate ways. Kids with Krowns is an unfolding storyline about an art brand born on the streets of New Orleans. The name of the brand represents a life mentality we can get down with: always wear your KROWN, never forget your youthful freedom and creativity, and stay forever young.


2. DOPECiety


Keep it regal

DOPECiety designed the Queens Tee to remind us what the word “Queen” truly means. The tee features the names of six powerful women who at one time ruled and led nations, fought against colonization and oppression, and inspired generations to come. An accomplished Liberian-American painter, writer, photographer and clothing designer, Denisio Truitt is the mastermind behind DOPECiety (and a queen in her own right).




Put a little bounce in your step and get down at a second line

New Orleans’ deep roots in jazz heritage formed the inspiration for the Zazz t-shirt. Knowla is a southern lifestyle company driven by handcrafted designs alongside locally hand-printed, hand-sewn apparel. With a passion for all types of creative expression, Knowla is a company dedicated to supporting New Orleans’ arts community.


4. Hazel and Florange


Wander around the world or right at home in New Orleans

The Gypsy Jetset T by Hazel and Florange is for the Hazel girls who welcome a parade and a jazz band by the moonlight with a oui, s’il vous plait, mon cher; the ones who embrace the city’s contradictions as freely as a gypsy jetsetter might, adrift in some fabulous adventure. H&F is inspired by two Louisiana lovelies, les muses living on the river, sipping espresso, and playing scrabble into the night.


5. Elizabeth Chronicles


Throw it back to the Disco era

The Studio 504 t-shirt by Elizabeth Chronicles pays tribute to the timeless (or time-honored) NYC nightclub. The Elizabeth Chronicles is a fashion-forward lifestyle brand citing New Orleans as its biggest source of inspiration.


6. Fleurty Girl


Step up Sundays at the Superdome when the Saints come marching in

The Robot Number 9 shirt by Fleurty Girl is a great piece to add to your football fan gear. Fleurty Girl is your one-stop shop for all things celebrating New Orleans.


7. High Brass Apparel


Throw the most fun Mardi party

He’s a local celebrity, a longstanding symbol of Carnival itself – New Orleanians all know (and love) the king cake baby. The King Cake Baby tee by High Brass Apparel will keep you warm as you’re shouting, “Throw me something Mister!” Established in New Orleans, High Brass Apparel has set up shop in Jaque’s Clothing. The brand name comes from the trumpet, the classic jazz instrument with the highest register in the brass family.


8. Dirty Coast


Show support for local youth using writing as a creative outlet

Proceeds from the Chapter 504 Project T-shirt, a collaboration between Big Class and Dirty Coast, will help fund a youth writing center. Working with local printers and designers, Dirty Coast began as a response to New Orleans’ assorted oddities and hilarities. Big Class is a local creative writing program supporting the voices of the city’s youth.


9. Blonde Design


Color coordinate your tee and your lips

The Lipsticks Boyfriend Tee by Blonde Design provides the pop of color you’ve been looking for. It was only natural that Amanda Filder – a graphic designer, fashion lover, and t-shirt collector – would start her own line, Blonde Design. She is inspired by the magic and electric creativity of New Orleans.


10. Defend New Orleans


Defend your city in style

The Join DNO tee by Defend New Orleans puts a modern twist on Ben Franklin’s Revolutionary War rallying cry, Join or Die, with a snake reshaped to match the curvature of the Mississippi River through New Orleans neighborhoods. D.N.O. embodies the city’s fiercely independent spirit and the outpouring of hometown pride.