In 2013, Stirling Barrett made a bold move: instead of buying a house with the money he’d saved for the down payment, he used it as seed money to start KREWE, a stylish eyewear brand. Since its inception, the brand has become hugely popular with celebrities everywhere, from Meghan Markle to Beyoncé to Gigi Hadid, who reportedly owns at least seven pairs.
For Barrett and the brand, New Orleans has always provided design inspiration, whether that be for the frames, like the St. Louis Classic, which draws on cast-iron balconies in the French Quarter, or their newest creation, the company headquarters, which was fashioned from a former food storage warehouse and includes a stylish outdoor courtyard and design studio.
"The Northern-most-Caribbean-city vibe is alive and well in the flora and fauna that you can find in all of our spaces," says Barrett. "Our interiors are full of life and light: lush plants, a mixture of textures, and as always, big windows." Let’s take a tour.
In-house KREWE designers paired up with Olivia Erwin Interiors to refashion the empty warehouse into a suitable headquarters for the growing company. The goal was to "create an adaptable space that was light-filled and revolved around the sun, just like the brand," says KREWE. To that end, an open floor plan spills out into a sunny, pool-filled courtyard, which functions as a testing ground for new shade designs, as well as a social club.
The SUN_DAYS courtyard space was designed with LeBlanc + Smith, a hospitality group, and is aimed to be used by locals, rather than tourists. "We, along with our partners at LeBlanc + Smith, believed we could create a community space where the creative individuals we find ourselves inspired by in New Orleans can come together around a heated or chilled pool, wellness class, sauna, maybe even just a happy hour," says KREWE. "We wanted to create a space that was open; that pushed you towards connecting and interacting with new people."
Shop the Look
The 1818 Magazine Street Store and Apartment
Just a few blocks away from the headquarters is the 1818 Magazine Street KREWE store, located in a historic building built in the early 1800s. Above the store sits a gallery apartment, with interiors designed by KREWE and Olivia Erwin Interiors.
The apartment can be used for hosting friends of the brand, dinner parties, or offsite retreats and marks another step in the brand’s evolution. "As KREWE aspires to be and continues to grow into a lifestyle brand, we believe that our brand is going to revolve around physical spaces rather than making more products," they say.