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GoNOLA Find: Kawaii NOLA

As fans of anime and Japanese culture flock to downtown New Orleans this weekend for MechaCon, this year they also have a new reason to head to Magazine Street, as Kawaii NOLA celebrates its first year in business. This cute little boutique marked its first birthday on July 20, 2014 and has quickly become a favorite among quirky, fashion-loving ladies from around New Orleans, which is what makes it this week’s GoNOLA Find.

Kawaii NOLA celebrates a Culture of Cute and stocks fun clothing, wigs, makeup and accessories inspired by Japanese street style. Photo courtesy Kawaii NOLA.

Located at 3512 Magazine Street, Kawaii NOLA celebrates “A Culture of Cute” and carries a wide assortment of adorable accessories, costumes, and gifts with an Asian twist. Kawaii (kah-wah-ee) is a Japanese word that can be roughly translated as “cute.”

At their recent anniversary party, fans dressed to the nines in outfits inspired by Japanese street style and Gothic Lolita fashions. Kawaii NOLA stocks a variety of jewelry, makeup, nail art, wigs, costumes and colorful clothing, making it a perfect destination for Halloween and Mardi Gras costumes, as well as year-round fun. The shop also carries fun toys, stationery sets and home decor, including, of course, plenty of Hello Kitty.

Kawaii NOLA carries a variety of popular brands, including Sanrio & Hello Kitty. Photo courtesy Kawaii NOLA.

Kawaii NOLA stocks a selection of vintage Japanese kimonos as well as specialty items like imported candies. In addition to the shop’s retail offerings, Kawaii NOLA also hosts occasional DIY workshops where students can learn how to make adorable toys and accessories like felt plush creatures and flower crowns.

Kawaii NOLA is located at 3512 Magazine Street, across from Harry’s Ace Hardware, near Louisiana Avenue. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays, noon until 4 p.m. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for event updates and to see what’s new in the shop.

Mallory Whitfield is an artist, speaker, and author based in New Orleans. In 2016, she was honored to be included in the 19th class of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, which salutes the brightest innovators, artists, and professionals in New Orleans. She currently hosts the Badass Creatives podcast, which features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs. During Mardi Gras, you can usually find her parading with Noisician Coalition in Muses or with The 501st Legion in Tucks.

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