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20 Questions

My New Orleans: 20 Questions with Andi Eaton

“My style is a combination of gypsy jet-setter and quirky art school indie-lover, with a dash of tropical princess,” said Andi Eaton, New Orleans based stylist, author and designer. “I love intricately constructed, ethereal clothing.”

Eaton, who began her career as a stylist, took her first foray into design with her line Hazel & Florange. “The clothing line I’ve designed is a bit of a passion project,” she said. “I found myself working styling jobs and just getting dressed in the morning, wanting things I couldn’t necessarily find … so the brand was built from that.”

In the Fall of 2014, Eaton published the book New Orleans Style, which chronicles NOLA’s multicultural fashion history and explores how that history affects the city’s style today. In addition to her book, Eaton’s blog Oui We, which she loosely translates to “Yes, Us,” is popular among fashion and design enthusiasts throughout the South.

“It’s my story of bon vivants collecting perspective and style inspiration in New Orleans and around the globe,” Eaton said. “There’s a bit of self exploration that happens, and hopefully the reader can identify with that.”

Currently, Eaton is working tirelessly to organize Southern Design Week, which takes place March 15-21. “Southern Design Week started nine seasons ago as NOLA Fashion Week,” Eaton said. “As fashion weeks pop up all around the South, it was time for a new name and a fresh brand. So Southern Design Week was born.”

With Southern Design Week, Eaton, and her fellow stylists and designers have created an event that highlights the region’s signature style and supports the local designers who make it happen. “Southern Design Week presents a contrast to the standard fashion weeks of recent years, which emphasize retail as a key component,” Eaton said. “My mission is to keep a high priority focus on both the individual as a designer and the process of creation.”

A true Renaissance woman, Eaton has used her skills to tell the world about New Orleans’ unique style and to bring the city’s most talented designers into the spotlight.

20 Questions with Andi Eaton

1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?

It would be hard to choose just one … Jelly Roll Morton, who credited himself as “the originator of jazz, stomps and blues” — he was a master of tall tales — however, he set a groundbreaking standard for the New Orleans jazz scene. He made his living as a pimp, a gambler and a fight promoter, and sported a diamond in his front tooth with a thousand dollar bill in his pocket. One of the most intriguing characters of the Storyville era was E.J. Bellocq. A professional photographer by day, Bellocq had quite a different artistic passion by night: After his death, never-before-seen haunting and intimate images of Storyville prostitutes surfaced in his studio.

2. What first brought you to New Orleans?

I moved from Atlanta about six years ago. I was working in the beauty business and was thrilled with the opportunity to move to the city and be a part of its growth. For me, New Orleans’ feel of being a mash-up of a European city and a Caribbean city in an American place where you can get anywhere easily is a dream. Also, it’s inexpensive to live here, so young creatives can come and establish a business and make connections.

3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?

I love the Marigny for all the reasons that people are drawn to it. It’s an art-heavy neighborhood. There’s lots of music, and new restaurants all over the place. The neighbors are great and nothing’s really intense. Everyone sort of has an agreement to keep it chill.

4. City Park or Audubon Park?

Audubon Park. Unless it’s Voodoo Festival time — then I’m living in City Park. I love the oaks at Audubon and a good afternoon Champagne picnic.

5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans?

It’s New Orleans. Every meal, whether it’s authentic Louisiana cooking or dishes from my usual favorites, is good. Like, way good.

6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?

Satsuma in the Bywater followed by The Country Club for bottomless mimosas. I like to keep brunch going all afternoon.

7. What’s your favorite po-boy?  Where do you go to get it?

Fried oyster from Parkway Bakery in Mid City.

8. You’ve got friends visiting and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?

The Michalopoulos Studio Gallery to tour James’ workspace and see his dreamy approach to the city’s architecture, Sucre for macarons, District Donuts for sliders and donuts, Cane & Table for brunch and booze, and The Saint, because, well, I like that photo booth.

9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?

Oxalis in the Bywater. I adore Jon Peterson who runs The Branch — the newly opened backbar inside of Oxalis.

10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail and where do you go to get it?

There are so many. Anything from the team at Cure, really.

11. Snowball or Daiquiri? Where from and what flavor?

Daiquiri. And I like the classic Hemingway version, but truly, Lafitte’s purple drink, the Voodoo Daiquiri, is my favorite.

12. Best spot to see live music?

Lately it has been a blast catching the live bands at Tippi Clark’s Little Flea NOLA. A sunny day, killer street foods, and vintage finds make it the perfect spot to spend a Saturday. Otherwise, Gasa Gasa is a great spot and I love d.b.a. — I mean, they have great music and Champagne in a can!

13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?

Are you trying to get me in trouble with my musician friends?! Okay, here’s a few: Andrew Duhon, Krisin Diable, Maggie Koerner and Robin Barnes. All faves.

14. Favorite New Orleans Festival?

Voodoo Experience; and the weather is always stunning in October.

15. Favorite Mardi Gras parade?

Krewe du Vieux. It kicks off the Carnival season and is always such a wild time.

16. Where do you shop in New Orleans?

I love Hattie Sparks for local designer wares and the cutest little finds. And I shop UAL all the time.

17. What is your favorite New Orleans museum?

New Orleans Museum of Art. I love the Friday night events — they hosted me over the holidays for the signing of my book New Orleans Style — what a dream come true!

18. Where do you go to watch The Saints play?

The Dome ideally, but Saint Lawrence while sipping Pimm’s Cup daiquiris, or Markey’s with a bucket of High Lifes.

19. Describe New Orleans in one word.

Fulfilling.

20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans and why?

Every morning. I open the shutters, take it all in, and realize I’m living in the best city in the world.

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