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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Stirling Barrett of KREWE du Optic

Written by  IntheNOLA.com
Have you always wanted to join a Mardi Gras krewe? You know, like Zulu or Endymion? Well, we got one you can join! One that even the likes of singer Beyonce and actress Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black) are members of. 
 
That’s right, you can be a part of a special krewe…the KREWE du Optic, a “New Orleans based and culturally inspired eyewear company” and IntheNOLA’s first Entrepreneur Spotlight of 2015!
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Stirling Barrett of KREWE du Optic | IntheNOLA.com
After finishing up fours years of art school in Dallas TX in 2008, New Orleanian Stirling Barrett was ready to come back to New Orleans. “I didn’t know if I was actually coming back, but by the end of four years, I really understood what it was to miss New Orleans in a cliché kind of way,” explained Stirling. “I realized I really needed to come back.”
 
An artist all of his life, Stirling wanted to use his creativity “to touch people on a mass scale” and in 2013 he founded KREWE du Optic. “In a nutshell, KREWE is a New Orleans based, culturally-inspired eyewear company that celebrates individual style through modern, iconic frames for sunglasses,” he said. “New Orleans has a long history, even through tainted times, where people were allowed to be themselves and do their own thing. That willingness to experiment and be yourself and represent yourself through style is something that’s really unusual in other places. And that’s what we celebrate at KREWE, the individual style of the people. Our products are non-branded because we truly believe that the people that wear our product are our brand.”
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Stirling Barrett of KREWE du Optic | IntheNOLA.com
He continued, “There is so much passion in this city that can be distributed worldwide and I wanted to create a brand that represented New Orleans in a positive, quality craftsmanship light.”
 
KREWE du Optic’s craftsmanship is demonstrated by their many modern frames all named after New Orleans streets and places, such as the Julia, the LGD (Lower Garden District), and the Olivier frames. “Our frames relate to names because that’s the inspiration for them, we truly take the inspiration from the city and our surroundings,” Stirling explained. “For instance, the Fly is a classic. Everyone can wear this kind of shape. It’s something that I would want to wear riding my bike around town laying out in the grass on the weekend. Or take the St. Louis, which is round with a metal bridge that’s directly inspired from the wrought iron architecture in the French Quarter. We pay homage to the city where we’ve taken the inspiration via the name.”
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Stirling Barrett of KREWE du Optic | IntheNOLA.com
He added, “The LGD is a very Bohemian crossover frame. Young and old can wear it and the color in that frame gives a lot of impact. It’s amazing how the color and architectural feel of the frame interact with each other. When you really blow down what the Lower Garden District is to me, it’s shotguns next to four column mansions.”
 
Stirling’s favorite pair happens to be…all of them! “My favorite changes week to week,” he laughed, “but personally, I love Olivia and LGD and Toulouse and St. Louis!”
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Stirling Barrett of KREWE du Optic | IntheNOLA.com
So, if you’re looking for fashionable and New Orleans-inspired sunglasses (including those with prescriptions), be a part of a special sunglass krewe with KREWE du Optic eyewear. Be on the lookout for the iconic New Orleans frames on their tricycle in a hand built wooden display case at events like Wednesday at the Square (coming up in March!). “This is our way of being able to relate to the locals in person. You can customize your frames with prescriptions and change the lens color. That is really cool, especially for local people.”
 
For more information about KREWE du Optic, please visit their website, Facebook, and Twitter.
 
Last modified on Monday, 09 February 2015
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