When we last spoke with Stirling Barrett, the founder of NOLA-based optics brand KREWE, he was celebrating the one-year anniversary of the brand’s flagship store, located on Royal Street within the city’s popular French Quarter district. Today, the brand’s success has reached even greater heights, including two additional brick-and-mortar spaces (one in NOLA’s Lower Garden District, the other in NYC’s SoHo) and a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nomination.
Since its inception, KREWE’s brand identity has been bolstered by its celebration of all things New Orleans, a city that has never let its socioeconomic difficulties hinder its creative productivity. So when the opportunity came for the brand to give back to its community, Barrett sought a way to do so that tapped KREWE’s well-defined niche. “We noticed a need within the community, particularly the schooling system, because it isn’t the best here in New Orleans,” Barrett tells CH. “Since we’re in the business of manufacturing optics, we wanted to give something back to the students in a way that felt personal.”
With its newly-launched non-profit organization, the KREWE Foundation, the brand seeks to provide eye care and free prescription eyewear to local public high schoolers all throughout the city. To inaugurate the foundation, KREWE has joined forces with several non-profits dedicated to New Orleans’ educational system to supply 300 students with frames by the end of 2018, with plans to increase this number each year in tandem with its for-profit sales’ goals until it reaches up to 25,000 students by 2022. “It’s an ambitious goal, but we’re a team that is both creative and devoted to our community, so we’re more than up for the challenge,” says Barrett.
Images courtesy of Krewe