When you think of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and Bourbon Street probably come to mind. It's a city known for its rich culture, good food and fun times, but it's not usually associated with cool-girl fashion. For four-year-old KREWE, that was part of the appeal, says the eyewear brand's founder Stirling Barrett: "We started KREWE to do something unexpected from a place nobody would expect it from." The company has been redefining the rules for eyewear ever since. You won't find large logos or deep discounts coming from KREWE; it's an independent brand that's focused on creating frames designed to embrace individuality — and it guarantees them for life.
This mentality and wide array of colors and styles has made KREWE something of a celebrity darling in the accessories world, with everyone from Beyoncé to Gigi Hadid rocking multiple pairs on the regular. "Our shapes, colors and material combinations are very unique while still being approachable," says Barrett. "Stylists and celebrities are choosing to either pair KREWE with elevated basics to make a statement or to marry well with an entire outfit."
KREWE's myriad frame and color options also make it easy for women to create a sunglass wardrobe. "Eyewear is the new handbag — it's the accessory that fits in every selfie," says Barrett. The right eyewear can make an entire outfit, whether you're running errands or walking the red carpet. The New Orleans native says women shouldn't shy away from buying multiple pairs of the same frame in different colors when they find a style they love. He points to the brand's popular, round mirrored St. Louis style as an example. Blake Lively wore a patterned white pair that perfectly complemented her Versace gown to the Met Gala, while Adriana Lima recently wore the same frames in a matte black color with a casual denim shirt.
In terms of frame style, having options on hand is key, adds Barrett. "A big glam frame like the Octavia is the perfect brunch frame if you're feeling a little sassy but just want to rock jeans and a white tee," he says. (The style is one of Beyonce's go-tos.) "If you're looking for something on the smaller side, look for our Ward frames which has been a Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez fave." To help you figure out which frames will look best on you, KREWE has stylists that you can chat with on their site to share selfies, talk fit and get tips. But, adds Barrett, "If you like something and think it looks dope, it's likely other people will too!"
Although an eyewear collection sounds great in theory, crafting one can be expensive. KREWE's frames range from $175 to $375, and the brand is vehemently opposed to discounts. "Our eyewear is handmade and while it's designed for life, shit happens," explains Barrett. "That's why when you buy from us at full-price, we offer a replacement frame, no questions asked, should they break. That's way better than offering discounts."
KREWE does, however, host two private event sales a year in order to keep inventory moving and introduce new customers at a lower price point. The next exclusive Private Event will take place from May 17-May 21 on the brand's site, with select styles up to 60 percent off, and Barrett anticipates the mirror frames will go fast. "The St. Louis Interstellar will be priced at $94, I think that will be the first frame to sell out. That's 50 percent off what it usually sells for." While Barrett is tight-lipped about the sale specifics, he did let it slip that the Beyoncé-favored Octavia frames will also be included.
For more information on KREWE's private events, join the brand's mailing list. Barrett promises not to bombard you with emails – only important ones, like exclusive sales.