We love this place. Maybe you will too.
Thanks for visiting our site. Now come and see us in real life:
Dirty Coast – Uptown
5631 Magazine Street
Dirty Coast – Downtown
329 Julia Street
How it all began…
Dirty Coast began as a response. New Orleans is a funny place full of quirks, traditions, idiosyncrasies and a plethora of artistic talent. Why was this not coming across in the local apparel? We longed for something other than what was passing for local design around the city, and in many of the tourist trap shops in the French Quarter.
So we began working with local printers and creatives to establish a series of designs for folks to sport proudly while embracing the oddities and hilarities of the Crescent City. The mission for the brand has never changed. Through the merging of different ideas around our local identity, every design is meant to strike a conversation.
Originally we thought we might sell to a few hundred local die-hards and that would be that. Small batches of shirts and posters. A fun side project.
In 2005, a Category 3 storm made its way through the area without causing too much damage. Then the federally funded and constructed infrastructure meant to protect the city failed and filled New Orleans with water. Maybe you saw something about it on the news?
Soon after, Blake found himself in Lafayette with all his plans placed on hold. One morning while sipping coffee in his pajamas, Blake designed a bumper sticker that read, “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are.” He printed 5,000 stickers and placed them all over New Orleans as soon as he could return. The reaction to the sticker was amazing! Developing the Dirty Coast brand was a no-brainer. Now with a much bigger audience, the original mission felt so much more important.
2,000,000 free stickers and 80+ shirt designs later, along with an amazing community surrounding and inspiring the brand, Dirty Coast couldn’t be happier to keep the conversations about New Orleans and all her musings alive and happening. (And always leaving non-locals a bit perplexed by what the designs could mean.)
We hope to share a taste of what it means to be and to love New Orleans.
What Folks Are Saying
On one hand, this shop is producing some of the most eye-catching and original T-shirt designs in a town full of humor, graphic artists, and cotton garments. (“Ruffins for Mayor” has a silhouette of the local beloved musician, while “Onward, Upward, Ninth Ward” says it all.) Plus, all the shirts are painted in the city. On the other hand, this is a very far uptown location, and we are the ones who told you that you don’t need a car to get around. Plus, the shirts, wonderful though they are, are not cheap. But they are so much better than the crap in those French Quarter shops!
This T-shirt company was started by a graphic designer, Blake Haney, and an entrepreneur, Patrick Brower, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Their design statement — T-shirts screen-printed with clever and occasionally provocative jokes like “New Orleans: So far behind, we’re ahead” and “It’s not beautiful being easy” — became a local sensation. Inside its tiny storefront, there are T-shirts stacked floor-to-ceiling and new designs announced on a sidewalk chalkboard.
New York Times
Finally, there’s Dirty Coast (No. 5704). Like Bootsy’s, it churns out New Orleans Pride T-shirts and witty post-modern decals for $20 or so that are a southern answer to Brooklyn Industries (bestsellers include “Be a New Orleanean Wherever You Are” and “New Orleans, So Far Behind We’re Ahead”). Owner Blake Haney fired up his business online a month after Katrina and set up this boutique just over a year ago. Do drop in.
New York Post
Want to design for us?
We are always looking for great designers and illustrators to help bring our concepts to life. If it fits with the brand, we are in business. Send an email to Blake if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
We are local.
To pull off anything authentic in New Orleans you must know the culture in and out. If there is anything New Orleanians hate, it is posers and those who try to “manufacture” what we produce naturally by being who we are and accepting of others. There is little reason to wear our product other than to be proud of what New Orleans means. Chris Rose may have put it best when he said, “I have found along the way that the longer you live in New Orleans, the more unfit you become to live anywhere else.”