We love this place. Maybe you will too.
On October 5th of 2004 we started Dirty Coast. The mission for the brand has never changed. Working with local printers and creatives, we wanted to create a series of designs that folks could proudly wear while poking fun at ourselves, proclaiming our local identity, and always leaving non-locals a bit perplexed at what the shirts might mean. 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. But, the federally funded and constructed infrastructure meant to protect the city failed us and filled New Orleans with water. Maybe you saw something about it on the news. Soon after that, Blake found himself in Lafayette with all plans placed on hold. In his PJs he designed a bumper sticker that read “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are.” He printed 5,000 stickers and placed them all over the city once he could return. The reaction to the sticker was amazing and soon afterward, so became the brand. Suddenly having a much bigger audience, our original mission had become so much more important. Over 2,000,000 free stickers and 80+ shirt designs later, as well as an amazing community surrounding our brand, we could not be more happy or blessed to have the responsibility to keep the conversations about New Orleans and Louisiana happening.
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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. We are also open to new ideas for products. If it fits with the brand we are in business. Feel free to send Blake an email if you are interested. email@example.com
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 just by being who we are and living through our summers. If we were not from here, we could never create designs that struck the right chord. The same goes for our customers. It is your link to New Orleans that makes you a fan of Dirty Coast. There is little other reason to wear our product than to be proud of what New Orleans means.