The New Orleans fashion scene has exploded in the past three years. The city is now on the radar for many retail buyers, showroom scouts and big name fashion publications. We have grown to include NOLA Sewn, a manufacturing plant that caters to local designers and pattern makers; New Orleans Fashion Week, a bi-annual fashion week; and even a glossy quarterly high fashion magazine, Amélie G. The city is capable of producing, manufacturing, sourcing and distributing the products of local designers which were unfeasible less than a decade ago. A place that is habitually synonymous with budding musicians and culinary trends is now becoming a recognized hotbed for fashion designers.
This past October, NOLA Fashion Week had its 6th season showcasing the Spring/Summer Collections of local and regional fashion designers. One of the newest and most promising lines to debut was HUNT COLLECTIVE. Although the title “fashion designer” is new to her extensive fashion resume, Lana Hunt, the visionary behind HUNT COLLECTIVE, is certainly not unfamiliar to the fashion world. Starting her own clothing line was imminent.
Lana Hunt is originally from Zachary, Louisiana, a small town just North of Baton Rouge. She moved to New Orleans in 2011 and began volunteering her time and skills with the New Orleans Fashion Council. Lana currently writes and styles for the fashion publication Amélie G., organizes all the fashion seminars for the New Orleans Fashion Council, and is also responsible for the breathtaking displays at Anthropologie. “A clothing line was always something I wanted to do,” states Hunt. “However, the circumstances I found myself in led me to take the journalism and styling route.” As capable as Lana is of designing and producing a fashion brand, she is only one third of HUNT COLLECTIVE.
Joined by her seamstress and designer mother, Sherlyn Hunt, and her architect and painter sister, Danielle Hunt Johnson, HUNT COLLECTIVE is an assemblage of the three women’s brightest gifts. Sherlyn Hunt graduated in Interior Design and owned a fabric store in Zachary. Her shop has since closed, but Mrs. Hunt was left with a studio filled with the tools and machines and skills to get construction of the line underway. Danielle Hunt Johnson, sister to Lana and a mother of two small children, is an architect by day in Baton Rouge and paints when she has some free moments in her busy schedule. In fact, in order to complete the collection, Lana and her husband took over parenting roles in order for Danielle to contribute her third of HUNT COLLECTIVE.
Because this was their first attempt at clothing design, the women of HUNT COLLECTIVE wanted to stay true to classic silhouettes. “Since this was our debut collection and none of us were strong in apparel design we kept the garments simple and allowed fabrics to speak for themselves,” explains Lana. The designs of the garments naturally progressed after they created and produced their own custom textiles. The women gathered on the weekends in Sherlyn’s studio in Zachary to drape, create patterns, hand paint garments and do mock-up pieces in muslin.
The collection revealed itself to be timeless pieces fluidly mixed and matched with each other or to compliment an existing wardrobe. The painted canvas coats and jackets are ideal for humid climates. Hues like blush, pinks and creams are ethereal and flattering. The cropped pants and button down blouse are extremely wearable and a staple piece that would be in every woman’s closet. A few pieces and prints do make a statement and are not for everyday wear, but are nonetheless ideal for special occasions. “The painted jumpsuit with the hand-painted collar is one of my favorites,” says Lana. Also in the collection are a velvet paneled short and skirt and blush velvet pants.
Designing, building and sustaining a fashion brand is not an easy or glamorous task, yet with the combined efforts of these three creative and intelligent women HUNT COLLECTIVE has a promising future. Presently you can view images of their labors on their Facebook page and contact them for custom pieces. The line will be manufactured locally through NOLA Sewn and ready for late Spring/Summer deliveries. A website and e-commerce site is currently in the works.
You can contact Hunt Collective on their Facebook page, or email Lana directly at Lana@wearHUNTCOLLECTIVE.com.