Swamp Rags Vintage Clothing Store Opening July 31 in the French Quarter

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NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The French Quarter will welcome a new vintage clothing store on July 31. Swamp Rags Vintage offers 80s and 90s pop culture nostalgia in the form of t-shirts, jackets, jeans, collectibles and more. They will hold their grand opening at 533 Saint Louis St. on Saturday, July 31, at noon, with the store open until 7 p.m.

Swamp Rags Vintage was created by co-founders Chris Olsen and Dante Graziani during the COVID-19 pandemic, when their love of vintage became a solution to the disruption caused by pandemic shutdowns. Dante, a tour manager for internationally touring bands, saw his industry shut down overnight. Chris, a partner at a creative agency whose New Orleans clients were primarily bars and restaurants, felt a similar change.

Like many people, Graziani and Olsen turned to their passions to make ends meet. “It was like a fresh slate.” Olsen said “with everything shut down, when things reopened, we could do anything.” Dante started sourcing and selling vintage t-shirts, and Chris started Vice & Graft, a vintage clothing and furniture business within the Merchant House Cooperative. After working together for months, they decided to join forces to create Swamp Rags Vintage.

“We always knew we wanted to open a store in the French Quarter, but we weren’t sure how we could make it happen.” said Dante. What happened next seemed like fate, though. While hunting estate sales early in the morning, Chris and Dante came across a sale with over 3,000 vintage t-shirts. The previous owners had stockpiled their store in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina, and it had since been closed. They were finally getting it all cleaned up, and Dante and Chris offered to buy it all. “As soon as I started looking in the boxes I knew we had to have it.” said Dante. That afternoon they were sorting boxes upon boxes of vintage gold which became the basis for the new Swamp Rags Vintage store.

Since then, Dante and Chris have found many more treasure troves of vintage t-shirts and clothing, focusing on 80s and 90s pop culture items and bits of New Orleans history. “We wanted to curate a store of the things we grew up on.” said Chris. Clothing and collectibles from the movies, cartoons, video games and music of the 80s and 90s fill the shop. Their inventory also includes dozens of Jazz Fest shirts, rare Saints clothing, historic pieces from Pontchartrain Beach, the 1984 World’s Fair and more. “We just filled the shop with the things we love.”

Swamp Rags Vintage will open at 533 Saint Louis St, between Decatur and Chartres. “We are proud to be part of our new block,” said Chris, “which includes the famous NOLA restaurants, Maison Napoleon and the New Orleans School of Cooking. It is a dream to open our store here. All members of the public and media are invited to attend the grand opening on Saturday, July 31, from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, please visit @swamprags on Instagram, swamprags.com or contact us directly at [email protected]

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