Swamp Rags Vintage Debuts July 31 in the French Quarter

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Social LogoNEW ORLEANS – Swamp Rags Vintage, a shop featuring 1980s and 90s T-shirts, jackets, denim and collectibles, will host its grand opening at noon on Saturday, July 31 at 533 Saint Louis Street.

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

So the duo turned to their passions to make ends meet.

“It was like a fresh slate,” said Olsen. “With everything closed, when things re-opened, we could do anything.”

Graziani began sourcing and selling vintage T-shirts, and Olsen formed Vice & Graft, a vintage clothing and furniture business within the Merchant House co-op. After working together on and off 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 weren’t quite sure how we could make that happen.” said Graziani.

They say what happened next seemed like fate, though. While hunting at early morning estate sales, the duo happened upon a sale of more than 3,000 vintage T-shirts. The former owners had put their shop stock in storage preparing for Hurricane Katrina, and it had been closed up ever since. They were finally cleaning everything out. Olsen and Graziani offered to buy it all.

“As soon as I started looking through the boxes, I knew we just had to have it,” said Graziani. By that afternoon they were sorting through boxes upon boxes of vintage “gold,” which became the foundation of the new Swamp Rags Vintage store.

Since then, the two have found many more troves of T-shirts and vintage clothing.

“We wanted to curate a store of the things we grew up on,” said Olsen. “We just filled the shop with the things we love.”

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 early Jazz Fest shirts, rare Saints clothing, historical pieces from Pontchartrain Beach, the 1984 World Expo and more.

Swamp Rags Vintage will open at 533 Saint Louis St., between Decatur and Chartres.

For more information, visit @swamprags on Instagram, swamprags.com or contact info@swamprags.com.

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