Started in an old ballroom in Manhattan, this hyper-curated art-design-fashion-culture concept expanded to New Orleans a year ago. In New Orleans, Fair Folks and a Goat occupies an old, bright-yellow Creole shotgun cottage with green clapboard shutters in Marigny. In the front room, there’s a boutique filled with furniture, clothing and art, followed by a design studio, a cafe called Fair Folks and a Roast (which serves the best iced coffee I have ever tasted), art gallery, design parlor, and a one-room b&B with rotating, in-room installations by local artists and designers.
“It’s thought-out. Everything you touch and see–we pull our hair out trying to decide what to buy and where it should go and how it should be incorporated into the space,” says New Orleans cofounder Anthony Mazzei, who runs FF&G with his New York counterpart Aurora Stokowski. “We wanted to do a magazine and thought, ‘What would a magazine look like if you walked through it?'”
And just like a magazine, they have subscribers, who get something that resembles a community membership of sorts–with perks like on-the-house coffee and tea, sneak peaks, special events, and art and design discounts. Of course, anyone can come. For those visiting from out of town, it functions less like a community gathering place and more like an opportunity to get intimate access to local art and design. It’s an actual experience, not just a place to buy something. “We want people to make a connection to it without having to make a financial connection,” says Anthony. “Initially, we brought in some international pieces to elevate the the emerging local design, but now, we’re bringing things in that you can only get here and are all handmade.”
The b&b is a bedroom in the back of the house that changes regularly. In its most recent incarnation, Foot-a-Night, local artist Hannah Chalew designed a site-specific bedroom installation you can actually sleep in. Inspired by the transitional spaces left by Katrina being taken over by nature (“Its a really sad thing, but also really beautiful.”), the room is covered in an ethereal tangle of “fabric vines”–pieces of old bedsheets from the full-service b&b that used to inhabit the space that Hannah shredded, painted, drew on and then sewed back together again. If you look out the window, the stone wall next door is covered with real vines, lending an illusion that the room is being “encroached from the outside in.” In reality, FF&G is very much alive–and the contagious creative force seems to be spreading outward.
Installation Room Rate is $199 per night through May 31st (rates change with each room installation). Amenities (that aren’t your everyday amenities): private access, bathroom with claw foot tub, back patio use, and complimentary tea and coffee from Fair Folks & a Roast cafe, which is right outside your bedroom door. Like almost everything inside the Fair Folks house, everything from the art on the wall to the sheets you sleep in are for sale.
For more photos of New Orleans, check back regularly at the Lincoln-Designtripper site!