Dirty Coast began in 2004 as a response to what was passing for local apparel on Bourbon street; a way to make cool designs for die hard New Orleanians. 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. Then the federal infrastructure meant to protect the city failed and filled New Orleans with water.
Soon after, Blake found himself in Lafayette with all his plans placed on hold. While in exile, meditating on this fate of his beloved city, Blake designed a bumper sticker that read, “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are.”
He printed 5,000, and placed them all over New Orleans as soon as he could return. The reaction to Blake's design was overwhelming, and developing the Dirty Coast brand became a no-brainer.
You can have a good design. You can have fun, cheeky copy. But to create a shirt that exists on a level beyond your standard laundry, that engages your friends and neighbors in conversation, that starts debates, that elicits laughter, nostalgia, and many “Yea Ya Right!” That’s what we’re trying to do. To be bold and to be real about our dirty, marvelous city.
Everything we do, everything we make is a proclamation of our love for New Orleans. And when you truly love something, you want to share it with as many people as possible. So whether you’re born here, a transplant, or simply passing through, you can be a New Orleanian wherever you are.
What some people are saying:
"Bumper stickers don't always provide healthy nourishment for the mind. But "Be a New Orleanian Wherever You Are," which has been posted ubiquitously in the past few years, strikes me as an exception."-nola.com
"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." -NY Times
"...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."-NY Post