New Orleans Lids and Apparel
NOLA Lids and Apparel was birthed through a love of all things New Orleans. Our New Orleans t-shirts and caps are inspired by what we cherish about this great city. One of the things we love the most about the culture of New Orleans is its commitment to celebrating both the mundane as well as the most incredible aspects of life. So, whether you are a New Orleans lady sashaying by “from Bourbon Street to Esplanade” with a custom womens hat or a man proud to be “Born on the Bayou,” we have a New Orleans inspired tee shirt design that is just right for you.
We love our New Orleans traditions including ways in which we experience music and travel, and we seek to celebrate those in our clothing line featuring jazz musicians like Trombone Shorty and New Orleans symbols like the traditional green streetcar. Our line of apparel and caps is available for the whole family in a wide array of styles and options so that you can celebrate your unique love of the city in one of our quality designs.
One of the aspects of our culture that brings us closer together is our love of New Orleans sports. Whether we are headed to the Superdome to watch the Saints play or grabbing seats at the Smoothie King Center to watch Zion show us what he’s got, you can believe that when New Orleanians get together, they are talking up and dressing up in their favorite Saints apparel and Pelicans Hats cheering on their favorite home teams.
Check out our New Arrivals!
Get our hot new designs fresh off the press and ready to purchase! Our local designers are constantly coming up with new designs for our apparel and hats. Looking for Saints gear? Check out our unofficial saints shirts and hats. Love basketball? We have New Orleans Pelicans themed products as well. So whether you are looking to sport the latest in New Orleans sports gear or just looking to celebrate a Southern way of living, we have you covered in our newest creations.
Popular Collections and Best Sellers
NOLA Lids and Apparel seeks to show its support for those who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 epidemic and those who are suffering from this terrible disease. Our new line of Unbreakable t-shirts for both men and women are now for sale with $3 of every t-shirt sale going to the CPD COVID-19 Response Fund.
The Unbreakable line features the Celtic Shield Knot, representing protection and an unbreakable bond between ourselves and the community around us. Used in the battlefield as a sign of protection, ancient Celtic knots were considered unbreakable because they have no beginning and no end and therefore, no weak spots. They cannot be unraveled or untied. They are symbols of unity and resilience.
Celtic shield knots are more elaborate in their design than other traditional Celtic knot designs, featuring a square design in the middle of a circular design. Some scholars believe that the inner square of the Celtic shield knot may represent the four directions, the four seasons, or the four basic elements associated with nature. It may also symbolize St. Brigid’s four branches of wisdom—hand, head, heart, and hearth—indicating that only in our acceptance and care for one another can we truly find joy. During this time of difficulty, when the world seems to be so divided, it is important for all of us to remember that when we stand together as one, the bond that we share is unbreakable.
Our Unbreakable line of Celtic knot t-shirts is made of soft, combed ring-spun cotton, and the design is available in a wide range of colors. We offer women’s cut as well as unisex styles in sizes S-XXL.
What has evolved into a business didn’t begin with a business plan or even an intention of creating a business. Being a huge New Orleans Pelicans fan and hat lover, Matthew Johnson never could find a Pelicans hat that he liked. The idea to create his own Pelicans hat was the original spark that grew into New Orleans Lids & Apparel. After doing extensive copyright research, Matthew noticed that the organization had never filed for a copyright on any image of Pierre, the Pelicans’ mascot. His next move was to call his good friend and artist, Eddie “Elvis” Perez. Matthew drove to Eddie’s house, explained what he wanted to do, and paid him to draw an image of Pierre. Less than a week later, Matthew filed for a copyright on the image. Having taken his idea that far, he decided to file for a Sole Proprietorship and named his business New Orleans Lids & Apparel. It was unwitting and coincidental that the acronym for Matthew’s business name was NOLA. That coincidence would later prove beneficial after the business began to grow.
While searching for different hat models to put his image of Pierre on, Matthew came across a geometrical design that consisted of a diamond and a square together. The design sparked a new idea of putting a fleur de lis inside of a diamond surrounded by a square and the letters N-O-L-A in each corner. That became the design for a new hat. Days later, while relaxing by the pool, he realized how many different hats could be made from that same geometrical design. Returning to his original love of the Pelicans, Matthew’s next big idea was to create a similar geometrical design but to replace NOLA with ZION and feature Zion Williamson’s jersey number, #1, in the center instead of the fleur de lis he had used previously. That became hat number 3. Eddie and Matthew got together and began brainstorming the idea of using some of Eddie’s paintings and transforming them into wearable art. Eddie had already printed shirts with his Jazz Fest painting of Trombone Shorty. Next, Eddie painted Zion Williamson to celebrate the Pelicans as well as a traditional streetcar to pay homage to the spirit of New Orleans, which they then put on shirts. Matthew and Eddie did well together last fall with their limited collection, mostly selling in person at small pop up festivals. When Matthew got a settlement from his former employer in December 2019, he paid Eddie for his designs and help with getting the business started. Then they parted ways.
During the downtime this past winter, Matthew used his graphic design skills to create new shirts and began contacting hat and apparel manufacturers and screen printers directly to transform the original hat designs into higher quality products. His line of products began to grow and the quality of the products he wanted to sell improved, but he didn’t have as much of an online presence as he wanted, no brick and mortar location, and festival season had not yet arrived.
When the Covid-19 virus began to take effect on the United States in March of 2020, Matthew wanted to do something to help our country and to support those on the frontlines who were helping to eradicate this disease. New Orleans Lids and Apparel began a new line named Unbreakable apparel. Matthew used the Celtic Shield knot as the logo for the design, representing “Strength and Protection.” His company began to reach a national consumer base with this new line of products and began donating $3 from each shirt purchased to the (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund. This line of products has continued to be a strong seller and has given Matthew a stronger sense of purpose and a sense of satisfaction that his company is able to support such an incredible cause.