About

Bambi DeVille

New Orleans is renowned for elegance, opulence, seduction and romance—and no one evokes these notions quite like Bambi DeVille. Stylist, designer, actress, model, hostess, author, entrepreneur and all-around embodiment of her city’s cosmopolitan charm, she rules with an aura of timeless glamour.

The daughter of a French Quarter antiques dealer, Bambi developed a taste for vintage chic at an early age, which she indulged by dressing herself and her five sisters. Her grandmothers’ closets (raided with her grandmothers’ blessings) afforded a wealth of dresses, hats, purses, shoes, jewels and even furs. Beckoned by the boards, Bambi moved to New York as a sweet young thing, causing a sensation on stage and off while teaching at the famed Barbizon Modeling school. Blood being thicker than champagne, however, she was ultimately drawn back to her family home, where she established a niche based on a childhood obsession.

“Odd as it may seem, at 12 years old I was fascinated by radios from the Thirties and Forties,” Bambi says. “That’s what first turned me on to Bakelite.” Then she discovered Bakelite jewelry—those colorful, chunky baubles the ideal accent to her blossoming signature style. So it’s only natural that upon her return to New Orleans, Bambi became the Bakelite Lady, setting up shop at 818 Royal Street. New Orleans’ World War II museum commissioned her to create a Bakelite-like line in homage to the patriotic bijoux women wore at the time, and Schiffer Publishing released her definitive book on the subject, WWII BAKELITE JEWELRY: LOVE AND VICTORY in 2011.

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Now Bambi’s boutique in the Quarter, boasting Bakelite and beyond, has grown from a secret address shared by fabulous locals to a must-visit destination for discerning fashionistas on both coasts and overseas. Bambi’s impeccable collection of one-of-a-kind, designer vintage clothing, accessories and jewelry is ever-evolving, the result of her curator’s eye, historian’s mind and heroine’s heart. (Not to mention that blonde bombshell beauty that recently landed her a cover of Legends magazine; you’ll also find her extolling her treasures in the quarterly Art + Design.)

Due to popular demand, in October 2018 Bambi opened a second shop in the Lower Garden District, one of the hottest shopping spots in the city. This new eponymous emporium boasts Bambi’s vast collection, starting with the Edwardian and Victorian eras, and also features an even greater selection of men’s and children’s vintage clothing. Located at 1925 Sophie Wright Place, it’s a magnificent space that as a bonus has more accessible parking — a godsend to local customers who may choose to avoid the Quarter. “We thought it would be very hard to live up to the Royal Street shop, but it’s come along beautifully,” Bambi says.

“People are intrigued by vintage, but it can be a tricky challenge, so in the end they simply buy whatever’s deemed fashionable at any given moment,” Bambi says. “I can’t tell you how much satisfaction it gives me to pair a woman with something special—just the right dress, just the right necklace, even a kimono or wisp of lingerie that never leaves the boudoir—that lets her express herself and truly sets her apart.”

No wonder people don’t merely “shop” at 818 Royal: Parties at Bambi’s place are the stuff of legend! Yet her mission is hardly limited to those lucky enough to cross her threshold. Bambi shares her expertise not only on style but New Orleans food, music and culture widely. Case in point, the seventh generation Louisianian’s upcoming book on her family’s fabulous culinary heritage. And in the works is an extension of the Bambi DeVille label to bring her delightful retro accoutrements to a larger following.

Because after all, doesn’t everyone deserve a bit of Bambi DeVille in her life?  

I see myself as an artist as much as an entrepreneur, a woman who simply follows her passions — be it in the theater or as an advocate of vintage chic.  Risky? I suppose, but if you’re led by your heart, you’ll land on your feet. I think I exude that — it draws people to me, and in return I inspire that spirit in them. When someone ventures into my shop at 818 Royal and purchases a piece that makes her look and feel like a queen, that is so satisfying to me. That is creation. That is success.

I’m known to many as the Bakelite Lady for the business I built on my passion for beautiful Bakelite jewelry. But I’m the sort of entrepreneur who’s never satisfied doing just one thing! So in addition to running my eponymous vintage clothing shop at 818 Royal (which boasts Bakelite and so much more), I’m an actress, model, stylist, designer, hostess and the author of several books (including WWII BAKELITE JEWELRY: LOVE AND VICTORY). I simply believe in following one’s muse, so right now I’m coproducing “Sustained Winds” for the New Orleans voice talent theater —which I hope to bring to the live stage next year.

New Orleans is renowned for elegance, opulence, seduction and romance—and no one evokes these notions quite like Bambi DeVille. Stylist, designer, actress, model, hostess, author, entrepreneur and all-around embodiment of her city’s cosmopolitan charm, she rules with an aura of timeless glamour.

The daughter of a French Quarter antiques dealer, Bambi developed a taste for vintage chic at an early age, which she indulged by dressing herself and her five sisters. Her grandmothers’ closets (raided with her grandmothers’ blessings) afforded a wealth of dresses, hats, purses, shoes, jewels and even furs. Beckoned by the boards, Bambi moved to New York as a sweet young thing, causing a sensation on stage and off while teaching at the famed Barbizon Modeling school. Blood being thicker than champagne, however, she was ultimately drawn back to her family home, where she established a niche based on a childhood obsession.

“Odd as it may seem, at 12 years old I was fascinated by radios from the Thirties and Forties,” Bambi says. “That’s what first turned me on to Bakelite.” Then she discovered Bakelite jewelry—those colorful, chunky baubles the ideal accent to her blossoming signature style. So it’s only natural that upon her return to New Orleans, Bambi became the Bakelite Lady, setting up shop at 818 Royal Street. New Orleans’ World War II museum commissioned her to create a Bakelite-like line in homage to the patriotic bijoux women wore at the time, and Schiffer Publishing released her definitive book on the subject, WWII BAKELITE JEWELRY: LOVE AND VICTORY in 2011.  

Now Bambi’s boutique in the Quarter, boasting Bakelite and beyond, has grown from a secret address shared by fabulous locals to a must-visit destination for discerning fashionistas on both coasts and overseas. Bambi’s impeccable collection of one-of-a-kind, designer vintage clothing, accessories and jewelry is ever-evolving, the result of her curator’s eye, historian’s mind and heroine’s heart. (Not to mention that blonde bombshell beauty that recently landed her a cover of Legends magazine; you’ll also find her extolling her treasures in the quarterly Art + Design.

Due to popular demand, in October 2018 Bambi opened a second shop in the Lower Garden District, one of the hottest shopping spots in the city. This new eponymous emporium boasts Bambi’s vast collection, starting with the Edwardian and Victorian eras, and also features an even greater selection of men’s and children’s vintage clothing. Located at 1925 Sophie Wright Place, it’s a magnificent space that as a bonus has more accessible parking — a godsend to local customers who may choose to avoid the Quarter. “We thought it would be very hard to live up to the Royal Street shop, but it’s come along beautifully,” Bambi says.

“People are intrigued by vintage, but it can be a tricky challenge, so in the end they simply buy whatever’s deemed fashionable at any given moment,” Bambi says. “I can’t tell you how much satisfaction it gives me to pair a woman with something special—just the right dress, just the right necklace, even a kimono or wisp of lingerie that never leaves the boudoir—that lets her express herself and truly sets her apart.”

No wonder people don’t merely “shop” at 818 Royal: Parties at Bambi’s place are the stuff of legend! Yet her mission is hardly limited to those lucky enough to cross her threshold. Bambi shares her expertise not only on style but New Orleans food, music and culture widely. Case in point, the seventh generation Louisianian’s upcoming book on her family’s fabulous culinary heritage. And in the works is an extension of the Bambi DeVille label to bring her delightful retro accoutrements to a larger following.

Because after all, doesn’t everyone deserve a bit of Bambi DeVille in her life?  

I see myself as an artist as much as an entrepreneur, a woman who simply follows her passions — be it in the theater or as an advocate of vintage chic.  Risky? I suppose, but if you’re led by your heart, you’ll land on your feet. I think I exude that — it draws people to me, and in return I inspire that spirit in them. When someone ventures into my shop at 818 Royal and purchases a piece that makes her look and feel like a queen, that is so satisfying to me. That is creation. That is success.

I’m known to many as the Bakelite Lady for the business I built on my passion for beautiful Bakelite jewelry. But I’m the sort of entrepreneur who’s never satisfied doing just one thing! So in addition to running my eponymous vintage clothing shop at 818 Royal (which boasts Bakelite and so much more), I’m an actress, model, stylist, designer, hostess and the author of several books (including WWII BAKELITE JEWELRY: LOVE AND VICTORY). I simply believe in following one’s muse, so right now I’m coproducing “Sustained Winds” for the New Orleans voice talent theater —which I hope to bring to the live stage next year.