theDesign​Lab is a vital and necessary inspiration to drive change and opportunity for local women in low income communities to be able to enhance the quality of life for themselves and their families. The spirit and vibrancy of New Orleans is in our communities and starts with the great people who shape them. theDesignLab employs and empowers local women through education and opportunity to have a career path through fashion and become a beacon of growth and change in for themselves, their families, and their communities.


Founder, Kallen Forster, recently finished her Master's of Apparel Design at Louisiana State University under Dr. Jenna Kuttruff.  At LSU, Forster researched international womens' cooperatives that employed the same strategies of theDesignLab toward training, empowering and employing local women in various design techniques to provide sustainable and healthy lifestyles.  In addition to socially responsible design methods, she also was moved toward the preservation of historic textiles through modern design applications.


Forster has 5 years of managerial retail merchandising experience on both the corporate and local level, and most recently has worked under renowned New Orleans based couture designer, Suzanne Perron.  For more information about Forster, visit

For updates on the latest recruits and collections of theDesignLab, visit the store or blog pages.


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