On August 25, 1966 the Women’s Committee of the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Society opened the Encore Shop as a project for raising funds to support the the symphony. Mrs. Louis Claverie was chairman of the women’s committee and on the board of the The New Orleans Symphony, and it was she who presented the idea, novel at the time, of a resale shop for gently worn women’s clothing and debutant gowns. The members of the board could not understand how such a concept would work but she was persistent. D. Blair Favrot was chairman of the board at the time and was quoted as saying “We had no idea what a consignment shop was or how it would work, but we knew that with a little dynamo like Viola Claverie behind it, it would work…….and it has. What a tribute to Mrs. Claverie and the forward looking women that opened the shop because fifty years later the shop still remains in business and the money raised is given to what is now the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. The shop run by the LPO Volunteers was able to contribute $75,000 to the orchestra last year.
Fall into Fashion: Following the devastation brought by Katrina, another forward thinking woman realized that many women had lost all their clothing during the flooding and that they would be looking for affordable clothing to replace what they had lost. Darleen Carlisle, who had been volunteering at the Encore Shop which had not been damaged, realized that there was a large inventory of women’s clothing and accessories which could provided a answer to a need. So it was ten years ago the she chaired the first Fall into Fashion. The event has proved to be so successful that it has continued to be held each October.