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Mardi Gras comes early this year—February 9—so that means there is time to waste in getting ready.  The celebration dates back to The Renaissance and even earlier, but that doesn’t mean innovation is over.  No, every year sees new Mardi Gras parades, new areas where Carnival is celebrated, and for you, the retailer, new items to intrigue customers. 



Mardi Gras jester hat

If you can remember Mardi Gras fifteen years ago, novelty hats were first arriving on the scene.  The first Mardi Gras party hats were tall stovepipes in felt fabric that had wide bands of purple, gold, and green color. A cottage industry sprouted around these hats that originally had small businesses manufacturing a limited quantity.  But what a hit these novelty hats made!  The New Orleans newspaper, The Times Picayune, called them the hot new Carnival item of the year. 


Soon China was making spiked jester hats and today Mardi Gras novelty hats come in every imaginable design.  And that is where we will begin our review of new products for Mardi Gras 2013.  

 Mardi Gras light up headband

Last year Doctor Seuss- shaped top hats as well as skull caps in purple, gold, and green hit the market with twelve to eighteen inch long tubular nylon streamers flowing out from the hat.  This year the streamers attach to headbands and twinkle with flashing LED lights.  Great for night parades, these headbands will compete for attention with the flambeauxs lighting the parade route. 


Mardi Gras jester headband

For Mardi Gras headwear, headbands are big this year.  More than one jester headband in purple, gold, and green arrives on the scene this season.  The one shown is cute for girls going to the parade and low wholesale prices make it an easy item for you to sell.       




Mardi Gras knit caps

Crazy hats are great for celebrating, but in February, weather can get bitter cold so hats can be very practical in providing warmth.  If your shop is near the parade route or area of celebration, these knit stocking caps provide the warmth while retaining their Mardi Gras identity with a gold fleur-de-lis embroidered on a purple background.   



Mardi Gras scarves

Carnival season begins on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany.  From this day until Mardi Gras Day, jewelry and accessories that radiate the spirit are in vogue.  One classy way to spread the Carnival spirit is these Mardi Gras scarves, new this year.  A montage of small masks in purple, gold, and green stand out against an ivory background.  Who says Mardi Gras can’t be sophisticated!


While not new, this may be the last year for your customers to get their hands on one of these Mardi Gras sequin bags.  Large purple, gold, and green sequin disks dangle from the knit hobo bag in gold color.  Only a few remain and the bags are no longer in production so get them now if this is an accessory your customers will enjoy. 




Mardi Gras dolls

Do tourists visit your shop looking for Mardi Gras souvenirs or gifts to take home?  Well, many recipients of these gifts may be unfamiliar with the revelry and brash colors of the celebration.  So this season, new sitting jester dolls have outfits that soften the purple, gold, and green colors, providing a Mardi Gras gift that is unbelievably tasteful.  The outfits have a metallic shimmer and the heads and hands of the dolls are glazed white ceramic.


If there is any item that has stormed the Mardi Gras stage in recent years, it has to be Venetian masks.  Ten years ago, hardly anyone knew what they were.  Now they are the rage for masquerade and Carnival.  The latest designs are laser cut metal masks.  These masks are a lot more gorgeous than what they sound like. 

 Venetian style laser cut metal masks

The amazing thing is Venetian style masks date back to the Renaissance.  Yet these laser cut metal masks have so many intricate cuts, they couldn’t be produced at any kind of reasonable price without today’s technology.  The finished product is a very feminine with intricate filigree work.  Demand for these masks is growing even though they are a little pricey. 


Venetian style maple leaf mask

Maple leaf styles in Venetian masks also provide fresh design with breath-taking artistic work.  The eye mask shown has dimensionally shaped maple leaves surrounding three sides.  Two-tone color combines with appealing shapes to create masks that definitely turn heads. 


If masks are new to your shop, we are sure your customers’ reception of these products will give you a pleasant surprise.  Next blog will cover new Mardi Gras jewelry from fun for everyday wear to glamorous for balls.  

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