Music icon Mariah Carey looked extra glamorous during her performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade thanks to a custom umbrella from New Orleans.
Carey performed her classic “All I Want for Christmas” before Santa’s arrival in the 96th annual parade in New York City. She wore a floor-length red gown, a majestic tiara and a bedazzled umbrella that was made for her by Bella Umbrella in New Orleans.
The umbrella is the store’s signature Bella Umbrella pagoda and was handsewn and embellished with more than 2,000 Swarovski crystals, according to Jodell Egbert, owner of the business on Magazine Street. It cost $900.
Watch Carey’s performance below. (Can’t see it? Watch here):
A mysterious client
Egbert said she got a call from a stylist a week before Thanksgiving about customizing a pagoda umbrella for an artist who would be performing in the parade.
Customized umbrellas usually take about three weeks to make, Egbert said, because the fabric is all hand cut and sewn and the embellishments are done by hand.
The mysterious client in this order wanted a red top with an underlayer of autumn-colored fabric. And jewels. So many jewels.
After going back and forth on the details with the stylist, Egbert said she finally was like, “C’mon, who is it?”
“I just went, ‘Are you kidding me?'” Egbert said by phone Monday.
Mom helped make it
On top of crafting the deluxe umbrella, Egbert was getting ready for her family Thanksgiving in Nevada. She made the red pagoda in New Orleans and then packed it in her suitcase to finish with her mom and her family over the holiday.
“We were sitting around the kitchen table working on it,” she said.
Her mom, Lucy Venezia, did all the beading around the edge of the umbrella. Egbert spent more than nine hours embellishing the handle and top of the umbrella with thousands of crystals.
They finished just in time Tuesday and overnighted it, but they “kept their expectations low,” saying you never know what will happen with TV.
Then, Carey performed, Egbert said, and “we were all just giddy with excitement.
“It’s all we wanted for Christmas and then some.”
Open for 22 years
The umbrella Carey used was designed by Egbert in 2005 and has interchangeable handles and a special shape. The fabric is waterproof and windproof.
The umbrella starts at $225 in her shop, which will celebrate its ninth anniversary in April.
The business started in Seattle 22 years ago when Egbert started collecting vintage umbrellas and renting them to brides.
It grew and now includes custom umbrellas, specialty umbrellas and umbrella rentals for second lines. She rents second line umbrellas for $25 for five days.
See more of the store’s creations.
A giant alligator float representing the state of Louisiana will roll in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade later this month.
Carlie Kollath Wells is a breaking news reporter at NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune.
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