Jenni Kayne's 2014 Resort collection continues her
style of clean lines, spare details and quiet
ANGELES ó Clean lines, spare details and quiet
glamour. Those are the cornerstones of L.A. designer
Jenni Kayneís 10-year-old brand, which has found a
niche in the fashion world among women who are looking
for a no-nonsense, modern day uniform with a colorful,
canít believe itís been 10 years," said Kayne,
a Beverly Hills native who is the daughter of investment
manager Richard Kayne and philanthropist Suzanne Kayne.
"I debuted my first collection at age 19, and now Iím
30 with two kids. Everyone has gotten to see my growing
pains and my development into the person and the
designer I am today."
former design assistant to Jennifer Nicholson, Kayne
launched her label in 2003. One early collection, shown
during Los Angeles Fashion Week, featured satin cone
bras and mini-dresses dangling garters.
was hanging out with a lot of musicians," she said
on a recent afternoon at her West Hollywood boutique.
"It was a different time."
the collection, about $175 to $1,095, is more chic L.A.
mom than rock Ďní roll chick, full of
relaxed-yet-polished pieces that mix masculine and
feminine elements: button-down silk shirts; tapered,
pleat-front pants; lightly structured blazers that are
either boxy and short or elongated; and nubby knit,
beach-appropriate sweaters, often incorporating lots of
sunny color-blocking. The line is sold in Kayneís
namesake boutiques in West Hollywood and the Brentwood
Country Mart, as well as at a couple dozen other
high-end stores around the world.
Jenni Kayne woman could be 25 or 60. Sheís a woman who
loves classic clothes that are easy and wearable ó
things you can throw on the floor and sit on the floor
in," the designer said.
styles are fashion forward, but still easy to wear at an
accessible price point," said Justin Warner,
designer buyer for the website ShopBop.com, which has
been stocking Kayneís line since 2007.
doesnít follow trends, but at the same time the styles
always look current," said Stacy Smallwood, owner
of Hampden Clothing in Charleston, S.C. "And her
shoes have a cult following. We canít keep them in
a key part of Kayneís success has been her signature,
minimalist-cool, pointed-toe DíOrsay flats ($450 to
$595), which launched two years ago and have since
become the run-around-town footwear of choice for
Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts, Rebecca Gayheart and others.
had them in three colors the first season, and they did
well in our stores and at wholesale. Then a blogger in
China wrote about them, and we got hundreds of calls
from people ordering the shoes. We couldnít keep up.
The store couldnít even function. And we said, ĎWow,
I think we hit the jackpot.í So we blew them out in
tons of colors and fabrics, and they are doing really
well," Kayne said.
are on the horizon too, probably for next year, she said
ó "One or two styles, not a full
has been working with her head designer, Cesar Trujillo,
for eight years and gives him credit for the brandís
color sense. "I wear neutrals most of the time
myself, but I do love playing with color," she
they design four collections a year. In stores now, the
pre-fall collection started with a floral print that
Trujillo painted himself.
recently returned from New York, where she presented her
Resort 2014 collection, consisting of fluid tailored
pieces, blouses and tanks with sharp pencil skirts, in
black, navy, white, oxblood and khaki with flashes of
hot pink and ethnic-inspired plaids. The looks were
accessorized with ropes and ropes of bold gold chains by
jewelry designer Lizzie Fortunato.
doesnít do runway shows anymore, preferring instead to
show her collections in low-key presentations.
donít do this for ego, and I donít have the drive
anymore to be in New York trying to be seen," she
said. "I will go for a day or two, cast and style
my show and come home. I feel guilty when I miss the
first day of school because itís fashion week."
she wonít talk numbers, Kayne said her business is
growing ó enough so that she will open two additional
stores in September in Montecito, one for womenís
clothing and accessories, the other for tabletop, gifts
and garden accessories. But she is in no rush to expand.
Sheís happy having an L.A.-centric brand.
boutiques also stock merchandise by other designers,
including jewelry by All for the Mountain, candles by
Cire Trudon, hats by Patricia Underwood and bags by
Clare Vivier. "When we first opened the store, I
wanted to have everything a woman would need ó shoes,
clothes, handbags, jewelry, Spanx and Wolford tights. I
also wanted you to be able to pick up a hostess gift, a
candle or an amber ball, for example."
you only have to look on Kayneís popular lifestyle
blog Rip+Tan, named after daughter Ripley, 2, and son
Tanner, 4, to know that she has designs on branching
into other product categories herself.
updates the blog daily with posts on everything from how
to throw a pirate-themed kids birthday party to how to
the friend people come to ask stuff, like ĎIím
getting married, who do I use for flowers?í Or, ĎWhere
do I get white linen table napkins?í Or, ĎIím
having a baby, what do I register for?í I donít know
why they come to me. Iím a Virgo, Iím organized, I
guess I spend too much time on the Internet, and I like
beautiful things," she said. "As much as I
loved giving advice all the time, I thought if I could
put it all in this blog, I wouldnít have to send out
so many individual emails. And Iíve gotten so into it.
I love it."
also has a kidsí street style blog called Ladys &
Gents, launched with her friend, stylist and decorator
Estee Stanley. "We got pregnant at the same time
and were both spending way too much time online shopping
for kids clothes." On the site, parents can upload
photos of what their kids are wearing.
meant to be inspirational for parents who like childrenís
fashion, not for children," she said. "Itís
anonymous. You donít know the names of the kids or
where they are. And we get submissions from as far away
as Asia. Itís incredible."
no wonder that Kayne is known for being an L.A.
tastemaker as much as a designer. The June issue of W
magazine profiles Kayne and her sisters, gallery-owner
Maggie Kayne and academic Saree Kayne (a PhD student in
anthropology at Stanford), calling them "L.A.ís
coolest sister act" and describing Jenni as the
"Tory Burch of L.A." The Beverly Hills home
the designer shares with her real-estate agent husband,
Richard Ehrlich, was featured in Architectural Digest
(Ripleyís nursery, which is pictured, features framed
Hermes scarves on the walls). And Martha Stewart Living
recently ran a story about Kayneís hyper-organized
would love to be a younger Martha Stewart, not that I
ever could be," the designer said.
donít count her out just yet.
hosts a cooking class at her house each month and was en
route to a flower arranging class after our meeting.
Even her summer vacation will be a domestic pursuit.
taking a month off to fix up a house in Lake Tahoe that
was the family retreat when she was growing up. After 30
years, her parents sold it, but Jenni and her sisters
recently bought it back. "Itís the kind of place
where your kids can be outside and you can watch them
through the window," she said. "Iím excited
to cook, take a breather and be a mom."