On a normally quiet Tuesday night in Montecito, some serious fashion buzz was happening on San Ysidro Road in the Upper Village. After great anticipation, Los Angeles-based women’s clothing designer and retailer Jenni Kayne made her debut at a grand-opening party for her two new boutiques.
The Oct. 15 cocktail party was hosted by personal friends and fans from Santa Barbara: Jennifer Smith Hale, Jules Allen, Kendall Conrad and Patsy Tisch. Beneath lights strung high across the back driveway, high-top tables; a wine service that included libations, some from 93108 vintners Julie and Jamie Kellner; and a cool live trio all lent themselves to a classy ambience — much like Jenni Kayne herself.
JK’s personal style — which is all about clean lines, beautiful fabrications and sophistication — is emblematic in her personal appearance as well as her clothing line and home store. The fashion-forward crowd that has pined for more shopping choices in Montecito was clearly enjoying this upscale, cosmopolitan event. Many of the guests were wearing Jenni Kayne designs.
Kayne herself was dressed in a two-piece, dark green bandeau top and pant with low black heels and a lightly structured black blazer casually draped over her shoulders. With her long hair gracefully flowing over the jacket, she appeared every bit as relaxed as her designs.
The 30-year-old Kayne launched her business 10 years ago at age 19 and, despite her youth, quickly established her signature look: a refined, subtle interpretation of Classic American sportswear that draws upon her childhood growing up in the 1990s. Her classic JK blouse with tie are an influence from her private school years.
For those unfamiliar with her brand, she is renowned for her tailored leather separates and playful mix of masculine and feminine design elements. The Jenni Kayne woman could be 25 or 60-ish. She’s a woman who loves classic, unfussy clothes that are easy and wearable — things you can actually sit on the floor and wear. The price point can vary from $175 to $2,000-plus.
With many Montecitans already shopping at her stores in West Hollywood and Brentwood Country Mart, 93108 seemed a logical decision for her third and fourth locations. The adjacent boutiques at 525 San Ysidro Road were designed by Kayne in collaboration with architect Jeff Allsbrook. The stores contain fixtures with environmentally clean materials such as reclaimed wood and pre-existing concrete floors. All fixtures were handpicked by Kayne; their brass and wooden features chosen to complement the buildings’ bleached walnut finish. It has a serene feeling that is easy on the eye and soft in its approach.
With her namesake collection store, Kayne is the first retailer to open two stores in the same center. One space is located between American Riviera Bank and Henry Beguelin by Christina Nicoletti. The clothing store is dedicated to an extensive collection of her personal designs for Fall 2013 and accessories by noted designers Patricia Underwood, Elder Statesman, Mansur Gavriel, Clare Vivier, jewelry by Robert Lee Morris, Hoorsenbuhs and Tom Binns.
The apparel store also includes Kayne's signature pointed-toe D’Orsay flats and heels. Launched two years ago, the footwear has become a go-to shoe for many celebrities and others who just want a chic and comfortable shoe. Some denim pieces and footwear by Birkenstock, Gravati and Sven Clogs round out the collection.
Jenni Kayne’s Home has a serene palette and was inspired by her own Beverly Hills home. The store is located next door to S.R. Hogue & Co. and uber floral designers Kristi Meland and Jerry Peddicord, who also landscaped the front of the JK home store. Jenni Kayne Home features Alma Allen tabletop items, Caleb Siemon ceramics, The Laundress specialty detergents, gourmet food, candles by Cire Trudon, glass and ceramic bowls, rope dog leashes, cutting boards, tin bake sets and canisters — to name just some of the items she carries. All of the wares were carefully chosen by Kayne and displayed on whitewashed knotty pine shelving.
The second story is completely dedicated to child-centric brands, with a custom tent-like dressing room. Nico Nico and Bonpoint are just two of the lines she carries, in addition to Tamar Mogendorff birdhouses and wooden toys by Roy Toy. The place is whimsical and imaginative, and fun abounds.
"Lifestyle" is currently a big buzzword in the fashion industry. Many iconic American designers like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and now Jenni Kayne look not just as how their customers dress but how they live. Kayne is a mom of two young children and considers herself "an L.A.-centric woman.” While she pops in and out of the New York City fashion shows, she is known to be most happy working in her West Hollywood office, surrounded by her well-organized desk, pictures of her family and magazines that inspire her.
Some of the attendees for the opening-night party included Hillary Tisch; Lauren Reynolds; Amanda Fazio; Crystal Clarke and her husband, Nigel Copley; Teri Lebow; Nancy Furlotti; Gina Tolleson; Kyle Brace; Daryl Stegall; Francesca Hunter; Marni Blau; Jennifer Burrows; Kate McMahon; Debbie Kass; Wendy Jensen; Valerie Rice; Elizabeth Slaught; Christina Rottman; Gay Brown; Katherine Cleveland; Colleen O’Brian; Vivienne Ninness; Stephanie Nicks; Caroline DeJean; Ali Froley; Sydney Gardner; Corinna Gordon; Sonia DeMello; and shopping center owners Richard Gunner and his wife. An "after-party" dinner was given in Kayne's honor just up the road at the San Ysidro Ranch.
Jenni Kayne Montecito is open daily at 525 San Ysidro Road in Montecito's Upper Village. Click here for more information, or call 805.309.0550 for the apparel store or 805.309.0560 for the home store.