Jenni Kayne

L.A.'s hometown girl opens her first eponymous boutique. By Christene Barberich
jenni_kayne_new_portrait.jpgAs varied and vibrant as its surrounding terrain, Los Angeles's fashion landscape grows more and more complex, thanks to a fresh breed of boutiques and home-grown designers. Jenni Kayne, a 25-year-old designer and L.A. native, leads the charge in this new wave of smart and serious designers moving well beyond typical So-Cal style rules. Applying a young and modern hand to the spirit of old Hollywood glamour, Kayne's line of spare yet totally alluring gowns and separates have a globe-trotting appeal that's worthy of her wearers (Kirsten and Selma are fans).
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Less than two weeks ago, Kayne broke ground on her first namesake boutique--a bold construction of glass and sharp lines, which she designed with architect Jeffrey Allsbrook. The 5,000 square-foot "bungalow" recalls the open, fluid layout of Southern California's design heritage, but unexpected details like a bamboo ceiling and natural denim insulation give the boutique an eco-conscious platform that's just right for displaying Kayne's ready-to-wear, as well as accessories, a capsule menswear line, and hand-picked home items. Here, the designer tells Refinery29 a little bit more about her new West Hollywood offspring.
How long has the store been in the works?
I've always wanted to have my own store, but never found the right space. Last May, I was driving down Almont, saw the lease, and fell in love with it.
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What were your initial goals in creating a shop that was unique and reflected you as a designer and your collections?
I wanted to have a store that felt as though as soon as you walked in, you saw my vision and understood what the collection was about, how you can wear it and the overall feeling of the brand.
The design really seems to draw from local architecture legends like Neutra and Schindler, mimicking this streamlined and open indoor-outdoor vibe...was that intentional?
The store was definitely inspired by great architects like Schindler, however my vision of the store was developed very closely with architect Jeff Allsbrook. I wanted it to feel like you were in my home and that we had created a place that was very reflective of my own personal taste.
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How does the aesthetic of your collection connect with the aesthetic of the store?
Both the collection and the store are clean and timeless and reflect the image of my brand.
We hear you and your architect, Jeff Allsbrook, implemented several eco-friendly details. Can you point them out?
It was very important to me that the store was environmentally conscious, so I worked with Jeff on the various ways we could accomplish that. We used all renewable California woods such as cedar and douglass; much of the store is made from bamboo (which is similar looking to teak); we have natural denim insulation and didn't use any VOC paint.
Elsewhere, what are some of your favorite details of the shop?
I love the unfinished brass accents mixed with the wooden structure.
Did it turn out better than you had hoped...any new-store surprises?
No surprises! I'm so happy...it turned out amazing.
Jenni Kayne, 614 Almont Drive (at Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard), West Hollywood.
L.A.'s hometown girl opens her first eponymous boutique.
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