Our favorite Mayle blouse with the jaunty necktie is still stained with tears—a by-product of the sad day last April when designer Jane Mayle discontinued her line and closed her Nolita store. But wait a minute! It turns out that Ms. Mayle hasn't been on an extended vacation from the fashion industry after all. Yep, Mayle is back! The designer has embarked on a collaboration with her good friends at Sigerson Morrison: the limited edition Sigerson Morrison + Mayle boots (peep our exclusive sketch), will debut at the Sigerson Morrison Laboratory Boutique, where Mayle is opening shop-in-shop today to showcase her fall '10 capsule collection. The line, called Kamikaze, is cryptically described by Mayle as "what's army green, borrows flowers from a neon kimono, and so wants to be love incarnate?" We're intrigued. Then, at the end of September, there will be a second pop-up store location downtown selling Mayle's goods but, surprise, surprise, the address has yet to be disclosed (don't worry, we'll let you know first!). And, please, don't waste any time—all of Mayle's goods will be available for a limited-time only and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Uhh, we're already there!
Need more Mayle? Of course you do! We sat down with Jane Mayle for a quick Q&A:
Wow! You're back! All this is obviously very exciting for your fans! How did you choose to work with Sigerson Morrison?
"It seemed like a natural partnership as we'd obviously shared an affinity for a neighborhood before it became known as such. Some of my earliest and fondest "Nolita" memories involve the first Sigerson Morrison store on Mott street. I remember it as adult candy—gorgeous leathers in colors I didn't even know leather could come in! Also, the first piece of press ever on my brand—Phare at that time—came out in Harpers Bazaar and featured a pair of Sigerson Morrison shoes as my perennial favorites—the shoes that dressed the feet of the woman walking around in my clothes. And then there were the sexy Spanish and southern sales girls clicking around the corner to get their lunch in their kitten heels....enough said! More recently though, it was my friend, Agnes Barley, an artist, who put us in touch after she had worked with Kari and Miranda on their new Madison Avenue store. We agreed that it seemed like a fun downtown feeling to "pop" uptown as part of their efforts to make a retail experience that was more textured and personal than the other commercial offerings out there. Kamikaze was on!"
Is this part of a bigger comeback? Can we expect more Mayle in the future?
"There's so much about this pop-up approach that I find very appealing. It feels very light which is definitely the most appropriate incarnation of Mayle for now. I'm enjoying not knowing if there will be more Mayle in a fashion context and being open to what might come next or what I'm moved to put out there—I'm looking forward to surprising myself. I feel so lucky that I now get to respond to my mood of the moment and create something from that and then move on to another medium or collaboration. That fluidity and variety is bliss! The result is that I am only making things because I feel like it rather than being constrained to do so. The pop-up is titled "kamikaze of love" for a reason. The pieces are only those that I want to wear now and don't necessarily work together as a "collection" because I didn't feel the regular dictates of the industry to flesh out a design story for the purposes of things hanging together in any other place than my own closet. This really is my wardrobe of right now. There's a floating sort of ease to the pieces which I'm really enjoying and there were just fabrics I couldn't resist and got me on the subway and up into the garment district again...they made me do it! "
There's always been hints that you are taking the helms of one brand or another. What would be your dream position as a Creative Director?
"I think Mayle had a following because the brand wasn't too fashionable. I love the timeless, classic brands that offer more than just clothing. I love a beautiful pillowcase as much as a wonderful pair of shoes and welcome the chance to touch on it all but only if it could be done with integrity and a deeper reach into the community of people making the product. I'd love to make a difference by choosing where and how to make my product rather than the product being the only end in itself."
Get hooked up with exclusive Mayle gear before the designer even announces the location of her downtown pop-up shop. We've got an uber-cute tote-and-tee combo to give away to one lucky reader. Hand-colored and sporting the sweetest little drawing by Jane Mayle herself, win the both of them now by heading over to our Facebook page and telling us what you tote around everyday in the comment section.
Sigerson Morrison Laboratory Boutique, 19 East 71st Street (at Madison Avenue); 212-734-2100.