Jennifer Mankins

Jennifer Mankins
Shop Owner
Jennifer Mankins
What do you do? I own the Brooklyn shops Bird and Baby Bird.
Can you tell us about your style? As you can see I always like to mix it up. It is a rare day when you will see me in anything matchy-matchy and I never do all black. I think black is the harshest color and more often than not makes you look old. And I love details, the more the better, hand-embroidery, crochet, prints.
What are you wearing today? This outfit is a mix of some of my very favorite designers. The boots are Vanessa Bruno and the coat is Isabel Marant (I only wear the fur collar when it is super cold) both designers I buy in Paris for Bird. The dress is Mayle (my mom bought it for me as part of my wedding trousseau last year). The peach cardigan is Tsumori Chisato, the most brilliant Japanese designer, also from Bird. My secret to staying warm in the winter is two scarves, at least. The ivory crocheted scarf is from my old clothing company Charlotte Corday, I wish I had one in every color. The crazy bright scarf is from Johanna Louca, a New York designer, utilizing old Greek knitting traditions. The bag is Goyard from Paris. They are made from water-proof coated canvas and light as a feather. I don't think I will ever carry a leather bag again. And, without fail, I always wear my Me&Ro gold-and-ruby skull earring that my husband gave me for Valentine's Day two years ago. Best present ever!
What inspires you? I am really inspired by Brooklyn and urban spaces in general. I like the idea of finding beauty in unexpected places. Like when flowers and plants are growing up through the sidewalks, and the beautiful patterns made from fifteen layers of paint that are chipping away in the subway. I am equally awed at the wildflowers blooming in the Texas desert and the Swedish archipelago, one of the most serene and beautiful places on Earth. I am also really influenced by music, new and old. Right now I'm listening to a lot of Norwegian space disco and tonight I'm going to see Cat Power at Hiro Ballroom. She is amazing!
Anything in your closet that you've never worn? I don't like to think about all the things in my closet that have never been worn. I am really trying to be better about that. I have a beautiful, black Dries Van Noten wrap skirt that my sister gave me for my birthday a few years ago. It is probably made from about 15 yeards of fabric and sits really high on the waist. It's just one of those things I try on again and again, but never makes it out of the closet.
Is there a piece in the store that you're really excited to unveil for spring? I really love fashion, but when it comes down to it, it has to be comfortable and easy to run around the city in. That's why I am super excited about T-shirt dresses for spring. I am especially in love with the one from 3.1 Phillip Lim with the hand-sewn rosettes. I think I am going to get it in both black and white, and have it be my uniform.