Courtesy Jenni Kayne.
The California-based designer is opening a lifestyle store in the Dairy Block Free Market this month.
• May 8, 2019
If you haven’t heard from Jenni Kayne, it’s time to get acquainted. The Los Angeles-based designer, who began her career in clothing and eventually expanded into interiors, is best known for her casual, beach-inspired style. Kayne’s laid-back vibe uses clean shapes in easy-to-mix parts, all in a calming neutral palette. It’s a look that translates easily into the pristine Denver lifestyle. So we weren’t entirely surprised (although we were excited!) To learn that Kayne is opening her first Denver lifestyle store on the Dairy Block Open Market this month. We emailed her a few questions about what fans can expect from her first Colorado boutique, how she’s creating a new collection, and why she wanted to write her first fun book, Pacific Natural.
5280: What attracted you to opening a boutique in Denver?
The couple behind Alchemy approached us to open a place in their open market. We were drawn to the curation of brands opening up next to it and we felt like the perfect match. We love Denver, all the new restaurants and shops that are opening up, and we took the opportunity to be part of the exciting development of this great city as a shopping destination.
Since this is your first Denver store, can you talk a little about what types of products our readers can expect and what is your inspiration for the season?
We’ll have a selection of the pieces that our audience knows best: our core clothing and knitwear, Italian leather shoes, and beautiful home decor. My inspiration for every season always comes back to the idea of the uniform – pieces that you can wear and have in your life that can be combined and are suitable for every occasion. That means, of course, that you will also need some special items, so our summer collection contains many warm weather essentials.
Do you have any must-have pieces for the season?
Our mules and cashmere sweater are the building blocks of every Jenni Kayne outfit. From there, you can build your uniform around these hardworking parts and customize it to suit your personal style and lifestyle. Our cotton fisherman’s sweater was a favorite for a lightweight option to this best-selling staple.
What is your starting point when designing a new fashion collection?
I always build around my lifestyle – I need my wardrobe to get from a work meeting to the farmers market to playing with my kids on the floor. That means I have to feel good all around, but also feel together. I design for women with busy, multi-faceted lives – they deserve to look and feel good.
Do you think that with so many influential women, either running their own label or designing for a big house, women can bring a certain combination of intelligence and functionality to fashion?
Absolutely! I think all women know that it is possible to have a wardrobe that works and is flattering – just look at the history of men’s clothing! They always had well-made, functional clothing that worked as a uniform. I find that designers always pay attention to the details – whether it’s a secret pocket in a handbag, a carefully crafted silhouette, or the process of choosing just the right fabric that looks beautiful but isn’t too delicate.
In addition to your clothing line, you also have home decor; Can you tell our readers something about your aesthetics and your influences?
Our home line grew out of an authentic love for entertainment and nesting. The influence comes from that special feeling of being instantly welcomed by someone, be it their energy or the way they set the table or how they arranged their flowers. I wanted to recreate a line that included an assortment of high quality pieces that would last a long time and create that homely feel.
Is your home line a seasonal collection or is it a further development? If it’s more of an evolution, how do you decide when to introduce new pieces?
The Home Line is definitely an advancement and should encompass an entire lifestyle. Especially when we swap our sweaters for T-shirts in warmer weather, I like to introduce new pieces every season. I always go with neutral palettes, but even a lighter shade of beige can bring a spring feeling home.
Are there items from your home collection that can be easily integrated into any decorating style?
Absolutely. We work with a cooperative in Peru that weaves the most beautiful alpaca pillows and throws in various neutral colors. Layering pillows is key to any cozy home – I’m currently obsessed with our square linen pillows, which come in classic colors as well as some new arrivals for summer. I always stick to neutrals because they work with any style – you can have fun with pops of color or heirlooms, and incorporate neutrals for a grounding foundation.
They also brought out a new entertaining book, Pacific Natural. This is your first book, isn’t it? Why did you want to write an entertaining book?
Yes, this is the first book! I’m so excited and it turned out so beautiful. Entertainment has always been a big part of my life and we have always featured parties and dinners on our blog Rip & Tan. The book was a great way to work with women we worked with to develop a year in life and break it down season by season. So there is a recipe, a craft and tips to set the table for every occasion.
Are you going to be hosting in-store events in Denver, and if so, what experiences can our readers be looking for?
Once a month we do wellness in our stores across the country on Wednesdays, so we’re bringing this to Denver. The first is May 22nd. So mark your calendar. We make flower arrangements once a month for Jenni Kayne Rewards members. As a member you can pick up a free bouquet of flowers. Register before Friday May 10th to receive yours! There’s a lot more to come, so stay tuned.
Jenni Kayne, Denver Free Market, 1801 Blake Street, 720-403-8150, jennikayne.com
Georgia Alexia Benjou, fashion editor
Georgia Alexia Benjou is a Denver based writer. More work can be found at www.georgiaalexiabenjou.com.