Adding shopkeeper to her already impressive career curve, 25-year-old designer Jenni Kayne’s new West Hollywood digs is the kind of store you want to live in. At least that was the consensus among the three dozen or so friends—including Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Alison Lohman, Anthony Kiedis, Anna Getty, Rebecca Gayheart and Mia Kirshner–who tucked in along three long tables for a family-style dinner at the pre-opening party last Friday night. (Unlike other designers who resort to swag to ensure a celeb’s attention, Jenni actually grew up here in L.A. with many of her bold-face fans.)
Ammo’s exec chef Amy Sweeney oversaw the menu of salads, roast veggies, sliced Niman ranch steak and lavendar ice cream, and that’s all a few–weary of a long week of fashion shows and fashion parties–needed to stay on beyond cocktails.
The 2,400-square-foot space, off the beaten Melrose track on North Almont Drive and next door to cool M+B gallery, boasts a “green” schematic, Kayne’s husband Richard Ehrlich pointed out in between courses. The insulation is denim, the paint eco spec, the lighting is either sky window or fluorescent and slats of Douglas fir cover the ceiling of the former warehouse. A monitor (ok, not so green, but a necessary sales element) flashing Jenni’s New York presentations hangs behind a counter filled with Tom Binns and vintage Paco Rabanne jewelry. Architect Jeff Allsbrook of Standard Architecture + Design and pulled it all off in six weeks time. He's also doing the newlywed's home. “The walls were still being painted at 4 o’clock today!” admitted Jenni. “You can’t even smell it,” countered Mary-Kate. “It’s beautiful in here.”
In the back, a thoughtful selection of art tomes of Ed Ruscha, Gerhard Richter and Jean-Michel Basquiat and flasks of L’Artisan fragrances are stacked among Jenni’s signature line of flats and heels. But it’s her clothes, exhibited here in full and on fat wooden hangers, that is the store’s raison d’etre. “It’s all here,” Jenni pointed out, pulling on a short black patent trench her mother arrived in earlier in the evening. These are, after all, the kind of clothes that defy age and are more about a woman's style. The shop isn't the only card in the deck for the young designer. This is the perfect showcase to introduce baby and men’s wear, she noted. A full house, indeed.
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