I’ve been known to be a coat lover. My love for beautiful coats started while working for Erica Tanov back in college. I was taught by the amazing ladies I worked with that having one stunning coat can transform an outfit. It’s so true. To this day I still have those beautiful coats.
Fast forward to today, I still have the same mindset. There is nothing like investing in quality. When I first came across Lan Jaenicke’s beautiful collection at Jessie Black I was in complete awe of the craftsmanship, fabric and silhouettes that are timeless. Basically, everything I look for in a coat. I soon realized I had to know the woman behind the line.
Lan welcomed me into her Atelier/Home/Workspace and as I walked through the space I realized I had discovered something special. Friends, this space is one that I dream about every day. I sat down with Lan to talk about what brings her inspiration, how she creates balance and details about her collection. Read on to get thoroughly inspired!
Your wardrobe is an expression of self. It’s all about how you feel from the inside. How others look at you is less important. Therefore, the fabric is the most essential as it’s the touch that gives you a comforting sensation and you truly feel you are taking care of yourself. When you feel good, you look good and you do your best in anything. Luxurious fabric and clean lines are the foundation of Lan Jaenicke. Being 100% cashmere is pure luxury and only the person wearing it feels it. The cut is also key. A good cut will accentuate the best of you.
You’ve created a brand that is timeless, when you are designing new pieces where do you draw your inspiration? Travel, style icons, lifestyle?
Travel is a big part of my lifestyle and I enjoy it. I draw inspiration from people I meet and my interaction with them. It’s the little things in life that hit you at the right time.
Music also is a big part of my inspiration source. It affects my mood and gets me in touch with feelings. Emotions are the source of creativity.
I am also a person of contrast and I am attracted to the extremes. Like the clean sharp masculine lines with feminine soft fabric. Finding the balance somewhere in between is my organic inspiration process.
The sage cashmere T is my current love. It gives me the warmth and comfort of a cashmere sweater, yet it’s much more polished, elevated and most importantly, it feels good and it’s different!
Let’s dive into how you’ve been able to create a space that embodies live/work/atelier.
For me, there is no clear line between work and life. My work is my passion and I believe life is about following your passion and making it a reality. Everything I do is because I want to and there’s no compromise. How I live is how I work. This is a space I can be quiet and do the deep work, be in touch with myself. I need all my elements to support me to be at my most creative state. I travel often to shows and production sites, and this is the base I come back to digest after absorbing all the information along the way.
I have the flexibility while being an entrepreneur, yet I also need the discipline to accomplish my vision. It can be chaotic in the outside world, so it’s important to connect with myself every day and stay focused.
I am very aware of what I need and what works for me. It’s a natural flow when I set up the house. Everything just fell into place. The key is to follow your bliss (my favorite quote from Joseph Campbell). I knew I wanted to create the space to allow my essentials to grow and flourish. I call them the 4 pillars of life – mind, body, spirit and connection. The meditation room is the center pillar of my being, it also is in the center of the house. When I’m good in this place, all else is good.
The flow when you walk into the space:
- The meditation space first, where you will feel calm and peaceful as soon as you enter the space.
- Then you see the 2 connection spaces (sitting room + atelier). The sitting room is where conversations are bouncing. We use the atelier for client fittings or collaborations with other artists. There are no digital elements – no computers in these connection spaces. Just old school communication and one on one attention. I believe that’s when we truly connect.
- The den is behind the sitting room. It’s the only place that has a computer. Although I used asian antique elements to balance out the modern digital aspects.
- The kitchen is behind the atelier, where it reflects self-care and beauty from within. I also do my skin care routine and make up here in the morning light. I call it my wellness galley.
Do you feel as though having each of these spaces connected helps you with the design of your brand?
Absolutely. My brand is a reflection of me. The spaces are a symbol of my essentials, which I live by every day. They support me to be authentic in my creative process. I also can see things more clearly, either the necessity of a seam on the neckline or the priority in life. I don’t see my brand as a clothing line, but a lifestyle item. It’s not about the clothes, it’s always about the woman who is wearing it. Her personality will shine and the clothes are only here to support who she is.
The depths of weather and culture create opportunity for change and layers. Endless choices.
Our styles are classic and I intentionally stay away from the trends, which are short lived. I enjoy creating unexpected surprises. You will discover embroidered linings, the glow from within.
Let’s be honest, we all need something to lift from within, to adapt when environments change and to function with style and elegance. Embrace who you are. Not perfect but authentic.
Lan’s collection is available online at lanjaenicke.com and in boutiques including Jessie Black at 3252 Sacramento Street in SF.
Also, she will be opening a pop up store this August through December at 2185 Fillmore Street. This pop up will showcase the entire collection – from clothing to home. You will also find mommy and me matching cashmere jackets in collaboration with Mud Pie.
A HUGE thank you to Lan for welcoming us into her stunning space. I will forever be inspired by it!
Photos for Sacramento Street by Caitlin Flemming