In the eight years since she shuttered her beloved New York boutique, Jane Mayle has bought just one piece of clothing — a Sonia Rykiel coat. “My old designs worked so well — and people were still complimenting me on them,” reasons the former model, whose romantic, thoughtful clothes (“everything had its place in a woman’s wardrobe”) became the uniform for indie fashion girls in the early aughts. And while times have changed, Mayle’s approach to design hasn’t. Her comeback collection, available now at Barneys, picks up where she left off, with a few updates. A favorite stretchy silk dress from 2000 has been recast in a crepe de chine, while faded, high-waist jeans and playful costume jewelry (the latter, a collaboration with the family-owned company Ciner) have been added to the mix. As for a shop, Mayle is waiting for the right space to present itself. “There was the sense with the first one that you had stumbled across something special,” she says. “And that feeling permeated the brand. From the beginning, it felt like someone’s secret.”
Define your style in three words:
This is forever.
The clean, the classic, the comfortable, the cheeky— a good day is when all four intersect, sometimes I’m lucky if I get only the clean part right.
Mayle jackets in varied incarnations, but mostly black. They can always be relied on to form some sort of ad hoc soft suit with a gaucha pant; our high-waisted JJ jean; our Palermo dress worn over our classic slip or a bikini depending on if I am under a palm tree eating paella at four o’clock or not.
I’m a girl who feels most herself in heels. There is just no putting me in sneakers.
My Mayle cameo signet necklace and rosette belt are in heavy rotation just to tilt whatever is on me over the edge. The layering of our twin comet and barbelle rings do the rest.
Same thing as day.
Best recent discovery:
Mint should be more places; it’s equally good in bbq chicken tacos as in a salad.
The clothing store Liwan is my forever place of pilgrimage in Paris.
Style pet peeve:
Sheer long things over too short things; platform versions of shoes that have no business being that way.
What's always in your bag:
Lip balm — this should be replaced by a bottle of water which, my boyfriend would tell me, would remove reason to carry around lip balm in the first place.
Cheap and cheerful pair of vintage bar glasses with green and red stripes on them which beg a new Italian cocktail to be created just for them.
El Xampanyet, Barcelona — any place that has a spigot for cava coming out of the wall and take away bottles for aforementioned cava will always be a me-pleaser.
To stay physically and mentally where wildflowers grow.