Introducing John Robshaw x Lan Jaenicke
Limited Edition Fashion Collaboration
The incredibly talented fashion designer Lan Jaenicke took our prints and created this beautiful collection. Go behind the scenes and learn more about our collaboration below.
Tell us about your career path.
I knew I would end up as a designer, but went some other directions first to see the world. After all, design comes from experience! After receiving a degree in mathematics in London, I worked in advertising in New York and Hong Kong. A few years later, I moved to San Francisco, then went back to school for a MFA in fashion, which involved an intense technical training and allowed me to put my visions into form. I’ve always been acutely aware that design and material cannot be separated. The inherent intelligence of cashmere fascinated me - it became the defining material of my brand. I sewed several individual pieces, which organically grew into a collection: Lan Jaenicke was soon launched as a small series of 100% woven cashmere coats and jackets. That was 12 years ago, and all of those original designs are still a part of the signature collection to this day.
When did you know what you wanted to do?
My mother was a dancer turned designer, and my father is a writer. Creation is part of my DNA. I've always wanted to make beautiful things and spaces. Actually, growing up in such an artistic world, and being a bit of a rebel, I ran the other way and became a math major. It seemed like a divergence at the time, but studying math has philosophically informed my design process.
How did you meet John?
John and I were on a panel together, as both our homes were featured in Travel Home, a book by Caitlin Flemming and Julie Goebel. The book portrays home interiors of designers who are particularly inspired by travel. So we obviously shared a similar spirit and love of exploring. I was soon to open a pop-up boutique in Soho, NY and needed to furnish the empty space quickly. After the panel, John introduced me to Richard Wrightman and his magnificent furniture collection. I was so touched by John's warmth and generosity - both he and Richard became friends of mine immediately.
What inspired you to collaborate using John Robshaw Textiles?
I'm increasingly focused on sustainability in my design, on using what we already have and seeing it with new eyes. I've always worked with pure cashmere and silk. I wanted to experiment with linens, cottons, and prints, but only with pure natural materials, no synthetics. Rather than producing more material, saddling the world with more stuff, I sought a source for pre-existing textiles. Of course John is the Prince of Prints, so I immediately thought of him and reappropriated material from his previous collections. I love the craftsmanship and hand-done quality of John Robshaw Textiles, be it for his vibrant block prints, or padded quilts. My collections tend to feature solids, so integrating his patterns has been a thrill to behold.
Tell us about this collection.
Coincidentally, the last place John and I had both visited was Kyoto. That somehow became a guiding light in creating this collection. A kimono is created from a single swath of fabric - the print is uninterrupted. This struck me not only for its physical beauty, but for its timeless, efficiency of design - nothing is wasted. This collection embodies a practice of zero-waste, size-free, and some gender-free designs. In my mind, John’s prints integrated so beautifully into this vision - the wrap-skirts, kimono tops and dresses made from his textiles became a perfect fit. My signature black silk grosgrain ribbon delineates his fabrics and gives them structure. I also transformed a quilt of his into a vest and a jacket. Touches of black cashmere add stylistic flair to the overall design, and serve as a signature, as cashmere is the material that defines me. All the pieces in this collection were conceived and created by hand in my atelier in San Francisco. Each piece is one of a kind.
Where can people buy Lan Jaenicke x John Robshaw collection?
The collection is available at Atelier Lan Jaenicke, in the Jackson Square historic district of San Francisco. The pieces are one size fits all, but we do offer custom tailoring on site. The collection can also be found on our website: lanjaenicke.com.
What’s something not many people know about you?
I study martial arts and am captivated by the practice of connecting one's internal energy with external energy. Cultivating your internal balance and embracing change creates strength of character and flexibility, both physical and mental.
Any advice for someone looking to do what you’re doing?
Just start by doing, without overthinking. The creative process is a journey, a self-discovery. You evolve and grow by actively engaging with your materials. By persisting, your true vision comes into focus. By pursuing this vision with honesty and humility, you hit the bedrock of authenticity. And of course it’s essential that it be something you love.