NAME: Jenny Schwarz
This story first appeared in the December 4, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
HISTORY: Schwarz, a London-based Central Saint Martins graduate, launched her men’s label earlier this year, taking cues from the legacy of her great-grandfather, Johann Schneider, a tailor in Thirties Germany. Schneider, who Schwarz called “an adventurer,” was called up for military service in the Forties but didn’t return from the war. His daughter Inge attempted to continue the business, but was met with resistance from her father’s male customers. But now, Schwarz has taken up her great-grandfather’s mantle. Following a tailoring apprenticeship and a B.A. in men’s wear design at St. Martins, Schwarz is focusing on looks that nod to her great-grandfather’s outdoorsy lifestyle. “He climbed mountains, he spent time with his horses — we closed the gap between the tailoring and the adventuring and started up a ready-to-wear and outerwear brand,” Schwarz said.
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: “Rugged elegance,” stated Schwarz. The label’s designs include haute looks in unexpected fabrics, such as a shawl-collar white dinner jacket in linen and silk. “You look at it and think it’s got the coarseness of hessian to it, but you touch it and it’s got the luxury of silk,” said Schwarz. Details include hand-finishing on jackets and mother-of-pearl and horn buttons.
KEY LOOKS: Alongside the evening pieces in unusual fabrics, there is knitwear, such as sweaters shot through with metallic wool; jackets in polyurethane-coated cotton and a double-breasted trench-style coat. Schwarz said the emphasis is on separates, rather than tailored suits. “It’s for the guy who loves tailoring but doesn’t want to wear his office suit to the bar or to events. He wants to have a break between these two things,” Schwarz said.
PRICE POINTS: A jersey T-shirt is 75 pounds, or $117, and bags start at around 190 pounds, or $297, while a double-breasted coat is 790 pounds, or $1,240. The designs are largely manufactured in London, with the knitwear made in Germany.
DISTRIBUTION: The line is sold at Hevn in Oslo, Norway, and Church in Los Angeles and on the label’s site, jennyschwarz.com.
NEXT UP: The designer took the upcoming spring season off, ahead of presenting an as-yet-undisclosed collaboration for fall 2015, around the time of the London men’s shows in January.