JENNY’Z WORLD: It would seem that Jennifer Oz LeRoy, daughter of famed restaurateur Warner LeRoy, would have her hands full running the venerable Manhattan restaurant Tavern on the Green. At 24, LeRoy took over managing the restaurant business two years ago after the death of her father. But, the hands-on entrepreneur has plans that go far beyond food.
This story first appeared in the January 5, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LeRoy has just launched her fashion firm, Jenny’Z, with a line of Swarovski crystal-studded accessories, and she plans to branch into other categories, including T-shirts and sportswear.
“I started studding as a hobby and I am giving this business a shot,” said LeRoy, who is a fan of vintage Gucci, as well as Marc Jacobs.
Her collection includes a wide range of studded items, including tool kits and piggy banks, as well as Post-It holders, cell phone cases, belts, lighters and lipstick cases. Denim jackets are studded and embroidered with flowers and butterflies. LeRoy, a competitive horse rider, even has studded horse brushes and riding helmets. Wholesale prices for the items range from about $30 for a key chain to $600 for a riding helmet, and the items are already available at Tavern on the Green’s gift shop, as well as Zitomer’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
LeRoy’s spacious office is a mishmash of her two careers. A sewing machine and books on pattern techniques sit alongside restaurant construction plans, and she seems to move easily between the two worlds.
“I work on both businesses every day,” said LeRoy. “You don’t have to be creative in just one area.”
SHOPPING WITH FRIENDS: On Crosby Street in Manhattan, it’s a case of friendly retailing. Jeweler Rebecca Norman teamed up with her friend, apparel designer Ash Francomb, and the duo recently opened a boutique there to display their wares.
The West Coast pair met at a trade show three years ago and immediately clicked, but the idea for a store came only recently when Francomb was visiting New York. She saw that a space was available on Crosby Street and immediately called her friend.
The boutique, the first for both designers, offers Norman’s silver designs neatly displayed in three white cases alongside Francomb’s T-shirts and other clothing items. The space features recessed lighting, dark wood floors and original brick walls — a suitable backdrop for Norman’s jewelry, which has an artisanal feel with circle, square and swirl shapes featured in earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
Prices for the jewelry start at $90 for a pair of silver hoops and go as high as $350 for a silver necklace with jade or rough topaz. Norman, who started her business in 1995, is also launching fine jewelry in the boutique, featuring 18-karat gold pieces with moonstones, rubies, hessonite garnets and sapphires, from $350 to $4,000. Combined first-year projection is $300,000.
“I am looking to open a store in L.A., probably in the third or fourth quarter, and would like to continue with this collaboration,” said Norman.