The label is rooted in California classics, including boatneck sweaters in mariner stripes or “Yosemite moss” green, barn jackets, cotton T-shirts, sweater dresses, poplin shirts and shorts, $78 to $306.
It is selling on the shopwyeth.com website and at the new 1,150-square-foot Wyeth boutique that opened this week at Platform L.A. in Culver City, California, across the street from the Wyeth design studio.
“Working as an influencer for 11 years and trying on millions of clothes, going to fashion weeks and working with brands, I’d say things like, ‘I love this jacket, but why didn’t they do this?’ Or, ‘I love this dress but I wish they did that,'” said Duprie, 39, who has 530,000 followers on Instagram. “Now that I have had experience, I know how much work goes into all these choices and I appreciate them. But I’ve always wanted to have full creative freedom. Wyeth marries my Southern upbringing with an East Coast sensibility and California cool girl, because I’m all of those things.”
Duprie has several seasoned partners in the venture. One of them is the Runyon Group real estate company, which owns the Platform shopping center in Culver City, where Apple, Amazon, HBO and Sony have offices nearby.
In addition to real estate investment (Runyon will open open a new shopping center, The Post, in Montecito, California, next year) principles Joseph Miller and David Fishbein have started brand building, investing first in a home retail project called Atrio for star decorator Jeremiah Brent at Platform, and now in Duprie’s Wyeth.
“We are trying to create an ecosystem in our company where we can partner with you at any stage. In some instances it’s renting a store, in some it’s a full-on partnership,” said Fishbein of providing start-up capital for Wyeth. “Jacey’s vision resonates over decades, people have been following her since they were in their 20s and now she’s a mother. They’re interested in what she’s going through.”
Other partners are Velvet by Graham and Spencer’s chief executive officer Henry Hirschowitz, and cofounder and creative director Jenny Graham, as well Velvet parent company, Japan’s Adastria Co. Ltd..
“It’s an easy marriage of the three of us,” said Duprie, whose real estate investor husband Grant Leavitt also works in the business, which currently employs 15 people.
Duprie started her blog Damsel in Dior in 2011, and has partnered with a number of brands, including Amazon Fashion, Splendid and The Odells.
Over the years she’s written about the newest Dior bag, Cabo vacation style and styling tips for family photos, but also social media FOMO and anxiety, managing ADD and her fear of flying. That honesty has resonated with fans, including those who bought her book, “Liking Myself Back: An Influencer’s Journey From Self-Doubt to Self-Acceptance,” published by Park Row in June.
“Everyone has seasons in their lives. Some seasons have been amazing and outrageous, like going to Paris and going to the Dior and Chanel shows. And some have been gut-wrenching and hard, like writing the book, where I had to go back to emotional moments. But now I’ve graduated. This is my next act,” she said, adding that she plans to cut back her social media content, and won’t sell the book in the Wyeth store.
Duprie has also chronicled her home renovations extensively online, including a Lake Arrowhead project. She tapped interior designer Martha Mulholland for that and for the new Wyeth store, which has a Spanish Colonial feel, with warm stucco walls, reclaimed brick floors, a fireplace, custom chandelier fabricated from native plants, flowers and cotton bolls (a nod to Duprie’s roots as the daughter of a Texas cotton farmer).
“My aunt had a store in Chicago where I worked during college,” she said of cutting her teeth at Celeste Turner, adding that, amusingly, that store actually stocked Velvet by Graham and Spencer T-shirts. “Despite my history in social media, I like seeing people and helping them in the dressing room.”
The Wyeth launch collection (named after a favorite Andrew Wyeth quote, “I paint my life”) is comprised of 14 stock keeping units. Duprie’s favorite is the Santa Ynez barn jacket, with pockets lined in corduroy “so when you put your hand in its cozy,” she said. “And I like snaps, I’m a no-fuss kind of girl.”
As the range grows, she intends to keep prices low, ideally under $550. “I know my followers, and I know what they want to invest in…so I tried to let my metrics and analytics inform my decision-making in terms of the prices, and the pieces we’re designing,” she said of the collection, which is produced in Italy and China. The line will expand into silk separates, more dresses and accessories in the next year, all with the kind of California city-country lifestyle vibe that’s proven bankable with L.A. labels Jenni Kayne and The Great.
In addition to Wyeth, the store features vintage candlesticks and ceramics curated by Mulholland, and a selection of third-party goods, including wood jewelry by Sophie Monet, velvet headbands by Jennifer Behr, denim by AGolde, dresses by Merlette, boots by Aeyde and more.
Duprie will be looking to other influencers and social media platforms to help promote Wyeth.
“I love that more than me, me, me,” she said of becoming more behind-the-scenes. “I just started to TikTok, I’m almost 40, but I’m trying to have fun with it and be stupid and silly. After a few glasses of Chardonnay, it’s easier,” she laughed.
Wyeth has several upcoming collaborations planned, including with Lake Pajamas, Janessa Leone hats and a childrenswear range for summer. And Duprie hopes her second store will be in Runyon Group’s The Post in Montecito.
“I have big dreams for the brand. I’d be willing to wholesale it when we are ready. The first five years will be telling in terms of scaleability,” Duprie said. “But in 10 years, I hope to be a household name.”