Jane Mayle, to many metropolitan pretty young things, effortlessly characterizes whimsical and feminine chic. Since the former model started her business in 1999, everyone from celebrities to downtown schoolgirls have adorned themselves in her fey frocks and other emblems of nostalgia. But sadly, Mayle has announced that her clothing line will itself soon be a thing of the past.
According to WWD, an “out-of-control fashion system” has left Mayle feeling lost and uninspired and has ultimately led to her decision to close her business. In November, her holiday/resort collection will hit stores. It will be her last. Shortly thereafter, Mayle will close its doors forever. 242 Elizabeth Street– well-known amongst NYC’s fashion tribes as one of Nolita’s hottest boutiques -officially closes in February. (On the bright side, we hope a monster clearance sale precedes!)
“We knew we didn’t want to reinvest in the neighborhood,” Mayle said of the store’s impending lease expiration, “…the industry has changed so much, and the little niche we entered when I started the brand, and the demands in this niche have changed, so I asked myself, ‘Do I want to keep participating?’”
Mayle has eschewed typical approaches to market her clothing. In lieu of runway shows, she invested mainly in her retail and wholesale operations. Mayle now reportedly racks up annual sales of $5 million, and is sold at luxury points-of-sale around the globe, such as at Barneys New York, Opening Ceremony, Louis Boston and Harvey Nichols.
An “ever-accelerating fashion system” and misplaced priorities have taken their toll on Mayle. Her clothes, which recapture the girlish dreams and lifestyles of a bygone era, have been celebrated for their “magpie aesthetic” and mystique. But, according to Mayle, the tenets of style and business ethos she values “have disappeared from fashion in order to accelerate the product. I feel I have just become another cog in that machinery.”
As she no longer feels she can accomodate her company’s quality standards or her customers’ expectations, Mayle must bow out gracefully. Her niche in the fashion marketplace will be sorely missed. However, don’t count her out for future design initiatives or opportunities.
“What I learned from having this business, I could apply anywhere,” she said. “It could be interiors, graphics, scents — anything evoking an atmosphere.That’s where I’d like to situate myself.”
Below are 5 of our favorite items from Mayle’s Spring and Fall 2008 collections.
Grab them before they, too, are a mere memory!
–Mayle “Gia” Cami at La Garçonne. $363.
–Mayle “Emmanuel” Jacket at eLuxury. $755.
–Mayle “Josefine” Dress at Net-A-Porter. On Sale for $506.25
–Mayle “Ninel” Dress at Jake. On Sale for $325.
–Mayle “Flavia” Skirt at La Garçonne. $418.
Images courtesy of mayleonline.com.