What does an in-demand fashion designer do when they’ve achieved sartorial success? Open a brick-and-mortar storefront? Sign up for a swoon-worthy collaboration? Lately there's been another answer: Launch a home décor line.
Over the past few years, dozens of fashion brands—ranging from luxurious lines like Gucci to budget-conscious companies like Zara, Urban Outfitters, and H&M—have been offering their own twist on furniture, throw pillows, lighting, and the occasional dinnerware sets. On the one hand, we are 100 percent here for the uptick in home décor stores. As self-proclaimed design enthusiasts, we need options. But has anyone ever wondered why fashion brands are making the shift into interior design?
“What I wear, to what my home looks like, to what I’m setting my table with is all equally as important and inspiring,” explains fashion-turned-décor designer Jenni Kayne. “I believe people are starting to care as much about their homes as they do about their wardrobes.”
Kayne started her fashion career when she was 19 years-old, but it wasn’t until she started adulting that the designer’s penchant for home décor started to bloom.
“As I grew up and started my own family, my interests expanded into the lifestyle and home space,” she explains. “I have always been passionate about interiors and it was a natural extension for me as a designer.”
Peter Som’s expansion into interior design was a little different. As the son of two architects, he was bit by the decorating bug at an early age. However, similar to Kayne, Som firmly believes that fashion and home décor are interconnected.
“It’s about the stuff that surrounds you and the stuff that you wear and how to make it in a thoughtful and beautiful way,” he says.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Nowadays, we’re all guilty of doing certain things for the Instagram post. (Yes, even you.) We’ll venture to overcrowded tourists destinations and wait in a cronut line for hours just to get the shot. Today, a click-worthy feed is so much more than rocking a fabulous #OOTD; it’s about curating every single facet of your life, right down to the flatware you feature in that #foodstagram.
So why should your home be any different?
When it comes to developing an interior design aesthetic, neither Kayne nor Som strayed far from their fashion tastes. While Kayne has a penchant for the light, natural look, Som is all about patterns. In fact, Som says his recent collaboration with direct-to-consumer brand The Inside was inspired by artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Anne Truitt as well as the super-dapper menswear of style icons Bill Blass and Cary Grant.
However, just because a designer excels in fashion doesn’t mean he or she has an innate knack for interior design.
“You do have to think with a different mindset—what works for a dress or a blouse is sometimes not always the same as what works on an ottoman or loveseat,” Som says, adding some of his favorite fashion designs have been repurposed into home décor. “It’s all about proportion, the nuance of hues and scale.”
For both designers, expanding into home décor isn’t just the latest trend: It’s a career move that’s here to stay. In fact Kayne recently launched the very first Jenni Kayne house on Lake Arrowhead in California.
“We are really excited about the convergence of retail and hospitality and what it looks like to do that in a unique way,” she says.
But whether you’re in the market for a new frock, fabulous home décor, or a chic place to stay on your next vacation, one thing’s for sure: You’re in no shortage of stylish options.