If lingerie is as important to your sense of style as fall’s hottest bag, cardigan or shoe, then you have something in common with 24-year-old Jenna Leigh Blatstein, the founder of the eponymous lingerie line, Jenna Leigh.
Blatstein is on a mission to get North American women to change their ideas about lingerie. So, if you like your intimate wear heartily constructed in basic hues of nude and black, then Jenna Leigh lingerie may not be for you.
Blatstein has purposely designed her pieces to be flimsy, flirty and trendy, more fashion wear than foundation garments.
“A girl can have a full wardrobe of my lingerie,” Blatstein recently told Philly.com from her studio in New York’s trendy SoHo. “I want my clothes to be paired with the season’s trends, not hidden by them.”
According to this fashion-forward philosophy, Jenna Leigh lingerie pieces are created from beautiful fabrics like eyelet lace that are meant to be seen, not concealed.
“I purposely wanted my fit for younger people,” Blatstein added. “It’s not that much coverage … it’s totally on purpose.”
While some buyers have expressed concern over whether the majority of women really want this type of lingerie, Jenna Leigh has enjoyed success since its launch in 2009. Not only can you buy Jenna Leigh online, but the pieces are available in 40 stores across the United States, including a New York flagship and Barneys.
Her success is partly due to the fact that Blatstein has managed to create some great press for her line by cold-calling magazines and getting her silky items into high-profile goodie bags for events like the Academy Awards. At the same time, some have criticized the designer for trading on nepotism — her father is the Philadelphia property developer Bart Blatstein whose initial investment, and footing the bill for his daughter’s New York lifestyle, allowed her to launch her business. Many claim that Blatstein’s family connections with stylists and the like have gotten her noticed over other, less well connected designers and brands.
Regardless of whether Blatstein would be enjoying the same kind of success without said connections, one must concede she’s made the most of the ones she has.
Not only is Jenna Leigh lingerie apparently a favorite of celebrities like Mariah Carey and Leighton Meester (Blatstein is said to be trying to convince Meester to wear one of her pieces on the hit television show Gossip Girl, the veritable seal of cool recognized by fashionistas everywhere), but the line has gained editorial attention as well.
Marie Claire named Jenna Leigh’s Malawi bra one of the Top 50 Must-Haves for fall, while a recent Allure cover featured buxom Kim Kardashian in the line’s Elle balconette bra (Jenna Leigh was also featured in a giveaway on Khloe Kardashian’s website). One also can’t forget Lady Gaga on the cover of Cosmo (right) in vintage-inspired nude-toned Jenna Leigh lingerie.
Blatstein, who studied in Miami and London, is said to be inspired by “the beautiful people and places captured by photographer Slim Aarons, cutting-edge runway trends, and the metropolitan allure of her New York/Philadelphia/Miami lifestyle,” according to her website.
The Jenna Leigh lingerie line features collections named after different places like Notting Hill (more casual pieces fashioned out of super soft, ribbed organic milk cotton and lace) and Kenya, Croatia and Bali. Next spring there will also be a collection inspired by Canada’s ski resort town Mont Tremblant.
According to Blatstein, her line is meant to give women “style and confidence” by providing them with fashion-forward lingerie pieces that you want to put on and wear all day. Jenna Leigh lingerie bra sizes range from 32A to 36D and run from $65 to $115 while panties range from $35 to $60.
Other items like nighties retail for around the $100 mark and can be purchased both in brick-and-mortar stores and online.
The photos below show some pieces from JL’s Fall 2010 collection — make sure to check their web store for availability. The photo at the top of this post shows their Elle set in a terrific bridal setting shot for the website AisleNewYork.