At the top of five flights of stairs in a woodsy-scented Greenwich Village apartment building perches designer Jane Mayle’s home, a skylighted jewel box awash in a harmonious variety of textures, time periods, and artistic sensibilities. After attending to her newborn son, Orson Hilary Lennox, Mayle emerges, floating around her studied assortment in a swan-like dance, sliding her collection of pretty things around to find the perfect space for them in this moment.
“Everything is a movable feast,” says Mayle, motioning to the curated art, vintage finds, and bohemian-luxe accents surrounding us. “I’ll keep it a certain way for a few days or a few weeks because there may be a particular flower in season that I’ve brought home. It becomes a perfect storm of beauty. But when the moment has passed, I like to move things around to a new and different combination.” She seems to draw great pleasure from the casual lightness of nothing being fixed in place—a learned gratification from years spent traveling the world after shuttering her venerated namesake fashion business, Mayle, in 2008.Now, as a new mother, and with the launch of her new label, Maison Mayle, Mayle is firmly planted in her next chapter. This past February, during New York Fashion Week, she welcomed, at eight months pregnant, select press into her home for Maison Mayle’s inaugural presentation. Set against her mod plexiglass Courrèges panels and underneath the organic contours of an Ingo Maurer chandelier, the seasonless assortment of romantic blouses and dresses, smartly tailored pants, and charming, deliberately substantial jewelry mixed effortlessly. “Softness cuts the edges of things,” she notes when our eyes rest on the chandelier. “With home decor and the collection, it’s always about the mixture. There’s this constant bounce and interplay of surfaces that are slick and then there’s the rough-hewn—I can’t go one way or the other.”
Looking forward to her second act with an exclusive Barneys New York partnership, Mayle feels confident in her “little champions that promise to keep trucking through.” The idea of clothes being supportive characters is important, especially in her new state of motherhood. “I’m not going to sacrifice life for clothing, but it’s one of my priorities to try to combine the two things,” she says. “I’ll design with the aesthetic, but I have to make it work and protect the wearer, so, they don’t have to worry when they’re wearing it.” Part mother, protector, and worldly gatherer, Mayle is poised to do it all.
But why come back now? The answer makes the question seem glaring: “Because people told me they missed it. And so did I.”
Scroll on for a tour of Jane Mayle’s home and head to Barneys to shop