We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Wagner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Deciding to believe in myself, and believe in what i created. It sounds simple, but it takes much confidence to put yourself and your creation out there.
Growing up I was extremely shy, and used my artistic talents to express and connect with others. Moving from interior design to fashion design, was very fluid for me. I find it easy to move across disciplines, enjoy visualizing, and in turn creating the product and image, and building the brand. However, from there, putting it out into the world gave me much anxiety, and sometimes still does.
What I have found, and am happy to share, is that if you are truly passionate about what you are doing, what you’re creating, you begin to believe in it, and in yourself. Then others will begin to see it the same way; it’s what they are drawn to. It’s exciting, and they want to be a part of that — this, I believe, is the first step to success.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Une Forme actually began as a side project to my interior design business. Although I worked in interiors, I have always had a love for fashion as a way of self expression. I took a break from interiors after having my son, but as a creative, you never stop creating… So I began thinking about clothing as I did interiors: minimalist design, coordinating colors, layers, textures — and creating a collection that not only simplifies life, but slows life to focus on the individuals who fill the spaces or clothing.
The concept was to design simple silhouettes that coordinated seamlessly with one another, that layered and reversed to give you multiple looks from just a few pieces. I wanted to simplify everyday fashion and make pieces you could live in. Whether you were at the office, off to dinner, at a picnic, lounging at home, or getting away — the pieces worked together to go from one place to another with ease, in comfort and style.
Once the design concept was in the works, I began focusing on fabrics and production. While researching, I found how devastating the fashion industry is to the environment, on so many levels — waste, carbon footprint, and pollution. I decided then, that this endeavor must not only fill my creativity void, but also the sustainability void in the industry. I began selecting fabrics that were made from plants that used little water to grow, and fabrics that would biodegrade. Then it was about producing locally — not shipping materials to other countries, then shipping product back — but making it here, supporting our community.
I’ve not only fallen in love with process, but it’s also changed the way that my family and I live, and we now do our best to live as sustainably as possible. It’s important to me that I represent the ideals of the brand holistically, giving the Une Forme community transparency as well as support in their efforts to live more sustainably. I also enjoy collaborating with individuals or brands that identify with sustainability as well.
Since launching in summer 2019, it’s been an exciting journey. I look forward to growing the brand to promote sustainable living as well as travel, and merge my interiors background with this new venture. I love supporting my community and growing a more sustainable one, and am grateful to have had this opportunity to share with you, and hope that you too will join me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For me, LA is all about its eclectic neighborhoods and its two hour destinations, so I say — always plan a side trip. Within two hours you can be at the beach, the mountains, the desert, or wine country. I love that, and it’s such a spoil to those of us that live here!
And then of course LA itself — my advice is to focus each day in a different area — since navigating around can be quite time consuming. Stay at the Silver Lake Pool and Inn, the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica, or the Nomad Hotel in downtown. Get to the Broad Museum and the Getty, the Petersen for car aficionados, and soon the new Academy Museum and LACMA. Enjoy nature with hikes, golfing, and tennis in Griffith Park — see the Observatory, take a jog around the Silver Lake Reservoir. Spend an evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and try to check out screenings under the stars at Cinespia. Day trip through the canyons to Malibu, enjoy Matador beach, stop in for a bite at Malibu Farm, then head south to Abbott Kinney in Venice for amazing shops and the must try Gjelina. As an eastsider, I always recommend our foodie spots, Botanica, Kismet, Ostrich Farm, and Speranza, and downtown Redbird and Otium. Cocktails at Cafe Stella, the Black Cat, and Marty and Elayne at the Dresden is an LA must. Browse Silver Lake’s boutiques — Mohawk General Store, Broome Street General Store, Midland Shop, and Lake Boutique, then head downtown, check out the shops at the ROW DTLA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my family and closest friends, you know who you are. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been surrounded with people who supported my dreams — thank you for cheering me on!
Also to my husband, co-pilot, and partner in crime, for believing in my crazy ideas and helping them become reality, with hours of listening, guiding, and supporting me — it’s all nothing without you.
And lastly, to my son, who inspires living with simplicity, joy, and wonder.
eleonora barna, trinity white, tasmia kahn