EPONINE MEETS > JET SHENKMAN
We caught up with Jet Shenkman, Eponine Founder and Creative Director
JET TELLS US ABOUT the birth of eponine, the charity she co-founded, and gives us her tip top shopping tips
1. HELLO JET! HOW DID THE EPONINE JOURNEY BEGIN?
Hello! When I lived in Tokyo and Hong Kong, I worked as a part-time stylist and I guess that is where the journey into designing began. Understanding much more about the various female shapes, women’s insecurities about their changing bodies and the difficulty in finding dresses that would compliment their shapes. I thought, maybe I could set up a brand that could tackle this!
Then, one day, I was walking in the Alps and thought, its now or never! So I interviewed Pep (Petar Petrov, Eponine Designer), fell in love with him straight away and hired him within three minutes, and then Eponine was officially born!
2. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN FASHION?
Yes. I have always loved fashion and in my early forties I developed a real passion for vintage dresses. I always loved the elegance of the fifties and quirkiness of the sixties so it seemed only right that those should be the inspiration behind the brand.
3. YOU’RE ALSO A BEREAVEMENT COUNSELLOR AND YOU AND YOUR FRIEND HAVE SET UP YOUR OWN COUNSELLING CHARITY, THE WILFRED FABER COUNSELLING SERVICE, AT THE LONDON ORATORY IN KNIGHTSBRIDGE. PLEASE WILL YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT IT?
Bridget (Co-Founder of the WFCS) and I feel passionate about mental health and wanted to create a safe place where people with mental health or bereavement related issues could come to and receive professional support.
We offer a lost cost, or free, service for anyone in need. Our blueprint is one where we hope to roll it out to all big churches in London and nationwide. All we ask is for professional therapists and counsellors to donate 2 (or more) hours a week for free. We also offer supervised places for those in training.
4. IT MUST BE INTERESTING WORKING IN TWO SUCH DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES. WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
I exercise most mornings, either aerobically or yin yoga, I love a good book, walks in the country and being surrounded by my wonderful family (that includes our three dogs!).
The best place for me to recharge is the Alps. I love to hike and to soak up those majestic views of the mountains. I find it very grounding!
5. OTHER THAN EPONINE, WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP?
I only really shop online. I'd say ASOS, Zalando and Yoox are where I browse the most. Etsy is great for vintage cashmere cardigans and twinsets!
6. EPONINE IS NAMED AFTER THE CHARACTER IN LES MISERABLES. DO YOU FEEL A PARTICULAR AFFILIATION WITH HER?
Very much so! In Les Mis Eponine goes after what she thinks is right and remains true to herself. I'd like to think I do the same!
7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE EVER EPONINE DESIGN? YOU’RE ONLY ALLOWED TO CHOOSE ONE!
Oh no, there are two: the red and white dogtooth midi dress (pictured in the main photo) from last winter and the first ever Hmong dress we made.
8. THE NEW AW18 IS NEARLY UPON US! WHAT SHOULD WE BE EXPECTING?
A real mixture of textures and colours andnd a great variety of different shapes. Can’t wait to share it!
For more information about Jet’s charity WFCS, please visit: https://www.wfcslondon.org