Behind The Scenes Of The Petite Studio Showroom Opening Party
This fall, Petite Studio, a NYC based fashion brand designed for petite women, opened its first showroom in SoHo. Join us for a sneak peak of this dream-like space with the brand's founder Jenny Wang Howell.
Jenny, we’d love to hear more about the idea behind Petite Studio?
We really felt like there was a market need for a dedicated brand for petites. As a petite girl myself, I really felt underserved by most of the major brands and always wished there was a brand that catered specifically to petites. I have always felt like if you are 5'7" and thin, you can wear almost anything and look great. But us petites really need to be thoughtful about what we wear to flatter our best attributes. We can't just wear anything off the rack because most of the time there is something about the piece that just doesn't really fit like the sleeve or hem length is too long etc.
Petites really require special attention to help them look their best. I always looked for pieces that made me look good and that's what we're trying to do here. This brand is all about catering to petite girls and providing thoughtful pieces that help them look their absolute best.
What aesthetic do you envision for the brand?
Vintage, feminine, and classic.
What are the best-selling pieces this fall/winter season?
The Jane Blazer from the fall collection has been our best seller this fall. Our Clover Cropped Jacket is super on trend too and has been popular. It has the oversized edgy look that works really well for petites.
What experience do you want to create for your customers when they visit this showroom?
We want a shopper's experience to be very intimate and personalized, which is why we have people make appointments to come. This way they get to experience the clothes themselves without the rush and can really enjoy their time shopping. We have always felt uncomfortable when we’re in a retail store and you have a high pressured salesperson trying to get you to buy. We really like the idea of having our customers into our offices and allow them to take a peek behind the scenes. A lot of times we’ve got designs pinned up and get asked questions about them and what’s coming next, and we love those conversations.
What are your favorite parts of this space?
I'd have to say the area with the full-length mirror that reads, "I'm not short. I'm concentrated awesome." It's always a good reminder!
What can we expect from Petite Studio in the future?
We’re launching our new winter collection on 11/10! A complete winter collection specifically for petites that has the thought and care in all the little details that petites can’t get anywhere else. Great fitting outerwear and sweaters that look and feel great can be really hard for petites to find, so we’re super proud to be able to offer this collection.
Also, a year-round staple collection is in the works right now. Things that ladies can always wear no matter the season, such as a perfect white blouse or a blazer that will fit like a glove.
Jenny, how has being a “petite girl” shaped your personal style?
Knowing what works for me and what doesn’t really helps me to maintain a capsule wardrobe.
Although we design a lot of vintage-inspired feminine pieces, my personal style is a mix of simple & feminine staples. I don’t need a lot of “complicated” statement pieces on my 5’2 body. My go-to pieces are good-cut blazers, white silk blouses and fitted pants.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
Blouses and jeans. I have a hundred blouses and still buy new ones every single year (which drives my husband crazy haha). Jeans are just so easy to style with. They allow me to not think too hard in the morning and just pull on a blouse/t-shirt and go out for a brunch with girlfriends.
If you could trade closets with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Haha, I have never thought about it! Maybe Jeanne Damas? She is my muse.
What are the challenges of being a female entrepreneur in the fashion industry? And, your favorite part of your job?
Believe it or not, for me as both a female and a minority I have found that there are not as many challenges as I expected. Fashion is a very female dominated industry and I feel pretty accepted working in it. I personally think that being a female in this industry affords some advantages – particularly in building relationships, since many influencers, editors, PR pros and fashion insiders are female.
In general, being an entrepreneur means you have to wear different hats. Sometimes it’s tough, but it’s so enriching and inspiring and nothing is better than doing what you love and achieving your dreams.
My favorite part is that I can work with my design team to create my dream pieces that I’ve been looking for as a petite gal! Seeing our own designs from sketches to real products is actually very exciting for me.
What is the best career advice you’ve gotten?
It might sound trite but just getting out there and making your dream happen. I meet people fairly regularly who have a dream of working in fashion but are stuck in another career path that they might regret having entered. A lot of times they start to think that its too late and they can’t change paths just because their education is in some other subject. I always tell people that it really is possible to do whatever you want at any age if you work hard enough and don’t take no for an answer. If you really want to do something – just go do it! Don’t let everyone tell you why you can’t. But having said that, I also try to remind aspiring fashionistas that the fashion world is not always as glamorous as it appears in magazines and movies. It takes a lot of hard work and long hours in areas that are not particularly fun or sexy.
Make an appointment to check out Petite Studio!
131 Varick St #1006, New York, NY 10013