In my wildest dreams, I am a rock star with an incredible touring wardrobe. So when I read about Jenny Reyes, the designer behind Geronimo, who spent three years touring with Rilo Kiley, I was immediately intrigued. Apart from being the “seamstress for the band” (Tiny Dancer, anyone), it turns out Jenny also interned for the Anna Wintour-approved Rodarte. I decided it was time to ask Jenny a few questions and thankfully, she agreed.
1. Introduce yourself to Mama Was A Rolling Stone readers and tell us something “different”.
Well my name is Jenny Reyes and I have a clothing line name Geronimo. I grew up in sunny Los Angeles, California and have always had a love for both music and fashion. So far in my career I’ve managed to blend the two in one way or another. I have always had a love for both music and fashion, I’m neither musically inclined and I never went to fashion school but I’ve managed to blend both into my line and my career. My lines name stems from my middle name, it was also my mother maiden name, and my sisters, cousins and I all share it. It was a way the females in my family decided to keep the family name alive and I’m carrying out the tradition with my line.
2. You once interned for Rodarte – what was that like? Is there a particular experience from this time that stands out?
Interning for Rodarte was one of the best experiences I’ve been fortunate to have had. The amount I was able to learn from Kate and Laure who I look at as geniuses in every sense of the word was awe inspiring. There are so many experiences that stand out its kinda hard to pick just one but I would have to say it would be seeing the line from its forming stages and then being invited to fashion week to see the finished product. I got to see all the inner workings of what it takes to actually put on an amazing show. It’s definitely something I will never forget!
3. You also toured with bands such as Rilo Kiley – what was your “job” while on tour? What is fashion like “on the road”?
Touring is so much fun! I had 2 jobs on tour. I was the merch girl and the seamstress for the band! I brought 2 sewing machines and would go thrift store shopping across America and sell merch at night. It was an amazing experience because I got to hang out with my friends and travel and see the landscape of America. I always packed light because I knew that I would be doing lots of shopping. I packed the basic wardrobe like t-shirts, dresses, tights, shoes, and a blazer and found accessories to add to it.
4. You’ve also done some work as a stylist. Is this something you enjoy and continue to do?
I love styling! I mostly stick to people I know because luckily for me I’ve been fortunate enough to work with my friends so the process has been pretty seamless since I already know their personal style. Styling is definitely something I love to do and will continue to do as long as I am able to. I just styled Jenny Lewis’s video for See Fernando and Jenny wore a Geronimo bathing suit so that was very cool of her to represent my line.
5. What is the aesthetic behind your collections? In particular, your current collection?
My inspiration mostly comes from vintage pieces from old magazines, music, paintings and old movies. I like to make clothing that mixes classic tailored quality with current fashion sensibility that in turn creates something youthful and playful. I like to play with duality in my line, the masculine and the feminine. That was a big influence in my current collection; blurring lines between women’s wear and menswear but still making it sexy.
6. When did you decide to start Geronimo and what has been the biggest learning curve for you?
The idea of starting my own line has always been kicking around in my head for some time. But it wasn’t until I toured with Jenny and all the other great musicians that I really grasped the idea of actually being able to pull it off. Being around all the positive energy that the whole crew brought, with the barrage of constant encouragement and just the general creative vibe that I was finally able to say “hey maybe I can actually pull this off”.
7. When did you realize you were a success? When did you give up the day job?
Well I’m not quite sure I am a success just yet I come from humble beginnings and I feel very fortunate to have gotten as far as I have but I have to say one of the best feelings so far was picking up nylon magazine and seeing my line in there! I grew up reading nylon religiously.
8. What are your plans for the future/where is Geronimo going?
I’m working on getting Geronimo into stores worldwide and working on my next collection. I’m also starting a men’s line with a really good friend Nick White of Tilly and the Wall. So I’m pretty excited about getting that off the ground.