5 Minutes With: Jenna Rankin, Riley Studio Designer

5 Minutes With: Jenna Rankin, Riley Studio Designer

by Riley Studio |

We spoke to our designer, Jenna, to hear all about her inspiration behind our latest Collection 04, her favourite pieces and some of the challenges we faced to launch it during COVID-19. 


1) What was your inspiration behind the collection? 

Collection 4 was inspired by colour, I was looking at artists Kenneth Noland, Matisse and Warhol who often mix bright Ochres and Oranges with subdued Navys and Greys. It seemed like a good way for us to incorporate summer hues while keeping the collection extremely wearable.


I wanted this collection to be really classic with vintage inspired pieces. I was watching movies set in the mid century such as A Single Man, and also films like Call Me by Your Name which have this Mediterranean summer sun that really felt connected to the colours that set off our inspiration.


2) How did you choose the designs to include? 

I wanted to elaborate on the staple pieces we introduced in previous collections and continue to design really useful, transitional items that aren't particularly trend led. I thought about the garments I always want in my wardrobe; a classic shirt, a workwear jacket, a practical short and chino. As well as a super comfortable oversized sweatshirt. The kind of styles you can easily dress up, or keep relaxed and casual. 


3) What was the biggest challenge when creating the new collection? 

The biggest challenge was probably getting the fit perfect on each style. We give ourselves a really tough job being gender neutral so it requires a lot of back and forth with meticulous pattern adjustments...and trying the pieces on anyone and everyone that comes to the studio!


4) What is your favourite piece and why? 

I can’t wait to wear the Workwear Jacket. It’s a really classic piece, perfect outerwear for the summer, and great to layer up with in the colder months. The fabric is amazing Italian organic cotton, that has an almost technical quality to it, and the buttons are made from waste milk and produced by my favourite people Corne & Corozo. I’ve added in an extra pair of pockets in the side seams so you can stash away your essentials; I think you can never have enough pockets on a jacket.



5) What do you enjoy about working with sustainable materials? 

Sustainability is on everyone’s mind at the moment so it’s really pushing us all to constantly innovate and produce new and better sustainable solutions. I love that the industry is always changing and evolving, and there is always so much new to learn.


I also enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to use sustainable fabrics. I think there is a stigma of sustainable clothing having to be either scratchy hemp basics or fluorescent exercise gear. I want to challenge our brand to create really timeless, high quality pieces while maintaining the highest environmental standards in both our materials and production.



6) Due to coronavirus we are unable to do our photoshoot for this Collection, however you’ve come up with creative new ways to showcase the pieces. What have you enjoyed about this process? 

Like most brands we were steaming ahead with the conventional fashion plan of “design the collection, produce the collection, do a photoshoot” but this situation has allowed us to step back and reconsider our process, and explore more creative ways of conveying our vision for this collection. One of the perks of this has been that it has given us the perfect opportunity to collaborate with different creatives we admire, such as illustrator Jessica Bird. 

To read more about our illustrations with Jessica, head over to our Journal post here