MME. MINK (AKA Jan Haedrich), launched in November 2019, is a luxury brand committed to making modern, timeless classics. The collection of luxury handbags, clothing, and accessories is the epitome of “haute preppy” and a celebration of all things posh and pretty (two words that have seemingly fallen out of favor as of late).
It’s decidedly not avant-garde or edgy and about as far away from grunge as can be. Haedrich credits her upbringing in Europe and exposure to a refined sense of decor, taste, and style for allowing her to see through the minutia of ever-changing trends.
“I adore LUXURY and everything that comes with it. MME is all about LIFESTYLE, from our witty philosophy of MME. SAYS to our chic-stainable BRUNCH at BERGDORF’S Collection. I love creating classic icons to last a lifetime.”Jan Haedrich, Founder & Designer
Jan’s muses are enduring fashion icons like C.Z Guest, Lee Radziwill, Jackie O, Grace Kelly, and Jane Birkin. These chic women, their signature handbags, and their glamorous lifestyles serve as ongoing inspiration for MME. MINK. Among Jan’s loyal customers are modern swans like C.Z’s daughter Cornelia Guest, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, and Aerin Lauder, with whom she’s done several trunk shows in Palm Beach and Southampton.
Don’t let the name fool you. This collection is not a fur line, although there are some faux fur and fur-trimmed pieces. The name MINK stems from the designer’s childhood nickname “Minky” and refers to “Many Individual Niceties We Keep.” Like many European luxury labels, MME. MINK treasures the experience of tradition and heritage.
Haedrich, a former designer for Ralph Lauren in New York, Wolfgang Joop! in Hamburg, and HERMÈS in Paris, also started her own brands, which were carried in Bergdorf Goodman, Stanley Korshak, and Harvey Nichols in London. Jan has sold her previous labels to aspiring companies wishing to gain her expertise and “look” of the modern socialite.
“I love telling stories. It’s not just creating things it’s creating a lifestyle. I think what makes MME MINK a little different is that we try to pull the customer into our lifestyle and take them somewhere they can’t go.”– Jan Haedrich.
The company’s wares and images have a feeling of exclusivity and an upper-crust air about them, invoking a sense of effortless wealth. Scrolling through the collection is like jet-setting to the French Riviera.
But it’s done with a sense of humor, and the prices are surprisingly affordable. Prices go from approximately $40 – $1500, with the bulk of the collection falling in the $300 – $750 range.
MME MINK’S Instagram pages are straight from a Slim Aarons photo shoot. The famed mid-century photographer made his career out of what he called “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” MME. MINK was recently dubbed “The Modern-Day Slim Aarons of Chic.”
The posts are images of glorious gardens and stunning castles in England, dazzling hotels in Paris, and chic resorts in the South of France. Tall, blonde, attractive, and brainy (Jan graduated Harvard with honors cum laude), she is her own best advertisement and appears in many shots.
There are zebra and leopard A-line maxi dresses, mini tunics, faux mink ponchos, faux fur jackets and coats, chic one-piece swimsuits, oversized frayed-edged straw sunhats with sunglasses built-in, and frothy chiffon gowns with grosgrain ribbon ties done in black and pastel hues.
But, there’s no question that the collection focuses on handbags and totes. They started with Italian felt canvas, added Saffiano leather, and then hit the ground running with their luxury woven bags which are the undisputed winners on the line. Jan has elevated the basket from the level of garden simplicity to old-school luxury.
The handbags made of organic wicker, reed, and grass fibers are woven and strung per MME.MINK design. The bags are available in limited quantities for the season. Signature gold hardware and grosgrain ribbon details make them distinctive and individual. I am not generally a lover of bows, but because these are architectural and tailored rather than girlie, they really work!
Each bag is hand-numbered with its own authenticity number, and engraving with one’s name is available. While most of the line’s manufacturing is in Italy, the straw bags are made in Thailand and Indonesia. “We work with amazing weavers who take our designs and customize them. We do our final touches here and ship them out to our customers,” says Jan, who I spoke with by phone earlier this week. “Every piece is different, although they are the same.”
In March, Haedrich presented her MME.MINK Spring/Summer 2022 Collection at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, and on April 20th, Jan showed at the legendary Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France. The collection’s MONACO Bag is this season’s fanfare piece. Made of organic wicker and inspired by Grace Kelly’s glamorous lifestyle on the French Riviera, they have sold out of the first shipment.
The LADY JANE PETITE is their classic best seller and the “darling” of the luxury woven collection. Inspired by Jane Birkin and her love of baskets, this lady-like petite bag is a perfect woven tote for small items and cross-body wearing.
Each season, the collection evolves, and Jan continually updates it by adding pieces that she defines as “essential.” MME. MINK’s ability to produce new collections and get them to the marketplace quickly and efficiently keeps its stylish admirers interested in what they will see next. Haedrich refers to the brand as “a stylish candy store.”