“There are no rules in the bedroom,” says designer and entrepreneur Colette Jaffe. After 20 years working in the exquisitely detailed, luxury end of the bedding and bath market for Pratesi she found herself craving things that weren’t being made. Everything was beautiful, but it wasn’t exciting. Like so many faced with this challenge she decided to take her extensive industry experience, knowledge and contacts and start an eponymous brand exploding with energy, color and patterns and the best quality she could have made. Now back in her native Minneapolis where she’s launched the brand’s first (and currently only outpost) she’s bringing a revolution to the bedroom and bathroom similar to what Ozwald Boateng brought to Saville Row. Her quality, colorful home collection includes linens of course but also robes, candles and bathroom accessories, bursting with color and made with craft.
We caught up with energetic and equally colorful Jaffe in her Minneapolis storefront, which is part of the impressive, recently-expanded Martin Patrick retail space, where she walked us through her collection and shared her story. While she still holds appreciation for the traditional high-end Italian luxury brands in the marketplace, she realized she wanted to experiment, creating something she herself couldn’t already find. “I was in Italy and just standing there (in a factory) and I said, ‘Could you imagine if we had a duvet cover, top to bottom, with all these threads,'” she explains to us while pointing to a vibrant pillow with rainbow-like embroidery and multiple styles of stitching. “And then, just there, I put them together the way I wanted to put them together. That’s where it all started,” she says. Jaffe’s high energy, passion for color and unique style comes to life in her energetic patterns. But there’s more here than just that.
“I started 1 March 2015 and I opened unofficially 1 June 2016 and officially the end of June. For the most part, I knew how to do everything [regarding bedding],” she says. Jaffe leveraged her knowledge and years of connections to create her sophisticated embroideries with a twist. She tapped the best mills in Italy, and challenged them to deliver the intense, colorful patterning she will become famous for. “I am a neurotic perfectionist,” she adds. “Everything has to be right.” That passion and perfectionism mandated extensive development to bring her vision to life.
Jaffe’s world extends beyond bedding. “I wanted bath accessories… I wanted to come out of the gate as a full brand. That was important to me,” she notes. Jaffe envisioned her multi-hued gradient candles, but wasn’t getting the soft, layered look she kept seeing in her mind. Dozens of attempts were made, but it wasn’t until the manufacturer’s master candlemaker stepped in and had the skill to create what she sought. “The man who makes them is known as the grandfather in the factory [in Italy],” she says. “He literally makes them all himself.”
In addition to the candles, she’s custom colored the alabaster used in her bathroom collection. “I am the only one in the country who has colored alabaster bathroom accessories,” she explains—and to our knowledge this is true. Say goodbye to your tired tissue box and soap dispenser. The collection also contains baby alpaca throw pillows (which are presently the only item not produced in Italy, though Jaffe is currently seeking a factory there that can produce them).
A standout of the collection is the range of luscious cotton robes—available in shawl collar and kimono styles—which grant buyers a unique opportunity to choose their belt pattern and color. Across everything, her attention to design detail is visible, as is the quality of production required to deliver such vibrance.
The Colette Jaffe collection is available exclusively at her shop-in-shop in Minneapolis’ Martin Patrick department store and her just-launched Colette Jaffe webstore.
Slideshow images by Josh Rubin, all other images by Douglas Friedman, courtesy of Colette Jaffe