Daphne JavitchFounder and Designer of TEN
"Joan Didion, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Anna Karina, Romy Schneider, Shelley Duvall... I would be friends with all of those women."
“I grew up on the Upper West Side, and I lived in Italy for three years. I went to an elementary school there called ‘Arcobelano,’ which means ‘rainbow’ in Italian. It was a Steiner school, where I actually had some cool, hippie teachers. I remember I would take Italian classes in this one teacher’s office, and she had Henna-dyed hair and lots of silver jewelry. Maybe she was a fashion influence on me… I come from a very academic household, so I didn’t have a lot of fashion at home. My dad is a professor of comparative literature and my mom was a learning specialist and now she’s an activist and a silk painter. … I wasn’t allowed to have Barbie dolls growing up, instead my mom gave me Vogue Dolls, which were her dolls from the 1950s. They were short and fat, but they had real hair, hand-made clothing, and wore these amazing bloomers as underwear.
I lived in Italy again during high school, and my best friend there was Nicola [Formichetti]. We would do photo shoots on my terrace, and I have some amazing pictures of us from back then. … What I love about him so much is that he can play the piano, he can run, he can paint… He could do anything brilliantly. I was actually considered very materialistic in my household because no one else cared about clothes at all, and so perhaps my friendship with Nicola was my rebellious part.
Before I started TEN, I was a costume designer for ten years. I loved being a costume designer, and I still think about doing projects in that area. I love the collaborative nature of costume design, but after doing it for so long, I wanted to do a project that I could maintain and control the integrity of from beginning to end. I wanted to have impact on every aspect. That’s why I started TEN.
Basically, the TEN line is very nostalgic and inspired by my spirit and style icons from the 60’s and 70’s: Joan Didion, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Anna Karina, Romy Schneider, Shelley Duvall… I would be friends with all of those women. They, for me, capture a kind of sexiness that is playful and intelligent, mischievous and straight-forward, and just natural. Being natural is so sexy to me.
I also love simplicity, and I joke that TEN are like 1970’s babysitters’ underwear. I always think of all those pictures of Jane Birkin in her full-set underwear and see-through dresses. I also wanted to make the perfect pair of navy blue underwear–I always say a true navy begs the question of, ‘Is it black?’ … Since then, it has become more about contextualizing the one thing we started making.
I had sent my crush a pair of white cotton undies in the mail, so when I was trying to think of packaging ideas, my best friend said, ‘you should package them in an envelope.’ We created this packaging that is supposed to feel nostalgic and romantic. … You would be surprised how much guys like a pair of white cotton undies. ” — Daphne Javitch to Shop Ghost
Daphne Javitch photographed in New York by Stevie Dance.
Daphne's Shop Ghost Tips
"I assisted on something that Woody Allen directed when I was 21. It was my dream come true. I would just stare at him on stage. I remember this tomato red cashmere sweater that he wore–it was the most perfect cashmere sweater. I feel like I’ve been looking for that cashmere sweater ever since. I’m very like that, I affiliate a piece of clothing with a person and a narrative. I have this white sweatshirt that’s so perfect because I read this article about Agnes B., and she used to wear a white sweatshirt and jeans when she was working, so I wear that as my 'work outfit.' I look for these kind of fashion mentors."
"I’m very into basics, but I’m also extremely specific about my basics. I have a white t-shirt collection, a lot are from the 1960s and 1970s because they already have a body shape in them. I also love jeans, my favourite jeans are actually my boyfriend's A.P.C. jeans that he put about four years of work into breaking them in. I’m very into short jeans right now, too, like the kind you used to see Jane Birkin or Carolyn Bessette wearing. ... Then the other side of the coin is that I have some insane, amazing things I love that are the opposite of basics, like a fluorescent orange lace dress."
"I get a lot of inspiration from Nicola [Formichetti]. He is very much the same person now who he was to me when I was 15. ... He has to have a lot of energy to do his job–he is fueling and creating a whole point of view. What I really admire about him is that he is able to do everything with ease, with pleasure, and with a sense of foolishness and joy."
"Japan is the current love of my life. I was there in March and I think I'm going back in July because I consult for some brands there. It’s extremely traditional, graceful, and has so much history, but then there is so much eccentricity, fashion, and weirdness. We sell to Ron Herman Japan, and we are doing a collaboration with them on a capsule collection of clothing. We are doing 10 items for the TEN girl. That project has been a dream come true because they know what I’m talking about. They get me."