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„I value your skin as much as I value mine“, is the opening line of Jack Bartman’s fashion film for Jenah St. — it sets the tone for the brand of bags where „high performance vegan leather meets Italian luxury“.
French born Jena Bautmans founds the label in Berlin after working as a creative director for an e-commerce giant in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. Meet Jena in our interview.


„I wanted to come back to Europe and build something following my own rules“


Your current fashion film is called „Here on parole“. What’s the story behind it?

I wanted to put an emphasis on the emergency to change our behaviour towards the planet as human beings. We have disregarded the natural balance of ecosystems for too long. The analogy with the judiciary system of being on the Earth on parole means that if we don’t look inside ourselves and make appropriate changes, we’ll have to answer for our deeds. 

The short film is a confession to the Earth and its inhabitants. Tensions arising between natural elements, wilderness, man-made constructions and their impact on a landscape are recurring themes in Jenah St.’s approach to design and visual identity. Will we respond to this invitation to embrace unity and start to breathe as one? 

What role does a bag play in today’s world?

Today’s world cannot be about consuming excessively and compulsively, like it was the case a decade ago. In order to facilitate a “consume less, consume better” attitude, a handbag that one will use on a daily basis, should be both a beautiful and functional object. Each bag of the collection has its own function from the wallet that turns into a Mini- Bag with its thin gold chain, the Shopper that you can transform into a backpack or the Laptop Bag. A clean and well structured bag will also suit the eye longer and beyond trends. 

Fashion is a medium to express oneself: how do I want to be perceived? What story do I tell through the pieces I wear? In a way, consuming in today’s context almost means making a political statement. Of course, it is also about having fun and keeping alive the pleasure of acquiring a beautiful piece. Pleasure, aesthetics and consciousness should go hand in hand. 

This fashion short film will be presented the L.A Fashion Festival 2019. Direction & Original music: Jack Bartman


Why did you choose to live and startup in Berlin and not in France where you were born? 

I followed my heart. Now that my personal and professional life is in Berlin, I decided to stay even if I travel to Paris on a regular basis. I do feel home wherever I connect with people and can see loved ones often enough. I also feel that Berlin is more relaxed than Paris in a way, with more space and more trees. I also love the fact that here, people don’t just talk about the environment, they have already integrated new habits in their daily lives. At least that’s what I observe (bicycles, waste recycling, huge vegetarian and vegan offerings in restaurants…). 

It is still a challenge for me though, as my German isn’t yet up to the task, but I’m working on it!


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