Jeannie Lee’s Satine is where vintage meets luxury

April 11, 2014

The destination boutique in L.A. has developed
an A-list following of actresses, musicians, stylists and models 

jeanie1

Jeannie Lee’s global perspective, combined with the carefree whimsical freedom of Southern California style, has made Satine the must-shop boutique in Los Angeles.

jeanie2

Jeannie Lee’s boutique occupies a two-story space anchored by a bright blue staircase and retro items that reflect her love of vintage antiques.

By Tae Hong

In 2003, Los Angeles’ West 3rd Street wasn’t so much the independent-boutique-lined and star-studded Hollywood hotspot it is now.

Jeannie Lee’s French-inspired Satine Boutique was one of the first of its kind to pop up on the block.

Since its opening, its famously fashion-forward selections and its dedicated clientele — Nicole Richie, Reese Witherspoon and January Jones, to name a few — has made it a one-stop mecca for celebrity stylists and trendsetters.

Featured in countless fashion glossies and a reliable presence through 11 years of L.A.’s best boutique lists, her shop offers a balance of high-end labels and on-the-rise independent designers.

jeanie4

Satine stocks major international fashion brands alongside hard-to find-indie labels.

“Girls in L.A. dress by mixing Chanel with a vintage rock T-shirt and ripped-up Levi’s,” she says. “We’re embodying that style and spirit by mixing everything.”

Lee is also one of a growing number of prominent Korean American Angelenos who are lending a hand to introduce Korean fashion to the U.S. market.

Lee, a second-generation Korean American, started the boutique as a smaller joint across the street from its current location. Her shop has now grown to two more spots, both located on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Calif.

Since 2011, Satine has been operating its own in-house line with Creative Director Kelly Sawyer in tow. Lee herself has designed items for retail chains like Anthropologie and Forever 21.

Her success isn’t an overnight story of luck and great timing, as much as she says that’s a part of it, too — it’s the result of her push to do what she wanted to be doing.

The Alabama native studied abroad in Southern France and Florence during her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Lee found herself so enamored by the fashion, art and architecture she came across during her time in Europe that she went back to Italy for two years to study marketing and merchandising at the Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing.

But reality came calling, and she eventually finished a law degree at Pepperdine University to please her parents. The commercial real estate law she practiced for three years resembled nothing she’d wanted.

Waking up every day dreading life was miserable, she says.

“We put you through law school so you can be a shop person?” Her parents questioned when she finally told them she wanted to open a boutique. Even through their disapproval, Satine was born.

The boutique occupies a two-story space anchored by a bright blue staircase and retro items that reflect her love of vintage antiques.

jeannie3

Lee selects only the hardest to find must-have items.

Lee travels around the world to meet designers and develop relationships with them. Satine, which is watched by fashion lovers everywhere for new, up-and-coming labels, was one of the first shops to carry Alexander Wang.

Influences of Lee’s Korean heritage, from Satine’s girlish quirkiness to the many Korean designers she introduces alongside those other indie labels in her racks, pepper her choices.

And it hasn’t escaped her that Korea is fast becoming a center of fashion in Asia.

“You hear heads of [U.S.] department stores saying they’re not going to Japan anymore, they’re going to Korea,” she says. “They find it more interesting.”

Eugenia Kim and Sue Comma Bonnie are just two Koreans whose work has been in the shop. Next is Ji Oh, a designer whose androgynous, sophisticated clothes have already garnered attention in New York.

Korea has never been far from Lee. From her love of soybean paste soup made with authentic paste from Korea to her proclamation that “All About Eve” is the best K-drama of all time, Lee says a sense of the culture always stays with her.

That’s in part due to yearly two-month summer trips to Seoul during her childhood, where she would see her cousins, shop at Dongdaemun and camp at Seorak Mountain in the Korea of the ‘80s.

In fact, it was while attending a summer program at Yonsei University in 1990 and meeting other second-generation Korean Americans with similar experiences to hers that she came to the realization that she is living in a 1.5 culture, she says.

That part of her ties into her future plans, which includes a lot more Korea.

“A real agenda of mine is to meet more Korean designers and to work with them in developing projects,” she says. “Eventually, I want to do more stores in America. I want to do stores in Japan and Korea.”

2 Comments

  1. Lucy

    April 11, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Awesome article! I should visit her boutique this weekend :D

  2. Pingback: Satine’s Jeannie Lee and fashion blogger Chriselle Lim join to open online shop – The Korea Times

moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher air max pas cher air max pas cher stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher nike tn squalo nike air max outlet mcm outlet online moose knuckles outlet happiness outlet happiness outlet shoes