MEET OUR LOANERS: JAMIE SWANGO
We caught up with Jamie Swango, Partner at investment house 'The Craftory', to find out what she loves about loaning, the jacket she adores the more it frays, and a love of white dresses that never quite works out.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO.
I work for the Craftory, which is an investment house that invests in mission-driven consumer companies. I'm a Craft Partner, for Digital Amplification & Platforms. That means I work with our portfolio companies on their growth strategies, and I find new startups to invest in. Before that, I was Global Marketing Director for Deliveroo.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I'm fairly laid back. I like to have fun pieces but I get too lazy. I don't like to spend a lot of time shopping or putting together outfits, and prefer to find pieces that I love that I can wear over and over - but then I can fall into the trap of wearing the same outfit whereas I actually feel better when I'm wearing something fun and playful and I'm mixing it up. I'm not wearing suits for work, so I can experiment a bit.
HOW HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED SINCE YOU MOVED TO LONDON?
Well, I moved from New York, which is obviously pretty different in terms of style than the rest of America. Back there I had adopted a mix of that NY grunge look, and "going out-out". And there are some things I loved that I'd never wear now - I had a crochet sweater in Business School that I'd layer over everything. I also used to wear a lot of black but now I'm a lot more playful. I'm not sure if this is London or age though!
WHAT'S BEEN THE BEST THING ABOUT LOANING INSTEAD OF BUYING?
So I have this experience with Onloan where I get my 'edit' emailed to me each month, and I'm never 100% sure about anything on it. But then I pick 2 items, and I always end up loving them and wearing them in unexpected ways! I feel like I'm free to go and try things that I wouldn't normally try. I get variety without risk and with minimal investment (and if it really doesn't work for me, Onloan will quickly swap it). I've been introduced to new brands like Mother of Pearl. And I've even bought a couple of things after I rented them - they were items I never would have bought after trying them on just once, but after a month of wearing them, and getting compliments on them, I knew they deserved a place in my closet.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE TO BORROW?
Ohh, hard to choose, but I think the Mother of Pearl shirt with dark floral print and a orange and black check contrast print on the inside of the cuff. I wore it to work and dinners, and got compliments on it all the time!
AT ONLOAN WE LOVE CELEBRATING CLOTHES THAT LAST. TELL US ABOUT A WELL-LOVED PIECE IN YOUR WARDROBE.
Can I mention two? My Celine bag I bought for myself for Christmas when I'd just moved to London and spent a weekend in Paris. Its definitely the most expensive accessory or clothing I've ever bought myself. But I fell in love with it. I love the simplicity, and its held up so well. I just took it travelling for a month in Thailand and it still looks new.
The other piece is a denim jacket that is so soft, so frayed, so oversized. It's an interesting mix for a staple item, and it goes with everything. I throw it over dresses for weddings, or instead of a sweater on a plane, really anytime I want to add more character. And it keeps getting more frayed which I love.
AND WE ALL KNOW WE HAVE PIECES WE NEVER SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT. WHAT'S YOURS?
Here's two white dresses. The first has even survived multiple rounds of closet cuts because I keep thinking I'll wear it, but I don't. The material's too thick for summer, its tight in the wrong places. I've had it for about 4 years and maybe worn it twice. The other white dress is a classic example of seeing a piece in a sale, and thinking I'll find a use for it in the future, but if I'm honest I never really liked it that much in the first place. Clearly I have a notion of a white summer dress that doesn't quite match reality!
Photos by Rebecca Thomas