An island home, a high-profile career, and a kickin’ wardrobe: The fabulous life of Jade Jagger
By Dakota Smith
A fixture on the island, she’s a regular at Pacha, a popular nightclub in Ibiza Town, where she hosts her “Jade Jagger Presents…Jezebel” DJ parties.
The cell phone reception from Ibiza to Los Angeles may not be very clear, but there’s no mistaking Jade Jagger’s voice on the other end of the line. Calling from her home in Sant Joan, the 34-year-old’s English accent is tinged with a warm friendliness that one imagines comes from island life.
Not that Jagger’s life is any vacation. Despite living on an idyllic spread in Ibiza-a place easily suited for swimming, reading, painting, and doing little else-Jagger is establishing a serious name for herself as a designer.
Along with partner Tom Bartlett, a London-based architect, she heads up “Jade Jagger for YOO,” the design division of the international uber-development firm founded by Philippe Starck and real-estate magnet John Hitchcox.
“I’ve always been interested in real estate,” says Jagger, whose first major YOO project, Jade, a 57-unit building in New York City, opened for sales this June. “It’s not just about doing the finishes, but looking at the layout, the amenity space, looking at how we live.”
She’s digging into her role at YOO-quite literally. In March, she posed, shovel in hand, alongside Philippe Starck for photographers at the groundbreaking of the Icon Brickell Condominium in Miami.
While Icon isn’t officially a Jagger project, her appearance was a show of support for YOO, and a chance to add some red-carpet glamour to a normally ho-hum PR event. Wearing a gorgeous mustard-colored dress, and gold, open-toed platform shoes, Jagger easily stole the spotlight from the construction hat-wearing executives.
If Jagger is well-known in Europe, largely through her role as creative director at Garrard, the esteemed London jewelry house, most Americans know Jagger for her boho-chic style that graces the pages of Vogue and W magazines. Or, for her famous pals-Kate Moss included-whose friendship with Jagger warrants what seems to be weekly coverage in the British tabloids.
There is also the famous upbringing: The only child of Mick Jagger and Bianca Jagger-the Nicaragua-born style icon and Studio 54 fixture-Jade Jagger grew up in Manhattan, where she attended the toney Spence School, before heading to boarding school in England, and then Florence, Italy, to study painting.
Painted by the press as a feisty celeb-child, Jagger was a single mom by her mid-20s. With her two young daughters, Assisi and Amba, by then-boyfriend Piers Jackson, Jagger moved to Ibiza, settling down in the village of Sant Joan.
Now, Jagger splits her time between her homes in London and Ibiza, where she lives with boyfriend Dan Williams, a musician, on a compound encompassing an 18th-century farmhouse, known as a “finca” in Ibiza, with studio space, a pool and a garden.
A fixture on the island, she’s a regular at Pacha, a popular nightclub in Ibiza Town, where she hosts her “Jade Jagger Presents…Jezebel” DJ parties. A savvy marketer, Jagger even has a MySpace page for her Jezebel music label, complete with tongue-in-cheek glamorous photos of herself.
While Ibiza’s heady clubbing scene is well-known, Jagger says the island is evolving past its party reputation. “Ibiza is becoming more of a holiday resort,” she says. “It’s not so imbedded in just clubbing.”
Club aside, her sprawling compound, designed by Jagger and architect and pal Bartlett, serves as the perfect entertaining spot. Jagger’s decorative but whimsical style is stamped all over her home: elegant hanging chandeliers hang from the ceilings, scrumptious pillows line the long dining table, funky artifacts abound.
Bartlett describes her style as “eclectic, never prescribed.”
“She always has a modern background, so the decorative stuff shows up,” he says. “It’s like when you put something in a gallery, it just makes it more special. Or when you go to a market in India and buy a cheap old Buddha and put it in a New York loft, suddenly it changes-it redefines it.”
Besides refurnishing and decorating her Ibiza and London homes, Jaggar’s designs are all over the Garrard store on Spring Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Her pairing of raspberry-colored silks for the walls and modern English furniture pieces created an intimate, salon-like design that had New York press fawning when the store-the first U.S. outpost-opened two summers ago. “After seeing this Elle Décor-worthy loft on the third floor of a nondescript SoHo building, I can imagine that Jagger throws a very stylish party,” a New York Magazine editor reported.
Her entrée into the seven-year old company, YOO, came after meeting John Hitchcox, the founder of London’s successful Manhattan Loft Corporation and co-founder of YOO, who rents a home on Ibiza.
“It all started with John Hitchcox,” says Jagger. “We were wanting to work on a project together, to start something up so we formed Jade Jagger.”
A simple explanation for her start at YOO, but Jagger’s first major project, Jade, a 57-unit Chelsea condo conversion at 16 W. 19th St., was hardly that. No subtle introduction to the New York real estate scene, Jagger had a building named after her, and an entire marketing campaign built around her trademark style. “Live Jade Jagger Style,” reads the brochure for Jade, literally inviting buyers to emulate Jagger’s life.
The high-profile talent roster on the building, which was developed by Copper Development Group, also included architecture firm Perkins Eastman and Shvo Group, both of whom are based in New York.
“She’s incredibly talented, incredibly smart and incredibly poised,” says Jeremy Beyda, COO of New York-based Copper Development Group, of Jagger. He recalls her initial pitch of the “pod concept”-the building’s unique design component- at an early team meeting with representatives from Perkins Eastman and Shvo.
“There were probably 20 people in the room,” he says. “She got up there like it was nothing. We hammered with questions, and she didn’t miss a beat.”
The pod concept could have easily tanked given New Yorkers’ relatively conservative taste when it comes to new developments. But the pods-either eight-foot-by-eight-foot or 10-foot-by-10-foot modules that contain a bathroom, kitchen, washer/dryer and closet-won over both Beyda and buyers; the building is now close to 50 percent sold, he says.
According to Jagger, the pods were inspired, in part, by vintage Louis Vuitton trunks, the elegant, Grace Kelly-era suitcases that become mini-dressers for hotel travelers.
“It was about solving the Manhattan space dilemma,” she says. “We wanted to create something new, and keep an open living space, so we decided to do the pod since it was more central.”
To appeal to a range of buyers’ tastes, the pods come in four different styles. The Aristo Pod has British-inspired “racing” green and brown colors; the Luxo Pod is luxuriously gold tinted; the Baroco Pod has strong, urban black, red and white colors; and the Boho Pod has a lapis blue color that was inspired by the sea, according to Jagger.
The extensive rooftop gardens were inspired by Moroccan gardens, she says, while the large tubs in the penthouse are modeled after Japanese soaking tubs. And in the lobby hangs a whimsical disco ball, a playful homage to her party side.
While no more Jade-branded buildings are planned in the future, it is a concept that might be considered in the future, says Beyda.
For now, Jagger and Bartlett are working on a variation of their pod concept for their next Jade Jagger for YOO project: the conversion of an apartment building in the historical district in Vienna, Austria. Also on the boards: a sprawling multi-family “green” home development set in a wildlife preserve in the English countryside near Oxfordshire.
If YOO gives the duo instant cache, Jagger and Bartlett could have easily stuck to private design work. But Bartlett says the appeal of designing for on a large scale is “thinking about a broader audience, not just your jewelry-buying public.”
“Most developers don’t give you a well-designed apartment on the whole,” he adds. “We’re working on an apartment that’s already been interior-designed for you.”
Asked to name some “dream” projects that two would like to oversee, Bartlett says the pair would like to do something in the Far East, and perhaps, a beach-type project. He laughs, and checks himself-a beach project might be too close to home for Jagger.
Not that there’s anything wrong with staying close to home. Jagger seems perfectly content with life on the island, where’s she currently designing the next jewelry collection for Garrard, planning the launch of a merchandise line for Jezebel label and continuing with renovations on her home.
“Ibiza has been a long-term plan,” she writes. “I have extended the buildings and planted the garden bit by bit. Having the patience has been the most challenging part.”