If you follow Jack’s Wife Freda on Instagram (@jackswifefreda), then you know that Maya Jankelowitz, who owns the downtown New York restaurants with her husband Dean, has a damn good denim collection. Scroll through: There she is in Frame’s flared overalls, and in the fringe-hemmed boyfriends by Junya Watanabe, and with Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine in almost-matching denim-on-denim with stripes. So chic. I cried “Uncle” when, six weeks ago, Maya posted a pic of herself outside of JWF’s crowded Carmine street location wearing the sweetest button-front denim dress. That’s it, I said to Florence, we have to shoot this woman and her jeans!

That Maya choose to wear that exact button-front dress by Sea for our story was a coincidence. Totally serendipitous. Denim can be like that: destined.

It can also be perfect for brunch, as Maya proved after ordering some of her favorites from the JWF menu – french fries, house salad, and their signature Eggs Benny (poached eggs on smoked salmon slathered in beet hollandaise), with a tall glass of summertime watermelon juice. Delicious!

As for her Sea dress, it was a gift from the designers Sean Monahan and Monica Paolini, and Maya loves it because it’s kind of like her restaurants – fashionable and comfortable-feeling. The good news is: This dress is currently on sale! The bad news is: I could only find one left on the internet (size 6 at MatchesFashion.com). Speaking of destiny, it’s gotta go to someone. Who will she be?

Use one word to describe your denim dress for me, Maya.


If your dress could give us a word of advice – something you’ve learned while wearing it, or while working in it – what would it be?

Don’t take yourself so seriously.

What does your dress know about you that we don’t know?

My true size.

If you could go anywhere in the world in your dress tomorrow, where would you go?

Brunch anywhere.

Click on a pic to get closer…
Maya Janklowitz

What’s the best possible ending you could imagine for your Sea dress?

I’d gift it to someone dear who will enjoy it just as much.

How does your dress help you do what you need to do on a daily basis?

By looking fashionable, and feeling comfortable.

What do your dress and Jack’s Wife Freda have in common?

They’re both about understated comfort.

How many days a week would you say you wear your denim dress? Do you only wear it to work?

I wear it often as it’s in my rotation. It’s just a dress, one that I happen to love at the moment.

If it had a theme song, what would the song be?

Rockin’ Robin

Maya JanklowitzEAT UP! House salad, Eggs Benny, and grapefruit and yogurt from the brunch menu at Jack’s Wife Freda.

If you had to give your dress away, whom would you give it to?

Gwen and Caroline from Jack’s Wife Freda

If you had to wear it forever, could you? Why or why not?

Nothing is forever.

Fill in the blank: In my dress, I am _________.


Fill in the blank: My dress is to me what _________ is to _________.

Salt is to fries.

Maya Janklowitz

Jack’s Wife Freda is located at 50 Carmine Street and 224 Lafayette Street in NYC; go to jackswifefreda.com.