Lina Rennell went about launching her line in a kind of backwards way—like the fashion-world equivalent of a movie inspiring a book. In Lina’s case, it was her website, the online boutique Beklina that she unveiled in 2006, that led to her namesake label. “I was a writer doing creative non-fiction and technical writing in Silicon Valley, the market was down, and I wanted to nix the commute and be at home with my baby,” Lina says. “In interacting with the designers for the store and seeing their process, I fell in love with textiles and fabrics—particularly organics and beautiful, high-end cotton silks.” As her fabric fixation overtook Beklina’s stock—“It’s definitely the print website,” she admits—Lina worked up the nerve to start creating pieces of her own, like sophisticatedly poppy silk dresses and watercolor-inspired canvas pouches.
The transition from writer to buyer to designer isn’t so nutso for someone with Lina’s background, as it were. “I’ve always been artistic, dabbling and mixing in different mediums. I could never stick with just one thing and say, ‘I’m only going to do photography, plays, ceramics,’” she explains. That tendency toward tinkering has not worn away at her material lust, though. “It always starts with fabrics,” Lina says. “My print work is the antithesis to mass computer-generated prints. I want my designs to survive long enough to be vintage.” —allie wood