As you relax and sip your wine at sunset at the well-known Wölffer Estate Vineyards, the largest vineyard on the East End, located in Sagaponack, while perhaps enjoying live music and even livelier conversation, and as you decide what you might nibble on from the Wölffer Kitchen – which recently opened its second Hamptons location, you may also spy fellow revelers sporting some fantastic looking handbags, jewelry and clothing. If you are wondering just how one can be so stylishly attired, you won’t have to look much further than the creations of the late German-born Christian Wölffer’s very talented and very chic daughter, Joey Wölffer.
Launching The Styleliner in 2010, Joey created the “First-ever mobile, luxury treasure chest on wheels. In 2014, she debuted her eponymous collection of handbags combining beautiful Italian leathers with hand-woven straps and rare embellishments from around the globe along with opening her first ever brick and mortar store in Sag Harbor.” Not content yet, Joey added an apparel line to her brand in 2016.
A native New Yorker, Joey’s parents moved to the Hamptons full-time in 1992, when Joey was not yet 10-years-old. Her father and mother (her mother is Marks & Spencer heiress Naomi Marks), began the winery and first produced the always delightful and delicious Wölffer Rosé.
As a child, Joey spent her days helping to pick grapes, playing in the vines and riding her horses. An accomplished equestrian, as she grew up she expressed no great interest in the technical side of wine making or running the business, and leaves that to her brother, Marc, but she did always pursue her love of travel and devotion to family, which brought forth her bohemian and globe trending ideas and “gypset” lifestyle to the world of fashion and design.
Joey has previously commented that her childhood allowed her to play in the vineyards all day, hunt for potato bugs, help pick grapes and ride horses. She acknowledges how fortunate she has been to grow up in an artistic atmosphere created by her parents, who longed to open a vineyard and allow their children to escape the trappings of an elite Manhattan upbringing.
Educated at Our Lady of the Hamptons, and Taft boarding school in Connecticut, Joey married businessman Max Rohn in 2011, who is involved with the family’s winery and stables. Now a mother, and following the tragic death of her father in 2009, Joey chose to remain a co-owner of the vineyard with her brother, Marc. She decided to stay involved in the family business but devoted a great deal of her time and energy to her insightful and successful fashion and lifestyle ideas.
Although she considers the winery a lifestyle brand, Joey began with a fashion truck that travels throughout the country featuring items she has collected from around the globe. The store in Sag Harbor features vintage furniture by Clover Design in Bedford, NY, as well as the handbags, jewelry and clothing designed by her.
Headed into the “Hamptons season,” Hamptons.com posed a few questions to this always stylish and hip lady:
What or who were your earliest influences when it came to fashion and design?
JW: My background comes from accessories so that certainly has influenced my design and sense of style. I think the perfect necklaces, earrings and handbag can make any outfit unique to yourself. My mother also has amazing style and that has influenced me from a very young age.
Given your extensive travels, where have you found the most intriguing and interesting items to use in your designs?
JW: Paris is number one in terms of classic cities that I like to go to in order to be inspired by fashion, as well as the food and the wine. I love South America as well. Rio [de Janeiro] is one of my favorite cities, and Buenos Aires has a great fashion sense, mainly in the sense of inspiration. I love the colors and the vibe – and the wine and food are great there as well. Marrakech is great, and Fez was really exciting, too.
The Styleliner is a curated bazaar of designs from my travels. It includes a lot of up-and-coming European designers, a lot of American designers, and I’m working on building my own lifestyle brand, Joey Wölffer, as well. It’s a collaboration of all the designers I find, market finds and then my own designs.
How would you describe a Hamptons lifestyle to someone who has never visited the area?
JW: It’s fun, colorful and whimsical. Our branding is very much inspired by the Hamptons bohemia of my youth, but with a modern twist. It doesn’t hurt to have a brilliant graphic designer!
What trends do you predict for both fashion and lifestyle design this year, and the Hamptons in particular?
JW: There are so many different interpretations of “Hamptons lifestyles” but my Hamptons lifestyle is built on the Hamptons of the past when it was an artists’ colony. The more relaxed and bohemian Hamptons vibe is what I strive for. I want to invoke that community feeling with my stores and winery and make it the place to be, but not in a pretentious way.
How involved are you still in the winery, and what advice would you give other working mothers who are as busy as you are?
JW: I am still super involved in the winery! I bring the creative aspect to the winery while my husband Max, brother Marc, and winemaker Roman handle the more technical aspects of the job. The four of us work together in a really collaborative way and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses which makes for a great team. The advice I would give to other working mothers it to make sure you find time for yourself! You are the best mother, business owner, etc. when you make yourself a priority, whether it be a SoulCycle class in the morning before Nell is up or having a glass of rosé on your deck at night, take the time to invest in yourself.
As a notable equestrian, do you still have time to ride with what can only be noted as a very hectic schedule?
JW: I always make it a priority to find time to ride. It truly is a lifelong passion of mine that I am now passing down to my daughter Nell. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her run around the stables with my horse Antonov. Riding is also therapeutic for me and when I am out there I can really clear my mind, which in the long run helps all of my businesses.
Could you describe your perfect Hamptons weekend?
JW: As far as beaches go, Gibson Beach is my favorite. I’d stop at Serene Green on the way, a farm stand with everything from fresh berries to seafood, and on a perfect day I’d of course go shopping. There are a unique variety of stores like Black Swan Antiques for fabulous antique furniture and Collette Consignment, the ultimate consignment treasure box. As far as food, depends on what I’m in the mood for. For sushi, I’d head to Sen in Sag Harbor and for Italian – Tutto il Giorno. To be honest though, we also love to just pack up dinner and eat it on the beach! At the end of a perfect day I’d be at Buddha Berry, eating yummy frozen-yogurt and assorted toppings.
For more information on Joey Wölffer and The Styleliner, visit www.joeywolffer.com.