For GentleWoman, Fashion Courier takes a look at the silhouette of Simon Porte Jacquemus – one of the most important high fashion designers of the younger generation, who redefines French style, surprises every season with his innovative fashion shows and continually steals the hearts of celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa.
Table of Contents:
- Simon in Paris – what was the beginning of Jacquemus’ career like?
- Insta-Jacquemus – what is a designer’s authenticity on social media?
- French style – we look at the aesthetics of the Jacquemus brand.
- Fashion show reinvented – what are our favorite Jacquemus shows?
- Lifestyle á la Jacquemus – a lifestyle promoted by a leading designer of the younger generation.
Simon in Paris
Simon Porte Jacquemus is a French fashion designer known for his eponymous brand Jacquemus. Born in Salon-de-Provence on January 16, 1990, Jacquemus has won recognition and attention from the fashion industry, as well as in the celebrity world, for his absolutely unique approach to French aesthetics and fashion creation.
Jacquemus moved from his hometown in the south of France to Paris at the age of 18, and briefly attended the École Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode. In 2009, a year after his mother’s death, he took a risk and founded his own brand under her maiden name, Jacquemus. At the same time, the young designer started working at the Comme des Garçons store to finance his business. It was there that he received support from Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe, the owners of the company, who decided to sell his first collections in their Dover Street Market boutiques – which have addresses in London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Beijing. With that kind of support at the start, Jacquemus’ career has taken off.
What has significantly distinguished Jacquemus from the beginning of his fashion career is his intriguing and groundbreaking social media presence. He runs his brand’s Instagram(@jacquemus) entirely by himself. This is quite unusual in the fashion industry, where most social media channels are run by groups of experienced marketing professionals. His Instagram is an inspiring mine of personal photos (compositions made of juicy fruits, funny selfies with his partner, a bowling game with Dua Lipa, pasta made by the designer’s grandmother, archival photos of Jeanne Damas, the French it-girl, in his first designers…) as well as innovative shots and reels showcasing the brand’s latest products and collections. Simon fully follows his instincts. To this day, he reiterates that his success is based on believing in himself and doing what his intuition tells him. His Instagram can be seen as a kind of diary, which is a fascinating chronicle of the emergence and prosperity of his brand.
Jacuemus’ collections have a carefree, youthful spirit and exude a sense of freedom, often expressed in asymmetrical cuts, over-size, “naive” silhouettes and models who sometimes go barefoot (or topless) in his shows. The French style mastered to perfection by Jacquemus, however, is not the story of Parisian chic that we all know and try to emulate in our styling. Simon’s distinctive style is based on a Frenchness that is more about the sun-drenched fields of Provence and Breton stripes than typical Parisian elegance and metropolitan glitz. His often humorous approach to perceptions of French fashion earned him a place in the finals and a special prize of the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2015.
Jacquemus’ designs are usually characterized by exaggerated proportions, unobvious draping, sexy cuts and a mix of vibrant colors and earthy tones. His collections have a sense of spontaneity and unforced chic, and are often inspired by his childhood in the south of France – and the strong connection to the Mediterranean lifestyle that follows. In this spirit, he published a photo book with his spring-summer 2014 collection, titled La Grande Motte – referring to memories of a vacation in the seaside resort of Languedoc-Roussilon. His mood-boards feature stills from favorite films of the French New Wave, by directors such as Jean Luc Goddard and Eric Rohmer. In 2017, the fashion designer was invited by the Maison Méditerranéenne des Métiers de la Mode to hold a show in Marseille, a city he holds in extraordinary affection. It was at this spectacular show, held against the backdrop of the maritime skyline, that his now iconic voluminous straw hats, which are every fashionista’s summer must-have, made their debut. If you visit the south of France, then definitely in the footsteps of Jacquemus!
Fashion show reinvented
One of the designer’s most important break-through moments was a memorable show for the spring-summer 2018 collection entitled Valensole, presented in one of Provence‘s largest lavender fields. On the pink elevated catwalk, Jacquemus models and muses strutted in voluminous blazers in shades of pistachio and peach, romantic mini dresses in candy colors and geometric heels. The fashion show has received widespread acclaim for its sun-soaked atmosphere and highly desirable summer designs. Each successive Jacquemus show became more and more anticipated. The designer is a master of creating immersive, highly photogenic experiences that transcend the conventions of fashion presentations. The Valensole collection has been fully purchased by some of the world’s biggest high-fashionretailers, including Net-a-Porter and Selfridges, and the French brand has been discovered (and loved) by celebrities such as Bella Hadid, Rihanna and Beyonce.
Recently, Simon presented his collections on Hawaii’s Oahu Beach and in the salt mountains of France’s Camargue National Park. In the latter, the French designer debuted his sneaker collection created in collaboration with Nike. The pink Air Humara model was sold out within minutes, which of course is not surprising.
Lifestyle á la Jacquemus
In the course of his fashion business, Simon Jacquemus has greatly expanded his brand beyond women’s clothing to include menswear (jeans come to mind bucket hats, short-sleeved shirts in sunflower patterns and combat shorts, often worn by male brand ambassadors like Manu Rios or Bad Bunny – whom the designer dressed for the recent Met Gala in a white suit with an open back, accessories (the affordable Chiquito handbag has made a comeback and made the mini-bag fashion a permanent fixture in our closets), and even a wicker line of home accessories – that will fit perfectly into future garden parties. Before the pandemic, Jacquemus also created a restaurant concept for Galerie Lafayette Champs Élysées, where until recently you could try the exclusive “Citron” cookie (as the name suggests, in the shape of a lemon), created in collaboration with renowned pastry chef Cedric Grolet. I can confirm: this dessert masterpiece tasted like (insanely lemony) seventh heaven.
Jacquemus’ vibrant and joyful approach to fashion (and everything related to it) continues to shape and influence the fashion industry, solidifying his position as one of the most exciting and in-demand designers of the younger generation. Who knows, maybe we’ll soon see him at the helm of one of France’s historic fashion houses. This would not be a surprise – his brand has become synonymous with contemporary French fashion, attracting the attention of celebrities, influencers and fashion enthusiasts around the world. She also captivated the editors of GentleWoman!
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