It’s safe to say that French label Jacquemus has become a darling of the fashion world. And, yes, I’m obsessed. I have an affinity for all things French, which is certainly no well-guarded secret, but Simon Porte Jacquemus’s particular take on French fashion goes beyond what I’ve come to expect. And maybe that’s because he isn’t just designing with Parisian women in mind. In a recent interview with Vogue, the designer explained that from the beginning, “Everything was telling a story of this French girl—not the Parisian girl, but the French girl.” In particular, there is one French woman—his late mother Valérie—who influences his designs and is always the muse behind his collections. She passed away in a car accident when he was young, and it’s the memory of her glamour and her personal take on fashion that continues to inspire him.
That personal approach and sense of storytelling are easy to pick up on. Like many designers, each of his collections adheres to a theme, but what’s interesting is that they are also telling the story of a specific Jacquemus girl—and one of his greatest talents is creating cinematic worlds built around these women. Last fall it was “La Bomba,” where he showcased glamorous outfits in the South of France (captured in a spectacular one-shot film by director Gordon von Steiner). And his most recent show, “Le Souk,” which was inspired by a trip the designer took to Morocco and conjures up the feeling and colors of a marketplace in Marrakech.
While Jacquemus is creating these mini-worlds for each of his collections, he has also crafted a signature aesthetic characterized by exaggerated proportions and deconstructed silhouettes. The clothes are interesting, conceptual, and, above all, they are pieces women today really want to wear. They’ve been snapped up by retailers like Shopbop and Net-a-Porter and are quick to sell out. Some cult pieces even have had long waiting lists, like the brand’s iconic straw hats from last year, which actually sold out four times.
Perhaps it’s his foundation in social media that provides him with the insight into what young women want to be wearing. After all, the brand has roots in the digital world. Like many young people today, he grew up on the internet and it was on social media that he met many of his friends, including Parisian It girl Jeanne Damas. And Instagram has now become a place where he connects with his growing audience—showcasing the latest viral photo or teasing the announcement of menswear with his #NewJob posts. I think there is only more to come from Jacquemus, and I will be keeping my attention focused on whatever happens next.