Heart thief and favorite designer of the entire fashion industry – Simon Port Jacmus dresses the main it-girls of the world, dedicates the collections to his mother (and France) and says that at any moment he can close the brand and become a farmer in Provence.
If you believe biographies on Instagram, Simon loves blue and white, sun, stripes, fruit, life, poetry, Marseille and the 80s. For ten years since the founding of Jacquemus has become synonymous with the south of France and the face of a new generation of French designers. We tell you what inspired Simon and why we love him so much.
South of France
Simon was born and grew up between Marseille and Avignon, in a small village with a population of 100 people. “I spent all my childhood in the apple gardens of my family. My parents were farmers – my mother specialized in carrots, and my dad had spinach, ”says the designer. Simon sold fruits and vegetables with his grandparents, dreamed of Paris and enjoyed the village life in Provence.
He still loves his native places today: in his instagram now and again Marcel appears, where he comes for a weekend from a Parisian studio. Jacmusus spends time with his nephews and his beloved grandmother (who often appears at his shows), riding his scooter in the fields and dancing to French pop in local clubs with friends – the Parisian bohemian, led by model Jeanne Damas, whom the designer has known since childhood.
The sub-references in his collections are pretty obvious: light shirt dresses, swimsuits instead of tops, mini fringed, straw hats and bags. All clothes are designed for easy relaxation by the sea, the hot climate of the French Riviera and the very hedonism for which Southerners are famous. “Jacquemus is not about nightlife and clubs,” the designer once said. “It's more about fruits and vegetables, about how good it is to ride on the grass.”
Simon founded his brand in quite tragic circumstances: at age 19 he went to study in Paris – and a month later his mother died in a car accident. Then Simon decided not to waste a minute, left the fashion school and founded Jacquemus, named after the mother's maiden name.
“My mom could wear huge pants and grandma's dresses. Even without money, she looked very special and artistic. She did not have “French chic” – she was too smiling, with her glittering eyes and the same glittering personality
As a child, Simon heard: "If you become famous in Paris, the whole world will know you." Since then, Paris has become a dream for him. Starting from the age of 9, he dreamed of working in the fashion industry (and before that – to become a priest: “It's not that I believe in God, I just really liked the form of priests”).
Simon left his hometown at the age of 18, as soon as he finished school. He became the first in his family to leave their homes. Simon joked that even the postman in his native Mallemorte knows that he dreamed of becoming a designer.
Jacmus is inspired by French cinema. His favorite films are the cinema of the 80s starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Gérard Depardieu, and the new French wave of the 60s led by Jean-Luc Godard.
Each Jacquemus collection is a separate story with a clearly defined scenario, atmosphere and decorations. “I know what the music, the setting and the show will be like before I start making clothes. Like I'm making a movie, ”says Simon. The autumn-winter collection of 2019 was inspired by French cinema and, in particular, by the film “Collector”, filmed, of course, in the south of France. Decorations were the colorful houses that the designer saw on the Venetian islands of Murano and Burano.
From season to season, the Jacquemus collections show what the heroines of Jean-Luc Godard films would have worn today – bright colors, girlish lightness and bold accents.
The first collections of Jacqumus are different from those that made him the favorite designer of all influenza fans and fans of the French Riviera. Prior to his passion for the south in the near 2017, Simon created minimalist deconstructed clothing. “When I founded my brand, minimalism was a necessity rather than a concept,” said Simon. “No pockets and buttons, because it was expensive.”
Initially, Jacquesus created minimalist collections in every sense: completely white or completely made of wool, which Rei Kawakubo eventually noticed. “I did not know who she was, so I wentogled her name. I knew Comme des Garçons, but not the one who was behind him, ”admitted the designer. Lack of education is also a kind of minimalism. Simon left the fashion school 2 months after the start, not even suspecting that his collections resemble young Gilles Zander and Martina Margilou – these names the young designer did not know either.
Simon got a job as a salesman in the shops of Adrian Joffe – he didn’t want the artist to work in the commercial department, but the young designer reassured him. For two years he earned money by creating collections at night. Customers in the store said: “Oh, you are Simon, the designer that everyone is talking about now. We saw you on TV, ”to which the shy designer replied:“ Well, yes, it's me. ” After that, Joffe himself began selling Jacquemus at Dover Street Market, and the designer himself walked away from enforced minimalism.
In the early years, young Simon experimented with costumes, geometric shapes, color and uniform, because of which he even wanted to become a priest. He made his family go to church services every Sunday, but his love for the uniform did not end there: “After that, I wanted to serve in the army, and later to become a lawyer. All because of their uniform. ”
After the collections entirely devoted to the south, Jacmus gradually returned to the concept that was appreciated by Rei Kawakubo, with clear lines, asymmetry and involuntary hobs to Martin Margiele.
“It sounds trite, but I really adore women,” says Simon, openly gay. After his mother, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Laetitia Casta and Jeanne Damas became his muses, whom, according to the designer himself, he was a little in love with his youth.
He founded his brand for girls similar to his mother – bold and open, able to maintain infantilism at any age. Contrary to the statements of fashion critics, Simon does not seek to create a new “French chic” – just plain clothes emphasizing feminine beauty.
At the age of 9, Simon wrote a letter to Jean-Paul Gautier, offering his services to a stylist. According to him, the designer would get the attention of the press, taking on the work of the child. From 13 years old, Simon led a personal blog where he shared sincere life stories (“Simon on a farm. Simon by the sea. Simon in the field”) – with atmospheric photos familiar to us from his instagram. The blog has become popular in France, due to which the first collection of Jacqumus has received media attention. Naivety, sincere love for France and the desire to share happiness with the world, perhaps the main components of the success of Simon.
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