Simon Porte Jacquemus entered the fashion scene in an unconventional manner, which allowed him to make a bold entrance. At the age of 18, he left his native land in the south of France to establish himself in Paris by starting at the ESMOD school of fashion, which he in turn decided to finish early. Without having mastered either the basics of sketching or model making, this young man began creating his own pieces under the name of Jacquemus, a tribute to his mother's maiden name, who had passed away not long before. At Vogue's Fashion Night Out 2010 (a recurring Paris Fashion Week event), he made his initial entry by asking his friends to wear his creations to the capital's most stylish boutiques, which gained him a foothold in the impenetrable world of fashion. He then increased his presence at such events through both daring and luck. Not only did he have girls in workwear demonstrate outside the Dior show in 2010, but he also stopped Emmanuelle Alt (Editor in Chief of Paris Vogue) on Avenue Montaigne to present his creations to her. This was before showing La Piscine, his first collection in 2013, which immediately caught the eyes of the press and several influential buyers.
What makes him a Parisienne favourite is the story he tells – collection after collection – of his life in the south of France, which never truly left him. La Grande-Motte, the Santons of Provence, provided natural and authentic inspiration to which the designer pays homage to without losing sight of his core mission - to create clothing that is desirable. Due to his upbringing in a small village, far from the frenzy of Paris, he developed an artistic sensibility at a very early age, inherited from a family of creatives. Having a decorator mother, a musician father and a great-uncle who socialised with Christian Lacroix and Picasso, gave rise to the skillful blend of creativity and simplicity that epitomise his label. Since his early days, the designer received support from Adrian Joffe at the helm of Comme des Garçons, and Rei Kawakubo, one of the most respected individuals in the industry.
Season after season, Simon Porte gives the feminine silhouette a freedom of movement it often lacks. Mischievous, childlike and playful, the Jacquemus woman can show off her asymmetric mini skirts and geometric tops by the municipal pool, or at a beach in Marseille. Gradually becoming more streamlined, with reworked shirts and trouser suits replacing slogan tees, the designer began experimenting with structure through knots and drapery. During summer 2018, Jacquemus presented a collection at the Musée Picasso which comprised of sarong skirts, sundresses and complementary swimwear-inspired tops, securing his place on the list of leading designers of his generation. His strength, above everything else, lies in imbuing fashion with incredible poetry and, to a certain degree, in simplifying the urban wardrobe with its outdated conventions. His brand acts as a tribute to women with a capital W, for which we can’t thank him enough.