With its vibrant, sun-drenched aesthetic and daring silhouettes, the French fashion label Jacquemus has firmly established itself as a major player in the world of fashion. Created by designer Simon Porte Jacquemus in 2009, the brand has since been renowned for its avant-garde take on Mediterranean chic, and has gained international fame with its distinctive runway shows and iconic designs. However, beyond the runway lights and the viral Instagram moments, there is much more to discover about this celebrated fashion house. Here are ten things you may not have known about Jacquemus that will provide a deeper insight into the brand’s unique origins, inspirations, and the vision that drives it forward.

1. The Brand’s Origin

Jacquemus, one of the most buzzed-about fashion brands of the moment, was launched under unique circumstances. The founder, Simon Porte Jacquemus, started the label in 2009, when he was just 19 years old and mourning the loss of his mother. He named the brand in her honor, choosing her maiden name, Jacquemus, as the label’s moniker. Simon’s first collection was called “L’Enfant” (The Child), reflecting his young age at the time and his nostalgic longing for the simplicity of childhood.

Despite his lack of formal fashion training, Simon proved himself to be an intuitive designer. He initially started designing for the brand using old curtains and tablecloths due to limited funds. This resourcefulness and innovative approach have stayed with him, as he continues to make bold statements with his designs, often using unconventional materials and structures to create his signature aesthetic.

2. Early Recognition

While many fashion designers take years, if not decades, to receive international recognition, Jacquemus’ rise to the top was surprisingly rapid. His breakout moment came in 2012, when he was nominated for the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. This recognition came just three years after he had started the label, a testament to his originality and ingenuity.

However, it wasn’t until 2014 that Jacquemus secured his first stockist, the renowned concept store Colette in Paris. With this partnership, Jacquemus gained increased visibility in the fashion world, solidifying his status as a new and exciting voice in the industry. The success did not stop there – in 2015, he became one of the youngest designers ever to win the LVMH Special Prize, cementing his place among the fashion elite.

3. Provençal Inspiration

Provençal culture heavily influences Jacquemus’ designs. Born in Mallemort, a small town in Provence, Southern France, Simon’s formative years in this sun-drenched, relaxed environment continue to shape the brand’s aesthetic. His collections often feature oversized straw hats, loose linen fabrics, and vibrant colors reminiscent of the Mediterranean landscape.

The Provençal influence is also clear in the brand’s marketing. Jacquemus’ campaigns are regularly shot in the South of France, showcasing the region’s natural beauty as a backdrop for the clothes. One of the brand’s most notable campaigns was for the Spring/Summer 2017 collection, “Les Santons de Provence,” a tribute to traditional Provençal figurines and folklore.

4. His Grandmother’s Influence

Another major influence on Jacquemus’ work has been his grandmother, Liline. She is often credited as his primary source of inspiration, even more than any specific artist or designer. Her flamboyant style, marked by colorful, mismatched outfits and eccentric accessories, deeply influenced Simon’s aesthetic perspective.

Liline was also responsible for nurturing Simon’s creative side from a young age. When he was a child, she encouraged him to stage small fashion shows at her house, using her eclectic wardrobe as his first collection. These early experiences helped shape Jacquemus’ playful, avant-garde approach to fashion, seen in his regular use of oversized silhouettes and unconventional proportions.

5. Unique Runway Shows

Jacquemus is known for his theatrical runway presentations. He defies traditional fashion show formats, instead opting for dramatic, immersive experiences. One of the most memorable was his Spring/Summer 2020 show, which took place in a sprawling lavender field in Provence. Models walked down a bright pink carpet that contrasted beautifully with the surrounding purple fields, and the show became an instant Instagram sensation.

Equally noteworthy was his Fall/Winter 2020 show, which was held in Paris’s La Défense district. The setting featured a circular runway with a giant red ball in the center, alluding to the idea of fashion as a circus. These imaginative shows not only highlight Jacquemus’ clothing but also contribute to the narrative and artistic expression of the brand, setting it apart from other fashion houses.

6. Sustainability Efforts

Despite the rapid growth and success of the brand, Jacquemus has always remained conscious of its environmental impact. The brand has taken strides to become more sustainable, reducing the number of collections it produces each year from four to two. This move allows for a slower, more thoughtful design process, reducing waste and promoting quality over quantity.

In addition, Jacquemus is also known for using natural, eco-friendly materials like linen and organic cotton in his designs. He also often reuses materials from previous collections, further minimizing waste. While the fashion industry has a long way to go in terms of sustainability, Jacquemus is undoubtedly leading by example with his conscious efforts.

7. Le Chiquito Bag Phenomenon

One of the most iconic pieces from the Jacquemus brand is the Le Chiquito bag. Despite its miniature size, the bag has had a significant impact on the fashion world. Introduced in 2017, the Le Chiquito bag quickly became a cult favorite, seen on celebrities and influencers worldwide. Its tiny size, which playfully challenges traditional notions of utility in fashion, quickly became a signature of the brand.

The success of the Le Chiquito bag is indicative of Jacquemus’ ability to create viral trends. The tiny bag sparked a wave of mini accessories in the fashion industry, demonstrating the significant influence Jacquemus has on contemporary style.

8. Expansion into Menswear

Jacquemus initially focused exclusively on womenswear, but in 2018, Simon Porte Jacquemus decided to branch out into menswear. Inspired by the idea of a “perfect man,” the menswear collections maintain the brand’s characteristic Mediterranean aesthetic. The menswear line has received critical acclaim for its refreshing take on men’s fashion, featuring bold colors, relaxed silhouettes, and playful designs that challenge traditional masculinity.

The brand’s menswear shows have also generated buzz. The Spring/Summer 2019 menswear show, for instance, took place at a secluded beach in Calanque de Sormiou, Marseille. The idyllic seaside setting perfectly echoed the collection’s relaxed, holiday-ready vibes.

9. An Artist at Heart

Before he became a fashion designer, Simon Porte Jacquemus had aspirations of being an artist. This artistic background is apparent in his work, where he treats each garment like a work of art. His collections often take inspiration from famous artists and artistic movements, like the Cubists’ geometric forms or David Hockney’s vibrant color palettes.

Jacquemus’ artistic influence is not just limited to his designs. He has also ventured into art curation. In 2019, he curated an exhibition titled “Marseille Je T’aime” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille. The exhibition showcased works from his personal collection and pieces from artists he admires, further solidifying his connection to the art world.

10. The Future of Jacquemus

Looking forward, the future of Jacquemus seems promising. The brand continues to expand, with plans to open more physical stores worldwide. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand has shown resilience, finding creative ways to present collections and engage with its customer base.

As for Simon Porte Jacquemus himself, he remains an influential figure in the fashion industry. His designs continue to push boundaries, challenging the norms of what fashion can be. With his unwavering commitment to creativity and innovation, Jacquemus is sure to remain a mainstay in the fashion world for years to come.