Purple Magazine
— S/S 2016 issue 25

Simon Porte Jacquemus

UNGER-JACQUEMUS04

french spirit

interview by OLIVIER ZAHM
photography by ANUSCHKA BLOMMERS and NIELS SCHUMM
portrait by JONAS UNGER

Paris may be the international capital of fashion, but France is a difficult hill to climb for any young designer. Simon Porte Jacquemus is an exception to the rule. Undeniable talent guided by a determined and strong-willed personality, the young French designer from a small town in the South of France has knocked down every obstacle in his fight to build a brand and make space for himself on the Parisian fashion scene. He achieved this recent success without compromising his authentic and poetic personal inspirations, which speak to a young generation of women — la jeune fille française — whom he celebrates on the world stage.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You’re from the South of France?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, I’m from the countryside. My parents were farmers. My mother worked for a slightly larger farm, and my father was a traditional farmer. I have
often wondered how much my origins have influenced my creation. From the very beginning, I wanted to introduce the idea of work, of reality, into my collections. All my life,
I was told that I would enjoy being in the fashion world, but that if I made clothing, I would live in a world of futility. I never believed that, and
I have always wanted to be faithful to the working world of my family, to prove to them that fashion is not superficial.

OLIVIER ZAHM — So you don’t feel dissociated from real life? For you, it is your “trade?” Martin Margiela has also said that to me.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I often compare myself to a baker or a plumber. I think I also have a “real” trade, so I am not at all superficial. I mean, okay, I’m not out there saving lives, I get it… Even if I am living inside a bubble, inside my own dream, I have always wanted that dream to be connected to reality. I remember that my first film on my collections was a video using female factory workers. In fact,
it’s a bit of a cliché to oppose the superficiality of fashion with social reality. In truth, fashion is a necessity. It’s my life and I don’t find it superficial.

OLIVIER ZAHM — When did you first want to be part of this profession?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — When I was a child, I wanted to write, to make films, tell stories. I was obsessed with watching French women on television. The idea of making clothes came later.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you remember the women who fascinated you back then?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — They were French women. I adored the young Charlotte Gainsbourg in L’Effrontée [An Impudent Girl], Sophie Marceau, the character of Laure (played by Bénédicte Delmas) in the series Sous le Soleil. [Laughs] It was a famous series on TF1; it took place in Saint-Tropez. I was fascinated by these women’s lives and how I would imagine them. I wanted to write stories about it. I had the idea that I wanted to be a creator, but I was not yet obsessed with clothing. I wasn’t spending time staring at this or that dress in one of their photos. That wasn’t how it happened for me.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It was your attention to these feminine figures.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Absolutely. I dreamed about these women’s lives. It gave me ideas for telling stories, and I was interested in everything: what she ate, if she rode horses or motorcycles. It was the whole picture. I thought in terms of the ensemble.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What influences you now?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS —
I realize, with a little distance, that each of my collections has been autobiographical. It can be about vacations, my mother, something sad I experienced. But it’s always very personal. I used to say to my mother, “I’m going to write my autobiography.” And she would make fun of me: “But darling, you haven’t lived yet. You’ve been going to school for eight years. You haven’t done anything yet.”

OLIVIER ZAHM — What do you most admire about your mother?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — It’s hard for me to talk about her. I lost her suddenly when I was just 19. It was barely a month after I arrived in Paris. That was September, and she died in October. I said to myself, “Okay, from now on, I must do what I want to do.” So, I created my brand, and
I gave it my mother’s maiden name, Jacquemus.

OLIVIER ZAHM — May I ask what happened?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — It was a car accident. Someone smashed into her. She was young, only 42 years old at the time. It completely changed me. My entire family said, “It’s as if she gave her life for yours.” If it hadn’t happened, I might not be here today.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You came back to Paris right after it happened?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I knew I had to come back up to Paris really quickly, after burying her. Otherwise, I would never have been able to come back. As soon as I got back,
I created my brand and began harassing people in the fashion world. Harassing in the sense that from then on I demanded, I needed them to see my work. I spent a year saving my money and building the brand, and I started calling everyone. I would say, “My name is Simon, I’m 19 years old, and I want you to look at my collection right now.” I was sending out emails; I was looking at every name on the mastheads of the magazines, looking for the names of possible contacts… I mean, I wrote to everyone. [General laughter] Certainly, to you and Purple. You probably didn’t notice. I wrote you an email, and you never wrote back. I was so disappointed.

Gray asymmetric half jacket “La demi veste” JACQUEMUS Gray asymmetric half jacket “La demi veste” JACQUEMUS

OLIVIER ZAHM — The loss of your mother gave you strength…

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — An amazing strength, incredible. I told myself I needed to make my dreams come true right away.
I couldn’t wait because life is too unfair, too unpredictable.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Because you can die at the age of 42.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Right. I am obsessed by time, by the idea of doing everything I can as fast as possible, so it was very powerful.
It still is, in fact. But it changed
everything. I lost her in 2009.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s still quite recent.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, it’s been five years, almost six. I don’t know. It may feel like yesterday for you, but for me it’s been an eternity. So many things have happened. I called my previous collection Valérie Jacquemus, my mother’s name. An homage to my mother. It was an ultra-intimate collection about her, maybe a cycle that is coming to an end.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you name all your collections?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, and it’s always written on the tag.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Let’s go back to your farmer origins, which are really quite far from the Parisian fashion world.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Bah, all that is just a cliché. Do you think a farmer can’t also be an artist? Or an artist cannot also be a farmer? Do we really need to categorize ourselves like that? No one in my family was surprised to see me go into an “artistic” profession. For me, my mother was a true artist, and so was my father. He wrote poems. He would sing every week on local stages and at the village community centers. He was obsessed with music, a big fan of Serge Gainsbourg. I can remember him wearing these red thigh-high boots with fur on them, singing rock-and-roll at the Fête de la Musique with his friends. I still get images like that.

OLIVIER ZAHM — And your mother? She was also interested in art?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Completely. She was always redecorating our house, an old farmhouse, not very pretty but with a giant wisteria. It was her Southern side, except we didn’t have any money. The house would change completely every week. Once, she hung these dry branches on the walls — really simple ideas, often inexpensive, but for me they were marvelous, as good as the stuff the fancy decorators were doing. So, between my father and my mother, I never ever felt like the misunderstood artist of the family.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You weren’t the black sheep of the family?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Even the village mailman knew I was going to become an artist, somehow. From the age of 10, he knew that Simon was going to be Simon. No one was surprised that I am now in fashion. I didn’t just hatch out of nowhere. What was more stressful was proving it because people expected a lot of me in my village.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Where is your village?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — In the Lubéron. It’s called Mallemort. It’s a beautiful area. I am looking for a region I like more than there, but I haven’t found it yet.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What did they expect of you in the village?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — The mailman, everyone there, they all thought I would go on Star Academy [a pop music talent and reality show], if you know what I mean. It’s hilarious. [Laughs]

OLIVIER ZAHM — Fashion and the desire to create were born of this fascination you had for certain women. You could have been a filmmaker or a photographer, too.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes. Absolutely. I couldn’t tell you why I ended up creating collections.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Dressing women is perhaps the most complicated of these tasks!

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — No, I think that would be film. I do dream of one day writing a movie.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Really? It’s more complicated than creating a collection?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I don’t know. A collection, for me, is very easy to conceive. What ends up being complicated is the process you have to go through, translating the ideas to reach the entire production chain, all the technical details. But creating is a child’s game. For me, it’s just telling myself a story, writing it in words, zooming in and looking at the characters. It’s like a painting, a tableau. But in a film,
I would find it more difficult articulating the space between the tableaux. Meaning that if I were to do a film, it would be a little like Philippe Garrel’s 1972 film La Cicatrice Intérieure [The Inner Scar], which I cited in my most recent runway show. It’s a minimalist film, a composition of images against emotion. At the same time, I also like mainstream films like La Boum [The Party] with Sophie Marceau from 1980. [Laughs]

OLIVIER ZAHM — Your collections spring from a story. In fact, you tell yourself that story, right?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, otherwise I can’t do it. It is impossible for me to create a garment mechanically. Even a t-shirt or a dress with very simple aesthetic features. It seems stupid, but there’s a grain of truth there. I need to imagine the person, the woman living the story I’m creating.

Lining dress “La robe doublure” JACQUEMUS Lining dress “La robe doublure” JACQUEMUS

OLIVIER ZAHM — What kind of stories do you invent?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — For the last runway show, I began by rejecting everything I like about the Jacquemus woman: her smile, her happiness, her innocence, her freshness! I needed her to be sadder this time, with something darker happening in her life.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Why did you want to create this more somber collection?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — This past summer, I experienced something in my personal life that I prefer not to talk about, but suffice it to say it was difficult. I had been talking about doing a sort of clown collection. In fact, I wore a clown’s red nose the whole summer. It was going to be the “Red Nose collection.” It was weird. I kept saying I was going to lose my smile from wearing the red nose all that time, and that is exactly what happened. It’s insane. I actually lost my smile. It was a pretty important stage in my life.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s the story of a sad clown!?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — In the beginning, it was not going to be an intimate or personal collection, like the one I had just done, Valérie, which I shot with Joana Preiss in the lavender fields in front of my mother’s house. This time, I was going to detach myself from my personal history, and I wanted to imagine a sad girl for this collection. But then it was me who ended up experiencing the sadness.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Was it a breakup with someone?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I don’t want to talk about it. It was a hard but beautiful moment. And, of course, this collection is again an intimate one.

OLIVIER ZAHM — When I saw your runway show, with its theatrical elements and direction, I did indeed think of Garrel’s The Inner Scar. There was this solemn aspect. It was more intense than your other runway shows, but it remained positive.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — It meant a lot of things: the little child, a little witness pushing a giant red ball. What I was experiencing was suffering. And the runway show symbolized that, pushing forward something that was too heavy for me, too hard to deal with in my life. And I wanted to end with the white horse, a symbol of hope. And at the end of the runway, to create closure for the story, I did something like the end credits on a film, with a group of girls, a way of saying: “It’s over. These were the characters in the film, and now the story is done.”
I didn’t want it to go on. I wanted to cut it off cleanly.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s the first time you included yourself in staging the runway?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes. I came out with the horse in the middle of the runway, then at the end I came out running. And my little cousin, he had this eight-meter-long tie dragging on the ground like a train, which he couldn’t really deal with, sort of saying, “It’s hard being a man.” But it’s all fine!

OLIVIER ZAHM — How was that show received?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Tim Blanks wrote that it wasn’t a fashion show, it was psychotherapy. But is that so terrible? No. I think you have to give of yourself.

OLIVIER ZAHM — I didn’t know your collections were so personal.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — My collections are very personal, biographical. Up until now, anyway.

OLIVIER ZAHM — But you also give them a strong symbolic force.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, yes. Something universal. I like the idea of a certain popularity, too. I like this word. Popularity: that means I don’t want to put a barrier between me and other people. I have always been obsessed with accessibility. I had this image in my mind of what I would be in fashion when I saw Jean Paul Gaultier on television. He was on several different shows, on different channels. He was everywhere. Even my uncle the plumber said, “Damn, this guy is cool!” And I said to myself, “I could be a designer without necessarily being a snob.” You don’t have to believe you’re among the elite. It may not be much, but that has a lot to do with who I am today. I want to communicate with people.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Jean Paul Gaultier is a real reference for you.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, the main reference! I wrote to him when I was 11. I will never forget it. Even back then, I didn’t hesitate.
I wrote: “You know, Monsieur Gaultier, if you’d let me join your team, hiring a child, it would be so amazing. Everyone would be talking about it.” But he didn’t write back. [Laughs]

OLIVIER ZAHM — The determination you showed when you were as young as 11 is incredible. But even more, the fact that you are still able to show your work at a time when it is getting harder and harder…

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — The thing is, I knew nothing. I didn’t follow any of the rules. At the age of 19, I showed up at the exit to the Dior show at the Tuileries Garden, and I staged a happening. I had nothing else to work with. When you think about it, it can seem pieced together; it can seem cheap, crazy, whatever you like. I was actually stopping people at the exit. Emmanuelle Alt has a video in which I stop her. I am kind of a hard-ass with her. And a year later, I had a two-page spread in Paris Vogue!

OLIVIER ZAHM — In retrospect, you must realize how audacious, how daring you were.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Even I tell myself how crazy I was! I was obsessed. Even if I don’t like the word “audacious,” I do like saying that I am a “nature-peinture” [a straight shooter]. I love that expression: “nature-peinture.” I was so incredibly naive.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You like all these very French expressions. You can see it in the titles of your collections.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — “Le Nez Rouge” [“The Red Nose”], “La Femme Enfant” [“The Child Woman”], “L’Enfant du Soleil” [“The Sun Child”], “Les Parasols de Marseille” [“The Parasols of Marseille”], “La Piscine” [“The Pool”].

OLIVIER ZAHM — How about New Wave French film — do you refer to it often?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I was obsessed by the films of Jean-Luc Godard, specifically by the editing of his film trailers. Like the famous one for Contempt, where the voice-over says: “The woman. The man. Italy.” All of that is very French.

OLIVIER ZAHM — This “very French” label really describes you to a T.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — And I own it, I do. With the recent terror attacks, I have felt more French than ever before. I love my country. It has nothing to do with having made a summer collection that is blue and red and white; it isn’t that at all. It’s a deep love for the French people, the country, the France we rarely see, in fact.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Gaultier also had this very French side.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — But Gaultier, with all due respect, is much more Parisian. He doesn’t really reflect the French countryside, the provinces. He is more a Titi Parisien [Parisian kid]. That’s how
I see him. The striped jersey, the high-cut pants, the beret — all that, for me, is more Parisian.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What do you admire about France? Is it a form of nostalgia?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Not for me. It is true that love is often nostalgic because it is linked to a memory. A memory of my childhood. But I am not really analyzing where my love for France comes from, its why and wherefore. I have felt close to these people ever since I was a child. I used to say that to my mother, that I felt close to people.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You are channeling an ’80s image of France, though.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, I am under the unconscious influence of the Gainsbourg/Jacno axis, up to the songs of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, her video clips, too, and the French films of the ’80s. Like Rohmer’s Pauline at the Beach. I like that atmosphere and am not afraid to admit it. [Laughs] But it’s not so much ’80s fashion that interests me. I’m not that wild about Montana or Mugler, for example. I really prefer ’60s French fashion. I’ve been obsessed from the beginning with the Space Age — the collections of Cardin and Courrèges… There are echoes of them in my geometries.

Square t-shirt “Le t-shirt carré” and circle skirt “La jupe cocarde” JACQUEMUS Square t-shirt “Le t-shirt carré” and circle skirt “La jupe cocarde” JACQUEMUS

OLIVIER ZAHM — So, for you everything is connected. You don’t isolate your fashion references from those that come from film, architecture, design, etc.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Everything is indeed connected for me. And there are other things — music, for example. I have trouble listening to music that is not from France. Even when I was in high school, when everyone else was listening to American rap, I was listening to French songs.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Can you define a Jacquemus girl or woman, or does she change from collection to collection?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — For me, she is always the same woman: she is the basis for everything, and she is like my mother, a naive person, a child-woman. After that, there are different stories that bring her to life; it’s a puzzle I follow little by little through that life.

OLIVIER ZAHM — And how do you choose this Jacquemus “child-woman?”

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I need to know the person, to have a direct connection. It’s horrible having to do a casting session. I mean, I never wanted to go into industrial chicken farming with my grandparents,
so I don’t much like having to look at an assembly line of women, with no meaning, no feeling. This is something I do not like about my profession. I would prefer only having women I know personally in my runway shows. But you know how it goes — that is simply not possible. Something happens with the people you like, and the emotion coming out of a woman who has never been on a runway and one who is in every show is completely different.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How do you translate all of that into your garments? How do you transpose all these stories — these aspects vibrating inside you — into form?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — It happens rather spontaneously. I imagine my garments quite easily. For the summer collection, I didn’t sketch. I worked directly on the body of a model. I began with the idea of cutting up and deconstructing a man’s suit. It happened right in the moment.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Are you under any economic pressure?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I am independent, and it is working out well. My garments are selling.

OLIVIER ZAHM — We could say you were an almost immediate success. People saw you had talent right away.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Indeed. The French press, especially. They’ve been incredibly present, writing stuff like “the handsome guy of fashion,” “fashion’s big mouth,” “the brazen boy of fashion.” I liked saying I did my runway shows for the price of a scooter, using only my friends, maintaining the idea of being an underground designer.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You think your work is underground?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — No, it really isn’t. But it is true that I had to fight to bring down the prices for everything, so we could have a show without spending money. I had good teachers: I used to do the markets on Saturdays with my grandparents, where you would be stopping people as they were shopping, getting them to buy your products. It’s important for me to be successful commercially. Not only in order to develop the brand, but to prove that I have a lot in common with my clientele.

OLIVIER ZAHM — In other words, you really like selling.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yup, I love it. Sometimes, they have to chase me out of the showroom, telling me it is not my job to sell my clothing. But, you know, in the past
I was a salesman at the Comme des Garçons boutique in Paris.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How did you end up working at Comme des Garçons?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — It was during the commercial presentation of my third collection, and an agent from Japan said to me, “Listen,
I would like to take your collection to Tokyo, to show it around.” I knew no one, so I said, “Sure, take it.” And then I got a look at the list of everyone who had come by, and in that list the name Rei Kawakubo was underlined… With a little note on the side saying I must be talented to have created such a precise collection. Of course, I immediately Googled the name of Rei Kawakubo.

Shirt sleeves top “Les deux manches” JACQUEMUS Shirt sleeves top “Les deux manches” JACQUEMUS

OLIVIER ZAHM — You hadn’t heard of Comme des Garçons?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Sure, I had a Comme des Garçons sweater, but I knew nothing about Rei Kawakubo. So, I went over there. I saw they were looking for a salesman at the boutique, and I met Adrian Joffe. It was kind of funny — we talked about lots of stuff and got along really well. Then I said, “Actually, I do really need a job!”
I had to push a little to get it. [Laughs] Years later, he said to me, “I really didn’t want to give you that job at the boutique because for me you were an artist, you wouldn’t know how to sell.” On the contrary,
I was actually a really good salesman. In order to create my clothing line, I needed to earn a living, so I was one of the most motivated salesmen at the Comme des Garçons boutique. And we stayed quite close. He put me forward at Dover Street, and he told a lot of people about me. But it was a weird time. I was doing my runway shows, and then the next day I would be at the boutique. It was crazy.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Comme des Garçons was a kind of school for you.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes, it’s true. I didn’t go to fashion school, and at Comme des Garçons I learned a lot of things. It wasn’t just any boutique. And he is not just any man, any designer! In truth,
I was lucky. It was so random! It was chance that brought me to work with people I understood. It was fashion, but not only that. It was also a way of looking at things.

OLIVIER ZAHM — In terms of fashion, do you think you have freed yourself from your influences?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I have changed a lot over the last five years. In a way, I was able to discover myself. But I can see that my work is my mix of Cardin, Kawakubo, and Margiela. I see that there are continuing influences. And I have a lot of respect for these people.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You are the exception of your generation. There aren’t many young creators in London, and even fewer Parisians.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — You’re right. I do like many in London, but in Paris there’s no one, nothing that speaks to me.

OLIVIER ZAHM — And yet there are all the magazines; there’s a fashion scene in France that supports the profession. The magazines are active in Paris, more so than in New York, for example.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I find the fashion world quite closed-off in Paris.

UNGER-JACQUEMUS03

OLIVIER ZAHM — The runway shows in Paris are really important!

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I guess. I still find that whole Paris scene very closed. And if you try to show your work in London, New York, or Milan, it isn’t much fun there, either. There is, however, much more financial support in London. Someone might give you a showroom for free. And in New York, there are big sponsors who will pay for an entire show. Made Milk, for example — they pay for everything. But in Paris, I don’t know any young independent designers showing except for me and a few exceptions, like Vetements. Maybe you know one, but I can’t think of a single one who is not being financed by a group. If I weren’t an alienated madman, if I hadn’t bullied certain people, if I didn’t have the personality I have, Olivier, I would not be here in your office talking to you. I’m sure there are plenty of talented designers here, but they’re shy. You stay in your tiny studio apartment, and you sketch up a storm, but that’s all you do. There are probably some who are way more talented than I am.

There again, I think the French capital is pretty closed-off. And it bothers me because I am a farmer’s son, and I would like it if everyone had the same chances. But that’s a whole other argument.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How do you see your immediate future? Do you want to remain independent?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Yes. These are questions I am having to ask because it’s been six years, and that’s already a long time. It is time to develop, to grow. Like what happened with Raf Simons. For me, that’s another validation of my way of thinking. Because yes, it’s true, there is definitely a certain stress on creators. And in 10 years, I can see myself living happily ever after.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Would you consider taking over another important brand?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — If I were to meet the right person, why not? But a priori, no. What interests me is my name! It’s the name of my generation. I see myself as the creator of my generation. You see that? Well, I’d like to be that creator. I like doing things for me, not in the name of someone else or based on someone else’s fashion story. I can see myself being happy in 10 years, and, in order to do that, I try also to listen to myself. Which is kind of reassuring.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You aren’t interested in letting yourself be carried by the system itself or by success?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I try not to commit myself beyond my capacities. Although things are developing. We need more money, that’s for sure. It’s incredible — we are doubling our output each season. We already have more than a hundred boutiques. At the department store Le Bon Marché, we don’t even make it to the sales because everything is selling so well.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Commercial success doesn’t scare you?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — No! For me, what sells the best aren’t necessarily the pieces that would be considered “commercial.” In fact, it’s the other way around. What sells are the strongest, most extreme pieces. That is what I find so exciting. There is such a profusion of clothing for sale these days. At COS, you can find something fashionable for almost nothing. It’s available everywhere, so I think that the noncommercial stuff is in reality more commercial. At least it is for my work.

OLIVIER ZAHM — So, you feel free to pretty much create whatever you want?

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — Always. Otherwise, I would stop.

Reversed jacket “La veste à l’envers” JACQUEMUS Reversed jacket “La veste à l’envers” JACQUEMUS

OLIVIER ZAHM — You aren’t interested in finding a routine, a “recipe” for your work.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I don’t know. Maybe I am already doing that. Maybe I am already a caricature of myself.

OLIVIER ZAHM — No, you would feel it if you were doing that.

SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS — I don’t know. Sometimes there are creators who really aren’t aware. It can happen. Seriously. I want to remain free. When Raf Simons made that declaration, in which he explained that from working too much he was losing the meaning of what he was doing, I immediately felt like packing a bag and going home to the South of France. Because that’s something I would like: creating my work based on the South, for example.
I don’t know if that will happen one day, but there is something of that in me, a need for freedom, for nature.

END

[Table of contents]

S/S 2016 issue 25

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS

purple BEST of the SEASON

purple INTERVIEW

purple FASHION WOMEN

purple FASHION MEN

purple DOCUMENT

purple BEAUTY

purple LOVE

purple PHILOSOPHY

purple SEX

purple NIGHT

purple STORY

purple VISUAL ESSAY

Subscribe to our newsletter