Simon Porte and Julie Gilhart reveal the asexual codes of Jacquemus.
JULIE GILHART: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
SIMON PORTE: I seek freedom in what I do. Most people might dream of having ten shops around the world, but that’s not for me. I obsess over freedom and the liberty to be in my mind. I’m not a businessman. I have to do business because I sell clothes, but my plan and my dream are to stay free. It’s really what I believe in. I’m passionate about many things in life, so I’m not afraid.
JG: I think a lot of designers don’t feel like they’re free; how do you stay true to that in your work?
SP: Fashion is about energy for me. People feel it in the way you show your clothes, in the way that you smile. This kind of energy is important.
JG: Your last show was unexpectedly serious; do you ever feel an urge to leave caution to the wind and just play?
SP: I had a reputation with the previous show I did, so I wanted to work in a new way. I let go of what was in my past and started with a clean slate—even the way I constructed my collection was about cutting pieces out. It was more structural, which was a different approach for a collection; it opened a new door for the Jacquemus universe. It was thrilling to do things differently yet be happy with the result.
JG: It seemed more—I don’t know if the right word is sophisticated—maybe more dark than light. Did you try to reflect this in the models? Who do you think of when you think of a Jacquemus girl?
SP: For me, the Jacquemus girl is always, in spirit, my mother. The brand is my mother’s name. I love my mother, I’m obsessed with her, and that’s why I’m here. Whether the Jacquemus spirit is a male or a female, it’s someone with no sexuality. You don’t have to have sexuality in Jacquemus; there is something more instinctual and naïve, and that’s really what I’m obsessed with.
JG: Will you do a men’s collection someday?
SP: I don’t know. Right now I know exactly who the Jacquemus girl is—what she’s eating, how she’s doing, how she’s moving. She’s always moving. I know exactly if a building is Jacquemus or not, if a car is Jacquemus or not. Now, the men, I don’t know. I think that because I’m a man; I don’t want to show a collection that is about me.
JG: It’s so exciting to see you grow because I got to know you better last year through the LVMH prize.
SP: I’m so happy. I know my work will get better and better. It will grow with me. It will grow old with me. I’m not afraid of that.
Photography: Kacper Kasprzyk for NeueJournal