Ahead of Jacquemus' A/W16 collection, we revisit Susie Lau's piece on the emotive Parisian designer, exploring how his mother's legacy endures through his eponymous brand
“My mother was very warm, and also a bit childish in the way she would wear big pantaloon trousers or granny dresses. Without any money, she could look very special and artistic. She wasn’t ‘French chic’. She was too smiley for that, with her shiny eyes and shiny persona. When I was 19, studying at fashion school in Paris, I felt lost. I didn’t know what I was doing. Then, one month later, my mother died. At the funeral, I told my grandmother that I was going back to Paris. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. My brand would be named after my mother’s maiden name, Jacquemus, and designed for the girl my mother was. My mother died, without any reason, at 42. I realised everything can stop tomorrow. I told myself, ‘You need to live your life.’ Now I can be happy about it. I’m never sad. I’m not obsessed with being the best or the biggest. I just want to stay free.”
Simon Porte Jacquemus may be happy and free, but he has one regret: that his mother was not alive to experience the rapture and pride he felt after his daring A/W15 show, which was inspired by naive collages and the asexuality of childhood. She also didn’t see him win the special LVMH Prize of 100,000 euros this year, nor did she have the chance to wear the Resort 2016 collection that was dedicated to her. For the fi rst time since he began his label, Porte Jacquemus – pictured above at his mother’s home in the south of France – was able to write her name on the moodboard, as he imagined that she would be able to wear every piece in the collection. Her name was Valérie.
This article was originally published in the A/W15 edition of AnOther Magazine.