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“Jacquemus, le prince Soleil”: a documentary on the French fashion prodigy

“Jacquemus, le prince Soleil”: a documentary on the French fashion prodigy

Broadcast on France 5 on 13 October, Loïc Prigent’s documentary on designer Simon Porte Jacquemus recounted his meteoric rise in the world of fashion. The story of a talented designer who, in just over 10 years, has made a name for himself thanks to his sunny style, his warm, typically Provençal personality and his touching destiny.


From Provence to a documentary on France 5


He is one of the rare designers to have established himself under his own name in less than ten years. His impressive career has earned Simon Porte Jacquemus, artistic director of the Jacquemus fashion house, a place at the heart of a 50-minute documentary directed by renowned journalist Loïc Prigent.



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This report, broadcast on France 5 in the second half of the evening on Friday 13 October, retraces the career of this young clothing prodigy, with archive footage, interviews and immersions in the catwalk. From his first collections to the Versailles show last June, via his childhood and his distinctive style, “Jacquemus, le prince Soleil” paints the portrait of an artist who seems to stop at nothing.

It was in the late 2000s that Simon Porte Jacquemus, who had just come of age, left the Bouches-du-Rhône region for Paris. While the budding designer was trying to find his way, notably by attending a fashion school that failed to satisfy him, he suddenly lost his mother, to whom he was very close. His mother’s death was a turning point for the young man, who immediately launched his own brand, taking his mother’s surname, Valérie.


Jacquemus style


And Simon Porte Jacquemus likes to say it: Valérie is the House style. Spurred on by his mother’s insistence that he was the best, the budding entrepreneur produced his first collection. Called “Usine”, the line had a raw, minimal, unadorned aesthetic, embellished by the silhouettes of his friends, such as Jeanne Damas, who modelled for him.


A short time later, he made his mark by organising a mini Jacquemus en grève demonstration on avenue Montaigne. Always accompanied by his friends, the designer called out to people in the street and to fashion influencers in the middle of Fashion Week.


But what is Jacquemus style? Block colours, poetic, sunny, feminine… The link between all the collections is undoubtedly this work on the square and the round, with ultra-popular pieces like the Chiquito it-bag and these shoes with original heels.


The man who won the 2015 LVMH Special Prize thanks to the influence of Karl Lagerfeld is highlighting a reinvented southern allure inspired by his childhood in Provence. A universe announced directly in the names of the lines: “La Bomba”, “Les santons de Provence”, “Coup de soleil”, “Le Gadgo”, “L’année 97” (with the reproduction of a skirt that the designer had made in the curtains for his mother, when he was a child), or “Le Chouchou”.



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Distinctive designs


This instinctive, singular energy, full of sincerity, would continue to guide the designer in the years that followed. First and foremost in the set design of his shows. Like Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander McQueen, Simon Porte Jacquemus pays particular attention to the set design of his shows. Swimming pools, the Picasso Museum, the calanques of Sormiou, fields of lavender or wheat, the beach in Hawaii, Salin de Giraud, Versailles… So many places that each season tell a story about the collection and the house as a whole.


Another advantage of these destinations is their high Instagram potential. And Simon Porte Jacquemus is no slouch when it comes to putting social media to good use. The designer, who manages the brand’s Instagram account himself, has on several occasions unveiled sun images and communication campaigns that have created a buzz on the Internet. We all remember the viral video in which Bambino XXL bags rolled around Paris thanks to augmented reality. A real hit.

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Developing without forgetting his roots


Despite the meteoric rise of his independent brand internationally, coupled with recognition from the fashion world, Simon Porte Jacquemus has not forgotten his origins, which he continues to value. His entire family, in particular his grandmother Liline and her husband Marco, are present at every fashion show to support him, and he bows to his mother at the end of each show. Jacquemus’ strength may lie in the balance between its Provençal roots and its global evolution.


From passionate child to flagship shop on Avenue Montaigne alongside historic brands, the history of Simon Porte Jacquemus seemed to be written by the stars of fashion. While the designer says he is very happy with his career, he says he is not yet where he wants to be. Jacquemus still has beautiful creations to reveal to the world, and the world is waiting for them.


The documentary is available for replay here.



Front page photo: © Bangumi – Deralf – France Télévisions