In love with Capri, Jacquemus parades at the Villa Malaparte

“A teenage brand” : this is how Simon Porte Jacquemus describes the label that bears his name and which he founded fifteen years ago. And like in humans, puberty corresponds to a phase of transformation. “When I started, I was trying to do something new. In recent months, I have been more concerned with longevity. I try to define the essence of Jacquemus”says the 34-year-old designer.

It must be said that his house, which he owns entirely and which is not supported by external investors, has experienced an extraordinary growth spurt: its turnover, which had already reached 11.5 million euros in 2018, rose to more than 20 million in 2021, then jumped to 200 million in 2022. For Simon Porte Jacquemus, who is both the artistic director and the general director, it is a matter of carefully maneuvering so as not to fall from this peak reached so quickly, especially in the current unfavorable economic context.

He, who has always known how to use his fashion shows to shine, repeated this performance on Monday June 10 in Capri (Italy), where he presented his fall-winter 2024-2025 collections for men and women. “I have always dreamed of showing at the Villa Malaparte”he explains, referring to the modern architectural work of Adalberto Libera, built between 1938 and 1943 for the Italian writer Curzio Malaparte.

This cliffside villa in eastern Capri was used for films such as Contempt (1963), by Jean-Luc Godard, whom Simon Porte Jacquemus always cites as a source of inspiration, but had never hosted a fashion show until then. The designer says that it was by sending the owners messages on Instagram, where he also expressed his love for the house, that he ended up convincing them. In a sector where brands compete fiercely to showcase their collections in unique locations, this is undeniably a great move.

This fashion show also highlights an aesthetic shift undertaken during the previous collection, “Les Sculptures”, staged at the Maeght Foundation in January 2024: while Jacquemus had until now distinguished himself with his light, easy-to-wear summer wardrobe. and not very covering, it is now seeking to make its offer both more sophisticated and more minimal. In Capri, women’s outfits adopt very recognizable geometric shapes, with V-shaped collars around the shoulders, conical dresses, rounded pant legs, trapezoidal bustiers. The very graphic dimension does not exclude a dose of sensuality, notably thanks to the bare backs or surprising draping, like this long dress which we discover reveals hips and thighs when we look at it from the side.

Klein Blue, Grass Green and Chili Red

For men, Jacquemus also moves away from the casual aesthetic. He swaps summer shirts and shorts with patch pockets for loose, pleated pants, paired with a boat-neck sweater or a pale pink striped shirt. A few monochrome silhouettes in bright tones – Klein blue, grass green, chili red – bring a more fashionable touch. Simon Porte Jacquemus rightly compares the result to“Armani from the 1990s », Giorgio Armani symbolizing a form of unsurpassable minimalist elegance.

“We have never sold as many clothes as since the January fashion showenthuses Simon Porte Jacquemus. We realize that we are attracting a more luxury client, who does not want to wear the same things as everyone else. » Until now, the brand’s growth was mainly based on the sale of accessories, in particular the Chiquito bags (550 euros) and Bambino (620 euros), as well as the Artichoke bucket hat (130 euros): items sold in large quantities. quantity, the prices of which remained well below those charged by luxury brands.

Jacquemus now also wants to sell clothes, more elaborate and of better quality. “This means increasing pricesconcedes the designer. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop making simple, more accessible jersey dresses. » In times of economic crisis and in the absence of investors, it is reasonable not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Especially since moving upmarket will not happen with a snap of the fingers: it will take several seasons for Jacquemus to find the right suppliers and manufacturers, who are already pre-empted by the large groups. The designer admits that he “there remains a lot of know-how to acquire”but, with the art of storytelling that characterizes it, also promises that it will “spend all the rest of [sa] life to make better products ».

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“I don’t consider myself a luxury brand, but maybe my children will see it that way”, he said on the roof of the Villa Malaparte, in front of his forty guests – including Gwyneth Paltrow, Dua Lipa and Laetitia Casta. It is difficult to predict whether Jacquemus’ repositioning will be enough to ensure the longevity of its brand in such a competitive world. In any case, in Capri, the designer once again demonstrated his ability to stage extraordinary fashion shows. A coveted talent that he could always offer to the competition if his dreams of greatness do not come true as planned.

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