In Capri, a Simon Porte Jacquemus Menswear Manifesto

This is an edition of the newsletter Show Notes, in which Samuel Hine reports from the front row of the global fashion week circuit. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

Menswear is the fastest growing category at jaunty French label Jacquemus, which is one of the fastest growing brands in fashion right now, with sales that are roughly doubling every year. Why?

Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, who on Monday afternoon glided across the red brick roof of the Casa Malaparte on the island of Capri to take her front row seat for this season’s Jacquemus show. As she waited for the models to step out under a fierce Campanian sun, Paltrow, not exactly a fashion week regular, explained why she joined founder and designer Simon Porte Jacquemus for the occasion.

“You know, my son is getting very into fashion—he’s obsessed,” Paltrow told me as she hid from the rays under an umbrella. “I mentioned I got an invitation to Jacquemus, and my son said, Mom, you have to go. So I was like, Ok!

If men’s fashion these days can feel unapproachable by design, too perplexingly cerebral or annoyingly pretentious, Simon Jacquemus is something of an antidote, making clothes from a shiny place of fun and confidence. His slightly rustic, lightly-surrealist vision of French style has evidently caught a wave with young people around the world—the majority of the brand’s clients are younger than the 34-year-old designer. And on Monday, with some help from icon-to-Gen-Z Paltrow, actual Gen-Z icons Dua Lipa and Jennie, a significant 19th-century modernist villa, the ghost of Godard, and some pleasant maritime menswear, Simon Jacqeumus launched the first fireworks of the men’s fashion season.

A quick Show Notes programming aside: the Spring-Summer 2025 menswear calendar got underway last week in London. Pitti Uomo and Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks are up next. If the scuttlebutt on the press boat that ferried us through the Gulf of Salerno to the Casa Malaparte is any indication, the talk of the season is going to be all Chanel. Who is going to get the big creative director job freshly vacated by Virginie Viard, whose departure was announced last week? I’m sure I’ll have more on that in the coming days.

(For now, I’ll float a name I haven’t heard yet: Pharrell Williams! There is a Louis Vuitton-sized reason why Skateboard P won’t go to another 20-billion-plus luxury behemoth. But remember, Pharrell designed a primary-colored capsule collection for Chanel in 2019, walked in several runway shows for his buddy Karl Lagerfeld, and was one of the house’s most prominent male clients. Could he finally launch Chanel menswear while another designer takes over women’s and couture? Probably not. But remember, it’s fashion: anything can happen!)

If there’s one designer who I believe when he says he doesn’t want a huge new job, it’s Simon Porte Jacquemus, who with the Capri show celebrated his brand’s fifteenth anniversary. The Marseille native waved off speculation he was heading to still-designer-less Givenchy back in January, and on Monday he reiterated that he’s “working for the long term, and not for a good check. It’s not my priority.”

Courtesy of Jacquemus

Image may contain Beachwear Clothing Skirt Accessories Bag Handbag Adult Person Footwear High Heel and Shoe

Courtesy of Jacquemus

And why would it be? Porte Jacquemus runs an independent operation, holding off-calendar shows in White Lotus-style destinations at times when it can be the center of social media attention. All attention on Monday was focused on the roof of the iconic Malaparte house, which features prominently in the Jean-Luc Godard film Le Mépris.

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