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Jacquemus and the South of France: a story of love and fashion

Fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, founder of the Jacquemus clothing brand, has always proudly asserted his love for his southern French homeland, which plays an important role in both his private life and fashion creations.

His Provence homeland

Place of origin, land of inspiration

Today, although Simon Porte Jacquemus’ renown extends way beyond the borders of France, the designer has remained deeply attached to his Provencal origins. This “son of the soil” grew up in Mallemort, near Salon-de-Provence, and still returns regularly to the South of France to recharge his batteries or sometimes work. His wedding in the local village of Charleval caused quite a stir: in addition to bringing together a myriad of celebrities ranging from French comedian Fary to pop star Dua Lipa, the event was steeped in the traditionally warm and sunny Provencal atmosphere so dear to the designer. A few years back, Jacquemus also declared his love for the South of France through his first book “Marseille, je t’aime”: a collection of photos, still lifes and collages by 14 artists. Resolutely inspired by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Jacquemus has turned the ostensibly elitist and austere Parisian fashion milieu upside down with his sunny, colourful, sincere and character-filled Provencal world. In a documentary dedicated to him, the famous fashion journalist Loïc Prigent even nicknamed him “The Sun Prince” in a nod to the Sun King Louis XIV.

His sunny fashion shows

From the Mucem to the Fondation Maeght and lavender fields…

Thanks to Simon Porte Jacquemus, the spirit of the South of France is now a regular visitor to the streets of Paris. But the designer also brings the French capital’s fashion world to his beloved Provence, through his evermore creative shows. The first show in his Provencal series was called “Les Santons de Provence” and took place at the MUCEM, where the models paraded on the aerial walkway imagined by architect Rudy Ricciotti, connecting the museum to Fort Saint-Jean. For his first men’s show, “Le Gadjo”, Jacquemus chose Calanque de Sormiou fjord as his stage: a picturesque setting for an audience seated on the sand and bare-footed models gliding along the water’s edge. Then, to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary in 2019, the designer opted for a typical Provencal backdrop of lavender fields, near Valensole. The anniversary show, titled “Le Coup de Soleil”, was a magnificently colourful extravaganza, with models parading on a vast purple carpet, sometimes bedecked with the brand’s iconic wide-brimmed hats. The extravagant-yet-simple collection, ranging from mini to oversize, was topped with parasols and suncream courtesy of Jacquemus for the guests! The brand’s fourth, more sober Provencal show, “Le Papier”, was staged in Salin-de-Giraud, amid the salt mounds of Camargue and featured a predominantly pastel collection with shades of beige, in a pristine, poetic and dazzling decor. And that’s not all: Jacquemus’ love story with the South of France is coming to the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in January 2024, with a new collection and new show titled “Les Sculptures”. Jacquemus has always been very inspired by the world of art and it would be fair to say that this temple of modern and contemporary art basking in Provencal countryside is simply made for him…

His favourite places

And top addresses

Simon Porte Jacquemus loves sharing his insider’s addresses and favourite spots when he’s spending a few days in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. One of his must-dos is Notre-Dame de Sénanque abbey in Gordes, in the Luberon area in Vaucluse: the abbey has been a sanctuary for Cistercian monks since the 12th century. He also recommends visiting the beautiful little villages dotted around the Luberon and their markets, for example in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue or Lourmarin, where he loves to eat at “Auberge de la Fenière”. Jacquemus is very fond of the City of Marseille too; he never misses a visit to the “L’Eau à la Bouche” pizza house located on Corniche Kennedy, in the Malmousque quarter (don’t miss their mozzarella & basil, authentic half & half and Capucine pizza topped with mesclun, cottage cheese, anchovy and artichoke). Still in Marseille but further out of the city centre, another favourite Jacquemus haunt is “Le Cabanon de Jean” – a little eatery tucked away in Calanque de Sormiou, serving a traditional Bouillabaisse handed down from mother to son. Heading back up towards Salon-de-Provence, his family seat, the designer also evokes Château Charleval, where visitors can admire 300 works of contemporary art. Top addresses abound on the Côte d’Azur too, where Jacquemus was a regular visitor to Port-Cros island – the wildest of the Golden Islands off the coast of Hyères – before he started getting noticed in Ramatuelle. He even set up a pop-up boutique on Pampelonne beach. Next on the list is Saint-Paul-de-Vence and “La Colombe d’Or”, another favourite Jacquemus eatery. This delightful and very artistically-inclined Provencal auberge has welcomed such illustrious names as Jacques Prévert, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Miro, Braque, Chagall, César and many more… Last but not least, our favourite designer invites us on a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, or around the tip of the sublime Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, before pushing on to magnificent Menton…