Jacquemus decoded: Behind the French label’s success
Simon Porte Jacquemus has made his mark in the fashion world, a success that is both exciting and intriguing. Porte Jacquemus, a designer born in the South of France, launched his own independent label in 2009 when he was only 19, and is now at the helm of a company with over 60 employees and a revenue of just over €20 million. The label is still independent, and now shows at the Paris Fashion Week, where it holds its own against luxury giants. How does Jacquemus structure its collections, and what are their specificities? Marketing metrics specialist Retviews has analysed Jacquemus’s product range to gain a better understanding of the label's success.
Jacquemus has a knack for attracting attention, as with the show staged on a pink carpet in the middle of a lavender field in 2019, or in a wheat field this summer. Its trajectory has ticked all the boxes of a luxe market positioning, with a strong brand identity and a style at once minimalistic, sensual, buoyant and sometimes raw.
Jacquemus’s prices however are positioned below those of the leading luxury labels, now its main competitors. The average price of a Jacquemus item is roughly half of that of Balenciaga, Prada and Saint Laurent, which is in the region of €1,000, as listed on the labels’ e-shops.
Retviews said that, in an interview, Porte Jacquemus explained his strategy was to “create a high-end fashion label with a strong visual impact, but whose price positioning is consistent with brands in the contemporary segment.” Some of Jacquemus’s pricepoints are indeed similar to those of premium labels like Sandro, Maje or The Kooples.
In terms of product range, Retviews found that Jacquemus is more focused on clothes than accessories, unlike fashion's top labels, for which handbags and footwear account for the largest share of the range, up to 75%.
Jacquemus’s product range is instead split roughly in half between ready-to-wear and accessories. “This may be due to the fact that the label is still young and, like its peers, it began by focusing on apparel. In future, it may well expand further into accessories,” said Retviews.
Despite this, accessories often have pride of place in Jacquemus's shows, as demonstrated by the craze for the Chiquito mini handbag or the label's oversize straw hat. Both are now signature items for Jacquemus, their popularity hugely boosted by social media. Jacquemus has the ability to mobilise vast numbers of followers, as it did with the special sale event it organised last year in Paris.
“Image is everything,” said Porte Jacquemus, who adroitly masterminds his label's brand communication, notably on Instagram, where the label has ratcheted up 2.8 million followers. In the midst of the Covid-19 emergency, the show staged by Jacquemus last July was streamed live on Instagram and viewed by over half of the label's followers, “making it one of the most popular virtual fashion shows,” said Retviews.
Even though sustainability isn’t top of the agenda at Jacquemus, the label makes extensive use of natural and semi-natural materials like cotton, linen and viscose. “It is worth noting that, although Jacquemus chiefly uses natural fabrics, neither cotton nor viscose can truly be regarded as sustainable materials,” said Retviews.
On the other hand, Jacquemus’s reliance on nylon and polyester is on par with that of most luxury labels, and Jacquemus is actually ahead of the pack in terms of linen usage. Leading labels are instead more prone to employing rare materials like silk.
Porte Jacquemus, who often draws inspiration from his native Provence, likes to stray from the beaten track when it comes to his collections’ colour palette. Warm hues are predominant both in clothes and accessories, and black is far less of a presence than at other luxury labels, with pink, beige and green among the most popular colours. In terms of garment size, Jacquemus features a broader range than its competitors, except for Prada, whose products are available up to size 28 UK.
Jacquemus’s appeal is steadily growing: the label was ranked 11th in the most popular labels’ table drawn up by Lyst for Q2 2020, punching above its weight in comparison to some of the other labels next to it in the ranking, like Bottega Veneta in 10th and Valentino in 12th.
Jacquemus usually stages co-ed shows and has considerable room for growth revenue-wise, and ought to be able to expand without a major shareholder by its side. So far, Porte Jacquemus has refrained from selling a stake in the label to outside investors or major groups.
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