Designer Alexandra Jacmin, and her twin sister Ségolène, general director, co-founded their denim-centric collection and store Façon Jacmin in Antwerp, Belgium in 2016. Alexandra formerly worked at Maison Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier and designs the collection to empower women by giving them confidence in their wardrobe choices.
The collection blends playfulness and urban sophistication with a wide assortment of denim pieces that include everything from long dresses and skirts to jumpsuits, “twisted” jean jackets and cutoff shorts. Non-denim items range from a wool pleated oversized overcoat and cocoon-like nylon padded jacket to graphic tees, sweatshirts and poplin blouses in avant-garde shapes.
Façon Jacmin made its U.S. debut at the Coterie trade show in September and is distributed in the States by Black Stallion Trading. Wholesale U.S. prices range from $80-$160. The line has been bought by a few small boutiques, and Bloomingdale’s and A’maree’s in Newport Beach, Calif. have also expressed interest.
Here, the Jacmin sisters discuss their collection and what’s next for Façon Jacmin.
How has Façon Jacmin evolved since you started it six years ago?
Ségolène Jacmin: We are happy with the development of the brand; we really worked on our style and image. We also started to develop in wholesale B2B and made our way to Japan, Korea and the USA through resellers. Of course, Covid was a hard time, but we managed to overcome this period and it made us stronger, as we had to put things in perspective and focus on the core of the brand, our strengths and added value.
Rivet: How has your work with Margiela and Gaultier influenced your designs?
Alexandra Jacmin: Even if some people say so, it’s quite hard for me to realize the influence Margiela and Gaultier have on my designs. Working with these brands was a very agreeable and enlightening experience. I love deconstructing to reconstruct, to revisit and play with the codes. In particular with the denim codes, which are at the core of the brand. I also enjoy playing with volumes and contrasts, fitted versus oversized. Finally, something that I believe also resonates with my previous works for these maisons is the continuous [interplay] between the masculine versus feminine wardrobe codes.
Rivet: Why did you opt to work (mostly) in denim?
AJ: Denim is a fascinating fabric; it is one of the only fabrics that gets more beautiful with age. It’s a fabric with a history, worn by all social classes, generations, ages. Also, in terms of styling, everybody, no matter the style, has a good pair of jeans in his wardrobe. It’s because denim suits every morphology, it can take the shape of the body, adapt to it. On a more practical aspect, denim is quite sustainable as it is resistant, and easy to maintain. Also I noticed it was a fabric that was constrained to the denim codes and usual jeans pants and jacket with caps and with little innovation.
Rivet: What are your favorite denim pieces in the line at present and why?
AJ: The Vilhem spiral jacket that is coming out for Spring ’23 is one of my favorites. It’s quite refined and there is a lot of work on that jacket but it’s what I like to bring artisanally to a “usual” jeans jacket. Also the Vassili twisted jacket of this winter is such an example. Both pieces are playful, illusive.
Rivet: What are the denim bestsellers?
SJ: For this season, our denim bestsellers probably are the Ray dress and the Polly lichen green pants. The Ray dress is both classy, comfortable and is one of the trompe l’oeil pieces of the collection. The Polly lichen green is a new color for the Polly pants model that is very appreciated. This edgy color truly found its audience. It’s a special piece, making a statement, but as for the Ray dress it’s a piece that gives you presence and in which you can’t go unnoticed. At the same time it’s a very super comfortable piece, enjoyable to wear under any circumstances. We also have the Jinji long slim skirt that’s also already out of stock. That skirt is bought by women of different ages and styles, which is very interesting. I think women like this skirt because it’s very feminine and rough at the same time. In the past, our main bestseller was the Olga jumpsuit. It was also a very elegant though functional and comfortable piece.
Rivet: What mills do you source your denim?
SJ: From what we consider to be the very best Japanese and Italian denim mills.
Rivet: Is all your denim sewn in Bulgaria? If not, where else is it made?
SJ: Yes, we are committed to make our products in Europe. We are currently working with Bulgarian factories; they provide a good quality-price ratio. We also just started to work with Romania and Portugal, which might represent a part of the production in the years to come.
Rivet: Are you influenced by denim trends?
AJ: I wouldn’t say so, I just follow my inspiration that I get from many and various things: nature with plants, flowers, minerals, and art, architecture, expos….
Rivet: Why did you decide to launch in the U.S. now?
SJ: We made this decision because there seemed to be a demand there for our type of product. We indeed got approached by people on different occasions, resellers, agents. etc. The USA is a country with a big history with denim, and appeal for it. Which makes it a very interesting market for us.
Rivet: Who is the “typical” Façon Jacmin customer?
SJ: There is not one specific type of woman that I would describe as such but there are some common characteristics that emerge from our customers: The FJ woman is hungry for life!! Independent, who knows what she wants, curious…. I would describe her mindset as work hard, play hard.
Rivet: How has having your own store influenced the brand and the designs?
SJ: Definitely, having a shop creates a direct link and contact with customers; it’s very enriching. Having genuine and spontaneous feedback from our customers is a great opportunity. We find the balance between integrating the feedback and still staying true to ourselves and Alexandra’s inspirations.
Rivet: How does the brand address sustainability?
SJ: We choose mainly to work with organic denim and work with the best Italian and Japanese suppliers that respect our standards. We try to produce wisely and work with limited quantities. Furthermore, the choice of using denim itself [is sustainable] as it’s a resistant fabric that lasts for a lifetime and can even be passed on through generations as it gets even better with some age.
Rivet: What is next for the brand?
SJ: Many exciting things to come! Starting with big international growth, with selective range of stores, e.g., soon in one famous department store, to be revealed in Spring 2023. We’ll also soon launch our bags line. We’ll make sure to do so while sticking to our values of quality, playfulness and empowerment of women.