Jacques Smith: The King Of One-of-a-Kind Joker Couture
If you happen to live in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Berlin, London, Tokyo or Milan and you hang out in the underground fashion and music world, then you are probably familiar with Jacques Smith. A self proclaimed ‘traveling salesman of sorts’, Jacques has made a name for himself in not just one, but more than a handful of major metropolitan cities around the globe. We were lucky enough to catch Jacques in Los Angeles, after just arriving back from Art Basel. He is here to launch his new collection of “Jacquettes’ with the famed North Robertson boutique, H. Lorenzo. Along with answering a few questions for us, Jacques gave us access to some exclusive photos from a shoot he did with photographer Andre Herrero and models Morgan Palmer and Tamara Barkley last time he was in New York. See below for all the goods!
Photography: Andre Herrero @andreherrero
Models: Morgan Palmer @morgpalm
Tamara Barkley @tamarabarkley
Interview: Alexandra Mandelkorn @mandelkorn
In one sentence, tell us what you do.
A travelling salesman of sorts and curator of convivial situations, specializing in custom embroidered one-of-a-kind wearable art.
Where have you found some of your best vintage pieces?
Miami for colorful clothes, Berlin + Barcelona for accoutrements
Is there any one piece that stands out as being one of your favorites?
There’s this denim jacket that has been a part of my traveling uniform for quite some time now. It’s color is somewhere between seafoam and lime embellished with aztec inspired embroidery. There was a period of a few years when I wore it every time I stepped on a plane. This jacquette has been all over the world.
You’ve embroidered some pretty random — yet totally rad– things on your clothing. How do you choose what to put on each piece?
I like to create a distinct narrative for each item of clothing I create, it’s all in the details.
Who would be your dream designer/artist to collaborate with?
Jacques Smith isn’t just about the clothing — its really about the whole experience. What are all the different components that really create the full ‘Jacques Smith’ adventure?
The experience originates in a time and a place, an ephermeral moment that cannot be recreated. The various pop-ups I create act as catalysts for human interactions, transporting them into a different world, where we play an unexpected round of dress up. Each piece I create is made for someone special.
Speaking of adventures, you sure do get around! You’ve lived all over the world in some of the coolest cities on the planet, attending some the most exclusive places and events. And you manage to do it without breaking the bank. Can you give us some of ‘Jacques Smith’s Global Life-Hacks’? We won’t make you give away all your secrets, but tell us one awesome, underground trick, tip or a little-known, must visit spot for each city you’ve lived in:
Berlin: Hotel Michelberger is my favorite place to stay and hang in Friedrichshain. The staff and decor are wonderful, and its one of few places you can get a proper cocktail in the city. Also, its just steps away from Berghain, which is best attended on Sunday morning for ‘church’ as you’ll bypass any lines and increase your chances of getting in. Save money by “schwarzfahren” on the U-bahn, but bring a fake ID in case you get caught by the undercover BVG patrollers, as you won’t have to pay a fine.
Milano: Navigli on the weekend is my favorite place to be, with the flea market on the last sunday of each month, the streets along the canals are flooded with Milanese selling silk scarves, incredible eyewear, and vintage Moschino. Happy Hour in Milano is something not to miss, get yourself an Aperol Spritz and feast like a free-gan on buffets of antipasti, offered in most bars around the city gratis with purchase of a cocktail.
Miami: The Standard Spa + Pool. Enough said.
New York: For shopping, I walk down Broadway in Bushwick on the north side of the street from Myrtle -> Halsey. So many random shops packed with interesting things to dig through. For eating, I dine at Lucien in the East Village; always someone interesting and new to meet there.
Tokyo: My favorite place to stroll around in Tokyo is the Koenji neighborhood. It seems like a little village outside the chaos of Shibuya + Shinjuku, with its low rise buildings and winding streets littered with pachinko halls and toy shops. My must stop place is Kitakore, a collective of four independent designer shops, all custom one-of-a-kind pieces, with one of the spaces rotating with international designer pop-ups.
Los Angeles: Koreatown holds all the secrets. I don’t know what I would do without it.
Well, I guess we will have to start booking some travel! In the meantime, what’s coming up next for you?
This Thursday at H Lorenzo I’m releasing an exclusive 20-piece collection with performances by “The Jacquettes.” See invitation below and come hang out!