Jacob defines his label: – “I am a sentimentalist (as opposed to a conceptualist) as so much that I love about fashion is rooted in the past. Conceptually I imagine my clothes to be fragments of memories. What I try to share with my
customers are my experiences of growing up in the kitchens of aunts who could cut perfect circle skirts, who created ‘Veronica Lakes’ with twisted brown paper, who could get the look just so. I envisage fashion through rose tinted glasses; I want to create dreams for my customers. It’s what I love doing and it’s what I am about.”
Jacob is inspired by celebrating difference, tradition and craftsmanship. He feels that these ideals are at the heart of British society and are ferociously at threat. This is where he found his fit as both an artist and a craftsman.
His idea of a modern romantic is seen from his point of view: It’s about the boy from the colonies that has come home to roost, the 21st Century noble savage obsessed with lace.
For the AW0910 Nocturnes collection, Jacob explored the theme of what an aristocratic exile living in London and caught up in hard times would wear. Inspired by the austere feel (in terms of mood and styling) of war-time London, he created a series of looks that would inspire women to be glamorous and to dress ingeniously in the face of hardship. Think Madame (Alix) Gres in her turbans and Ingrid Bergman in Hitchcock’s Spellbound.
This glamorous collection includes a series of stunning looks that every cultured, learned and knowing woman would desire, an inspirational and modern wardrobe of luxury staples
Who’s Jacob Kimmie
Jacob Kimmie was born in South Africa in 1973 to family whose roots are Dutch, German, French-Creole, Indonesian and English. In 1886, his great-grand mother, of Cape-Malay slave descent, was presented to and her portrait painted for Queen Victoria at the Colonial And Indian Exhibition at South Kensington.
Jacob was 11 years old when he made his first dress for a friend who had entered a beauty pageant. He crafted it from a fluorescent yellow plastic meat-packer’s suit that his father had bought him to wear for the two hour journeys to school during the stormy summer months. Aged 19, he was forced to abandon his fashion studies at the acclaimed Technikon Natal due to financial difficulties suffered as South Africa began its turbulent transition from Apartheid to democracy.
Determined to succeed and driven by the political climate at the time, he freelanced as an illustrator and trends writer for The Star newspaper. It was here that he directed shoots using news photographers from the paper and models scouted from the street to shoot fashion features. While living in Botswana near the Kalahari Desert he made clothes from bubblewrap and shower curtains purchased from the nearest hardware store two hours drive away and sold them to an underground rave boutique in Johannesburg. Collections were sold-out, often purchased by other designers.
In 1995, he was nominated by the Clothing Federation of South Africa (CLOFED) as the South African representative to an international clothing design conference held in Turkey at which Pearce Fionda won the new designer category.
In 1997, Jacob was 1st runner-up at the South African Fairlady Young Designer Awards, the first and only non-white male to ever do so. His collection, themed The Enchanted Garden, set the tone for Jacob Kimmie’s signature: a dedication to cut and the dying art of dressmaking.
Jacob Kimmie designed capsule collections made entirely in finished toiles, graded across seven sizes that were shown privately to customers and fitted and finished with couture-like service.