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Image courtesy Rajni Jacques
Interview

Rajni Jacques

02.12.16

As New York Fashion Week hits full stride we thought it best to feature one of most authentic voices in the industry. Her vast range of experience began as an intern at Fader magazine post-Rutgers graduation and in no time Jacques had made a name for herself with her compelling writing and charming personal style (a flannel tied around her waist is a signature look for her). Having met Jacques during my PR days, I can personally attest to her kind and warm demeanor in a sea of let’s say, interesting personalities. She responds directly and timely to emails and despite a hectic schedule always follows through on her commitments. No wonder her work is a mainstay in a fickle industry as she has jumped from title to title among the most elite books. In addition to her work as a creative director, she is currently Editor at Large at Racked.com.

Interview

What’s an average day like for you?

Everyday is different, which is exactly what I love about my jobs. Since I am essentially a consultant it’s nice having different projects to sink my teeth in. Whether I’m on a shoot doing creative direction or in the office conjuring up fashion stories or the market, the great thing about it all is that I’m doing what I love. So an average day is not so average.

Can you describe your current Editor at Large role at Racked?

As the E-A-L of Racked.com, I do a lot of different things, but the main thing is that I come up with all the fashion editorial stories that go on the site, from fashion editorials to style profiles. I do everything from creative direction to working with photographers and stylists to create a vision to casting talent to showcase on the site to churning out our daily trend reports to going out to see what’s in the market. Curating is part of my job at Racked so I do a lot of it and for the visuals you see on the site.

Are you working on anything you can tell us about at the moment?

I’m always working on a thousand things. Right now, outside of fashion, I’m working on finishing my series of paintings. I love fashion for sure, but it’s not my first love in the sense that “I love clothes.” I love anything creative from photography to any type of art, but my passion is painting. Whenever I get a chance to paint I feel at my best. And right now, it’s all about finishing my series so that I can actually show the work.

In your opinion, what has been your most impactful contribution to the industry (the world) to this point?

Adding diversity to a not so diverse industry. Fashion looks and is a certain kind of way, and because I am a part of it, and I am good at what I do, I bring a different perspective to it. But I’m not the only one, there are many like me, the minority, that are being seen and getting heard. Why? Because we know we have a lot to offer. The diversity issue is something that will be an ongoing conversation, but I am very glad I am there to be part of the conversation and help get more women and men of color in the mix.

What do you love about fashion?

I love the stories behind the clothing. I love the ideas that are floated around when working with a group of creative individuals. Many people think it’s easy to create an image, but there is so much work that goes into conjuring up an idea that can/will be devoured by people that see that particular image. For me, the best thing about fashion is the process of creating.

Do you believe fashion brings people together or is more divisive than we like to admit?

Fashion can do both. After going to a show you can spark up a conversation with practically anyone about what you just saw—if you liked it or not, etc. And among your group of friends, fashion can become one of the things that bond you—discussing your personal styles and what makes them similar of different. But, it can also be the thing that sets you apart from others in a way that’s not so inclusive. Fashion does have a habit of creating groups and classes — who can shop there or buy that and who can’t. But it’s up to the individual to remember that fashion is not everything, it’s an extension of ourselves but it should not be a priority to a point where you are dumbly consumed.

Can you recall a beloved fashion moment or memory you will not soon forget?

Honestly, as corny as it sounds, just hanging with friends during those weeks and indulging in fashion. That’s what I take from all of it.

Fashion week has just began – who are you looking forward to seeing?

I mean there are the usual suspects: Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, etc, but I also really want to get in and see all those designers that have buzz but are waiting to really breakthrough.

Do you have any trend predictions based on the couture shows we just saw?

Nothing has stuck with me as of yet, but ask me this question in about a week and I’ll be saying something completely different.

Tell us about your personal style – favorite designers? Places to shop?

I’m pretty simple and love the uniform of a t-shirt and jeans. I’m a denim lover. Some of my favorites are Levis, Re/done, MiH, Zara, and ASOS. But I love culling vintage shops to find some old-school jeans like Jordache and Guess. But when I get dressed up, I get dressed up. I’m not a big shopper. When I know what I want,  I just go out  and buy it. As for places I like to shop, Net-a-Porter to our fave mass retailers to boutique shops like Sincerely Tommy in my neighborhood of Bed Stuy Brooklyn.

Who do you admire in the industry?

There are too many women to name, but I admire those who bring about change as well as make fashion fun and easy to digest…in a smart way.

   

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