Jac + Jack began in Sydney in 2004 when founders Jacqueline 'Jac' Hunt and Lisa 'Jack' Dempsey discovered the need for quality, elevated basics. Over the years, their brand has evolved to offer everything one needs to create a seasonless, modern wardrobe, defined by style and ease. From the very beginning, they've placed a strong emphasis on responsible design practices and processes that have since become core values for everything they do, not only in their product and supply chain, but also in their people and partnerships.
We spoke with one-half of Jac + Jack, Jacqueline 'Jac' Hunt, about sustainability within the business, how she dresses for all the hidden joys in clothing and what we can expect from the brand's newest Winter collection.
Firstly, thank you so much for chatting with us.
Can you tell us a little bit about what led you on the journey to begin Jac + Jack?
At the time we started Jac + Jack there wasn’t any brand in the market that really solved the gap of elevated, good-quality basics. At the time, in 2005 — our first year of product launch, it was all about designer brands and embellishment, we felt we wanted to bring premium raw materials to life in simple, minimal, and wearable pieces that were seasonless and lasting. We didn’t want a big branding statement; we wanted our pieces to stand alone and speak quietly for themselves.
How has the brand evolved over the years?
Our brand today is a very honed version of our core values and our mission which has not changed from when we started. We have added more categories, so we are now very wardrobe-focused. We like to say, we are a brand that creates a modern wardrobe defined by style and ease. We are very proud of who we are, the integrity of our clothes and our incredible partnerships which we simply would not have the brand we have without. It’s a collaboration.
Jac + Jack approaches sustainability as a design challenge, one that's an evolving process, rather than an endpoint. You favour responsible design choices with the goal of having a positive environmental impact. Can you tell us about this journey so far, starting with your Organic Tees capsule, and where you think this will take the business into the future?
Responsible design is something we have done from the beginning; we just didn’t know we were doing it — it didn’t have a name back then. It now needs a lot more consideration, communication and strategy and we are absolutely committed to that; we have dedicated resources and we work with experts externally to help us navigate and do better generally, it’s a process and one we love as it is a core value and very much what our brand is about. Not only in the product and our supply chain but right through our business, our people, and partnerships to do better for the planet.
How would you describe your creative process?
Our creative process always starts with reflection — what we have done well, where are the learnings, what we want to achieve, what are the design problems we want to solve. We tend to storyboard a lot and we really try and connect to our customer; they are the heart of our business. We then look at raw materials and we spend a lot of time sourcing and developing, we love giving our customers value; not only in bang for buck but in bringing something beautiful to them. I work a lot with colour — it is one of my loves. We then spend a lot of time sketching and we work as a team. The design team includes myself, our creative director who leads menswear, and we have an assistant designer who worked in our stores for many years. We also have a technical person who helps us really refine our vision.
What is your approach to everyday dressing? Do you have any pieces you gravitate towards regularly?
I would describe my everyday style as modern classic; I love beautifully-made, well-proportioned clothes that have a modern vibe. I love natural fibres like cottons, cashmere silk and wool. I usually wear neutrals, black, dark navy and white; lots of white. I love shirts and beautiful knits, my favourite being a Layton Sweater we make in Italy, usually back with a simple wool pant or long slim skirt. I also like to tie sweater around my waist and sling them over my shoulders. I like to be well dressed but very minimal. It’s almost like I dress for all the hidden joys, enjoying the cut and the feel of the fabric.
What does a typical day in the Jac + Jack office look like?
No typical day at the J + J office, we have a loose structure but we find that with the creative team we have a bit of a free flow style, it keeps things interesting and we like to just work together at our own pace, it’s probably how I like to work ultimately but everyone else seems to enjoy it.
We're so excited to have just launched Jac + Jack's latest Winter collection in store and online. Can you tell us a little bit about the collection?
The new collection is dressier than we have been which I am very much enjoying and we feel our customers are ready for, it’s more elevated and we have introduced some new amazing fabrics and yarns to give it real polish, still very modern, wearable and the quality and fit is there- but I think a lot of the new range is multi occasion which feels great because you get value and longevity. We have pared-back our proportions to elongated and column-like, lean shapes with a play on proportions. Both the mens and womens have that more elevated vibe and our fabrics and colours this season are super sophisticated and nuanced. So far, we have had a great reaction to it.
Shop the latest Winter Collection by Jac + Jack here.