Jac + Jack’s signature minimal knitwear and cotton basics are by Sydney-born couple Jacqueline Hunt and Patrick Blue. Hunt designs womenswear, and Blue takes care of the men’s collection. The pair met in Sydney a decade ago when Hunt was designing womenswear for Marcs, and Blue was doing a work-experience stint there.
Ten years later, with seven stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Hunt and Blue are now based in LA, where they’ve just put the finishing touches on their first US studio. Today the label launched its first sneaker collaboration – a shoe with an extra-thick sole and cherry-red shoelaces – with Parisian label Spring Court.
Back in Sydney for a visit, Broadsheet takes a tour of Hunt and Blue’s Sydney studio where the couple shares their wardrobe essentials, unpacks their personal style and reveals what’s inside their suitcases.
Broadsheet: How would you describe your personal style?
Jacqueline Hunt: Monochrome, tailored, pared back and covered. I like to wear clothes that are well-made – usually tailored trousers and a clean luxe sweater in either cashmere or superfine merino, with a light trench over the top and a pair of trainers. I am usually dressed in one colour palette, which is mostly neutral or dark navy – my favourite colour. In summer I wear tailored yet easy dresses a lot, and I love to spontaneously throw in bright colours like red, acid yellow and zest orange.
Patrick Blue: My look is chav-inspired with lots of black and white. I like clothes that are pretty down to earth, but have an element of style to them without being too contrived. I’m usually in a pair of Dickies cotton-drill trousers or a cotton-cashmere sweater. If I’m doing white trousers then it’s black on top, and if I am doing black trousers it’s white on top. I’m always in Nike TNs in black, too. I love a gold Franco chain also.
BS: What is your most recent fashion purchase?
JH: Versace two-chain sneakers. They are ridiculous and over the top but they make me feel happy.
PB: A Rimowa carry-on case in stealth matte black. This feels like a fashion purchase.
BS: How do you get dressed in the morning?
JH: Usually I’m in a great hurry because we always feel like we’re running late even though we have a pretty regimented schedule.
BS: What's your first order of business in the morning in LA?
JH: Stretching for at least 10 minutes while watching music videos on TV. Then it’s Pilates or a hike and home for a shower and something tasty to eat – we gave up drinking coffee regularly when we moved to LA. We like to start the morning slow because we work quite long hours and it’s a chance to set the mind and body for the day ahead.
BS: What does an average day look like for you?
JH: Most mornings are dedicated to some form of exercise, and then it’s straight to the office for a solid stint that takes us till 2.30pm. This is always creative and quiet time used to work on collections and ideas. We are fairly disciplined in our approach because time can go very quickly. It’s sometimes productive and other times a bit so-so, but that’s all part of the creative process. We break for a quick lunch before returning for more of the admin side of the day. We plan meetings and factory or fabric appointments, do calls and emails and generally get stuff done. We then have an hour between 6pm and 7pm where we can get back on some fun stuff: planning shoots, arranging the showroom, reviewing yarns or fabrics – it’s a winding-down period. We do a lot of driving in LA so we leave around 7.30pm and often catch dinner or a movie on the way home, depending on the mood. We arrive home late and spend separate time pottering about before bed. Pat likes to multi-device and I like to review the football results, read or rearrange things.
BS: You travel between LA, Sydney and Europe often. What are your travel essentials?
JH: Everything has to be soft, easy and natural. I pack cotton T-shirts, a fine cashmere cardigan, one or two pairs of tailored trousers, one pair of shoes, lots of dresses because they’re a one-piece solution, and a super-lightweight multipurpose trench. In my carry-on you’ll find a fine-cashmere shawl, tiger balm for pressure points and a good book.
PB: I bring my own headphones and a good rolling carry-on because I don’t check in luggage anymore.
BS: Where is your favourite location to visit or work?
JH: Visit … any Greek island that we’ve never heard the name of. And work would be Milan. We buy a lot of our fabric and yarns there and work with some amazing people. It’s inspiring on many levels and if you explore greater Milan it has many sides to it – it’s not all what it seems.
BS: When did you first realise you wanted a career in fashion?
JH: At eight years old. I converted one of our garden sheds into a boutique. I had racks and a window display and the contents of my dress-up box doubled as stock … everything arranged just so. I had one customer a day, my mum, who always bothered to “browse” and then make purchases. I used to love ringing up my toy till and wrapping the clothing perfectly.
BS: Which Australian fashion designers are on your radar at the moment?
JH: Discount Universe – I love that they do their own thing and the clothes are unique and fun. I also really love Bianca Spender’s pared back elegant dresses, which aren’t too fussy. They’re very sleek and cool.
BS: What are you working on next?
JH: We are deep into a new digital strategy, which is really fun and exciting and starting our inspiration and concepts for our new Spring Court collection. We are looking at Memphis Milan as inspiration because we want to keep things happy, delightful and upbeat.
BS: What should you avoid in LA?
JH: Take the alternate route offered by the GPS because you will see a much more scenic and inspired view of LA and can avoid the traffic.