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Fashion

Designer Diaries: Sleeping with Jacques is the whimsical Australian brand perfecting pared-back partywear

In our new monthly series, Designer Diaries, digital fashion writer Naomi May chats to the faces behind some of fashion’s buzziest brands to pick their brains on the future of fashion and what an average day looks like for them.   

In the pantheon of partywear brands, there is hardly a shortage of high-octane velour for disco dancing vixens, nor is there a drought of luxe lace to take an outfit from zero to 100.

But the realm of partywear is decidedly short on brands that on is brands that bridge the gap between daytime and nighttime; brands that craft clothes that are designed to be worn come rain or shine, during the day and the disco. One such brand making it its mission to bridge the gap is Australian label Sleeping with Jacques.

While not explicitly a partywear brand, its pieces hit the sweet spot between cool comfort and high-end fashion, with the chameleon-like ability to flit between the two. Essentially, whatever you need Sleeping with Jacques’ pieces to work for, they will adapt to.  

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Its founder, Melbourne native Jacqui Hoang, is the brains behind the business. “I first designed a sleepwear/lingerie collection that felt luxe to lounge in at home all day, which could then seamlessly transition into streetwear to whatever event you needed to attend,” Hoang tells Stylist. “The result is Sleeping with Jacques, which I hope is a timeless collection of pieces that are sophisticated, simple and sensual.”

Indeed, any brand that masters the holy trifecta of sartorial requirements for the modern-day person is one destined for big things. We caught up with Hoang to find out a little bit more about her process, what inspires her and what we can expect next from the coolest brand around. Here are her Designer Diaries.

Jacqui Hoang, the founder of Sleeping with Jacques
Jacqui Hoang, the founder of Sleeping with Jacques

What does an average day look like for you?

I wake up at 6am and take a sunrise walk in nature to sync with my circadian rhythm; I absolutely love the smell of brisk fresh air on my face to wake me up. Then I have a hot and cold morning shower (I’m building up to the Wim Hof method), which is followed by breakfast and a boogie in the kitchen with my 8-year-old son (which classifies as my cardio).

After that, I head into the studio. No two days are the same; one day I’ll be on a shoot, the next at fittings or crunching numbers, anything. I head home from work at around 6pm, where I’ll take a trip to the organic market to get fresh produce to make supper. My bath time ritual comprises of magnesium and Himalayan salts and some Ram Dass music, after which I like to curl up in bed with a book – currently, I’m reading Woman Code, which is recommended reading for all women. 

Do you have any daily rituals that get your creative juices flowing?

I believe in a daily healthy dose of hedonism, which I define as an act of honouring the arts. When I take that time to indulge and take my pleasures seriously in simple acts like having a hot relaxing bath, or a naked boogie around my bedroom to my favourite current playlist, or an earl grey tea whilst looking through some of my beautiful photography books, or indulging in cake while watching some art house films, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and that inspires my creativity.  

What was your journey into fashion?

I started sourcing designer vintage while travelling the world and then collecting and reselling it online. That experience really cultivated my appreciation for timeless style, so after having my son I decided to start my own label that I felt was missing in the market for the time-poor woman, which is when Sleeping with Jacques was born.

Sleeping with Jacques
Sleeping with Jacques

Did you have any fears about starting your own brand?

Honestly, I am known to be that person that always throws them-self into the deep end first and thinks later. My fear kicks in afterwards when I question myself (“What did I just do?”). It is generally after a collection where I feel most vulnerable and that never gets easier; but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My life feels full when I am learning, growing and rising up to the challenge of whatever life presents to me. I believe wherever there is fear there is the most potential for growth.  

Let’s say you’re prepping for a new piece – what’s the first step on your journey of designing it?

My first step is always the colourways. So recently I went to a funeral and after seeing the sea of black it deterred me from wanting to wear black again, which I am renowned for – I am always wearing black. Now I am loving wearing colour and it has inspired my spring/summer 2022 collection, which uses bright colours incorporating colour therapy (which is the science of how colour affects our emotions.)

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Reading and learning. As soon as I learn something new it gets me excited and inspired; I get turned on by mental stimulation. I have an endless pile of ‘to read’ books all around my home. Music, French art house films and inspirational women are also sources of inspiration as well as acknowledging the current zeitgeist to create something relevant to the times. 

Sleeping with Jacques
Sleeping with Jacques

Fashion is a saturated industry – how do you cut through the noise?

There is purpose behind everything I do; there’s a story and a reason. Fashion just so happens to be my expression. Sleeping with Jacques offers a holistic option among the choices that are available in the fashion industry. Our foundation was built upon what is kind to the environment, how we give back to our community and what will make our customer feel good – not just. This is the DNA of the brand that makes it more than just another fashion label.  

If you could go back in time and give your younger self a piece of advice – what would it be?

I would say that there are no mistakes, only lessons. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion. See the world as a playground for experience and growth. Fear is a time waster; choose courage and love always because it will rock your world. Drink lots of water and eat well. Take your pleasure seriously. Master the art of authenticity in how you feel, the truth you speak and how you show up as you. You be your boo, as that is your superpower.

What does the future for Sleeping with Jacques hold?

Building a community to create conversations on intimate bedroom topics that in turn celebrates and connects with those individuals who are creating positive changes in the world. Sharing stories of people chasing their dreams to find their way and their wisdom keeps both myself and my customers continually engaged. 

Shop Sleeping with Jacques here.

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Images: courtesy of Sleeping with Jacques.