The Fashion Features Editor: Rajni Jacques

January 28, 2012

My dream date with Rajni:
She lets me raid her closet for shoes, shades and more shoes. We will go shopping for great art and fashion. She will tell me more about her family and Haitian dreams over a bowl of homemade Couscous and Cajun Spiced Talapia… And the very best part of our date, we will travel back in time just so I can squeeze this gorgeous little sassy face!

 

where are you from?
Manalapan, New Jersey

what do you do?
Fashion Features Editor

how did you get into fashion?
Actually by accident. When I was in college my friend did a magazine internship. I didn’t have one lined up so I just followed her lead, and it swirled from there.

what is a typical day at work like?
Everyday is different. One day I could be out on market appointments looking at the season’s collections or scouring for new designers. And the next I could be editing copy, writing, working with the photo department to cast models and book stylist for my pages. It’s a bit schizophrenic, and I like it.

what were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I had just graduated college and moved to Paris. Before I left, I wasn’t exactly sure about what I wanted to do. At first I thought I could go to law school, but as I started getting closer to that (studying for the LSAT, taking the LSAT, and applying), I knew that I wanted to do something more creative. What that was at the time, I had no idea. Hence, moving to Paris and being a waitress.

you are spending an evening with your favorite fashion icons. who are they and what will you do?
Carine Roitfeld: She’s flawless. Her style is a combination of regal and badass. I want her to take me shopping in Paris then we would get on a plane (or jet) and fly to Japan for round two of our shopping spree. Michele Bennett Duvalier: She’s a bit controversial and use to be the wife of Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. Her style was impeccable (she wore Dior and Yves Saint Laurent) and she was absolutely beautiful—no one could deny that. But all her wealth was at the expense of the Haitian people. So I would like to take her back to Haiti (she was exiled from the country) to see it first hand. Not in a “welcome-back” way, but in a “look what you missed out on and look what you played a hand at doing” way. Then I would ask her if she still had some of those pieces left, and make her give them to me.

a ball is being held in your honor. who is designing your gown, shoes and doing hair and make-up?
Wow…. what did I do to deserve this ball? Makeup would be Pat McGrath. She’s an artist and does flawless makeup—it’s natural yet striking. Hair, I would need to go on some trials… I’m very particular with my follicles (haha). Shoes, definitely a custom made Louboutin. And the dress, this is what I would do: I would have Nicolas Ghesquiere of Balenciaga, Peter Copping of Nina Ricci and Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen enter a “Make Rajni’s Dress” contest and whoever had the best sketch wins!

good question, what did you do to deserve the ball?
In my dreams… I built a school in Haiti that teaches kindergarten to high school and grooms young boys and girls for college—in Haiti or outside the country. There is so much illiteracy in Haiti, and I would love to be a part of the movement that turns that around because there it so much potential. I look at my parents and know it can be done.

top three fashion tips?
1. If you find a piece that you love, buy it in every color.
2. Know what items fit your silhouette perfectly. Also, tailor everything to fit you.
3. Never wear looks that are straight off the runway. Be creative and inject your own style into the ensemble.

what is your most delicious kitchen creation?
Couscous and Cajun spiced Talapia. It’s so quick and easy, but tastes like I slaved away in the kitchen for hours.

what are you favorite online shops?
Asos.com and Madewell.com

what books inspire you?
Well edited books that have to do with my parents home country of Haiti. I just purchased a new tome called “Haiti” Through the eyes of Stefano Guindani. There’s just something about all the photos—you see the hopeful spirit of the people in a snap. Sounds super corny, but it’s so true. Also, any books about the Harlem Renaissance. Check out “Harlem Views/Diasporan Visions: The Harlem Renaissance Photographers” at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

what do you collect?
Shoes, Books, Vintage Sunglasses, Art, and Antique Furniture