Meet the Maker: Justine Clenquet

At the mere age of eighteen, Justine Clenquet created her eponym brand that's an all-French affair. We chatted to Justine about how she started, what keeps her inspired and what she loves about creating jewellery.

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Justine Clenquet

What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?

I launched my brand at 18 when I was student in fashion school in Paris. I quickly knew I wanted create fashion accessories and more particularly jewelry.

How would you describe your brand in 3 words?

Underground, 1980’s, 1990’s. 

 

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Justine Clenquet Lux Earrings | Justine Clenquet Kirsten Bracelet 

 

What inspires your collections, aesthetic and how do you keep it relevant?

I try to create a story for each collection. I have a permanent collection which symbolises the state of mind of the brand and is a reinterpretation of punk pieces with a mix between elegance, masculine/feminine. I’m passionate about cinema and music so there is a lot of references to those in each collection.

Is there one item or perhaps a collection in particular that is your all-time favourite?

I think it might be my 'Fade to Grey' collection because this it was the first time I mixed masculine chains with Swarovski crystals. I like the contrast and love to create pieces with strong personality. All of the pieces from my 'Fade to Grey' collection are now part of the permanent collection.

 

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Justine Clenquet Lux Earrings

 

What is something not that many people know about you or your brand?

We are a little team and we work in Lille in the north of France.

 

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Justine Clenquet Patti Choker | Justine Clenquet Tatum Earrings 

 

How do you go about designing?

I don’t really like drawing but I love to find and play with different kids of materials so this is where I usually begin when starting a new collection.

 

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What has been the absolute highlight of your career so far?

It would have to be when Opening Ceremony contact me to sell my pieces. I think this is when my brand started to be recognised internationally. 


How would you describe the Justine Clenquet customer?

I have both female and male customers. I’m so happy to have a wide customer base, it means that people who love fashion wear our pieces but also more people with more classic style. We have had the chance to create a large selection pieces from more classic and easy to wear or strong pieces for people who love fashion pieces.

 

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Justine Clenquet Kirsten Necklace


If you were to describe your own style, what would it be and what couldn’t you live without?

I love to wear vintage pieces from designer like Jean Paul Gaultier or Kenzo but also some 80’s-90’s pieces I found in flea market or vintage store.

 

Where abouts are you based and what are some of your must-go places or hidden gems there?

I'm based in Lille, about 2 hours from Paris. I love to live in Lille because it's a small city but isn't too far from some cities I love like Brussels, London or Anvers. 

 

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Lille, France | Image via French Girl in Seattle

 

Where is your favourite destination of all time and why?

I discovered Japan a few years ago and I completely felt in love with the country. I visited Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. I love the state of mind of Japanese people, I love so much how they manage their fashion stores everything it’s so clean with a very good presentation. And I also love their food.


You’ve already achieved so much, what’s next for you?

I would love to open the first Justine Clenquet store in Japan!

 

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Justine Clenquet Reese Bracelet | Justine Clenquet Kim Earrings

 

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