The iconic leather brand with a French subversive mindset. jitrois. explores the relationship between the skin, the leather and the digital. In the world of webcams, instant messaging and permanent connectivity the concept of a second skin has been applied to the entire virtual body - symbolising a renewal of interaction.
Jean-Claude Jitrois (born Jean-Claude Coste), grew up in Aix-en-Provence. He went on to become a mental health professional, a renowned author of books on psychomotricity and a university lecturer. In 2001, Jean-Claude Jitrois. was decorated as a chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur, later elevated to the rank of officier in 2012, for services to the fashion industry and the promotion of France abroad.
The abrupt move to fashion happened after Jean-Claude began exploring Jacob Moreno’s theory of therapeutic psychodrama. This theory was applied when treating children with learning difficulties, dressing them in hand-made costumes to help them feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Jean-Claude’s psychological background echoes across all aspects of creation at the house, adopting established psychological philosophies to aid the process of self-discovery and self-appreciation. A lifelong fascination that Jean-Claude had with his father’s aviator jacket developed the idea of a ‘‘second skin’’ - our clothes are a powerful tool to project identity and individuality.
The purpose behind the house is to allow the wearer to discover their own identity through the experience of a second skin - by granting freedom of expression. jitrois. is known globally as the brand who brought a leather Second Skin into the luxury sphere - the birthplace of Cuir Couture.
1970’s - Jean-Claude meets Stéphanie de Monaco and opens his first boutique in Nice in 1976.
1980’s - The house is established by dressing Brigitte Bardot, and by becoming the favourite designer of the principality of Monaco.
1990’s - The house revolutionises the fashion industry with the develop- ment of ‘stretch leather’, earning the brand its iconic status.
2000’s - The house takes ‘stretch leather’ a step further by developing stretch leather jeans; which could even be machine-washed and ironed.
jitrois. is famous for its collaborations with the highest quality of artists and creatives. This includes: Helmut Newton, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Karl Lagerfeld, Bettina Rheims, Rankin & Akillis. jitrois. also works with contemporary visual artists including Jonone, Peter Beard & Stanley Wong, alongside many young and up-coming names from the Paris / London / Berlin scene.
Recently jitrois. worked with Corpus Studio on a project that combines sculpture, technology and interior design, with the installation of a piece aptly named ‘The Twins’. The piece is described as a kinetic suspended mobile with a transposed floor-standing antimobilic twin. Its form works as an exploration of gravitational pull and the symbiotic relationship this causes - creating a expression to match such of yin and yang.
The Twins was intended to reflect, both physically and metaphorically, the spirit of the new jitrois. collection, which heralded a rebirth of the house. Its mirrors, in perpetual movement and rotation, accentuate the juxtaposing elements of the past and future.
jitrois. has a cult and loyal following of creative and talented figures from a variety of different spheres. From singers to socialites and television stars to writers jitrois. is loved by all. The house is famous for dressing icons such as Stephanie de Monaco, Elton John, Brigitte Nielsen, Liz Taylor, Dalida, Beyonce, Sharon Stone, Eva Green, Heidi Klum, Cara Delevingne, John Terry, Yoko Ono, Naomi Campbell, Courtney Cox, Carla Bruni, Monica Bellucci, Jennifer Lopez, Drogba, Nathalie Portman, Helen Mirren, Isabelle Hupert , Mary J Blidge, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson and many more.
Since the creation of the house, jitrois. has been a staple feature in fashion and art media. Collections have been highlighted on the covers and editorials of all the most successful magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and W. Additionally, it regularly graces the pages of more contemporary print and online publications such as Hunger, Behind the Blinds, AnOther and Self Service.
In the Age where life has been enhanced through social networks and the digital revolution - jitrois. has adapted and developed. jitrois. endeavours to retain its epnoymous image of high luxury but merged with subversive youth culture. Today the house creates powerful and confrontational pieces that programme a new path for desire, either physical or virtual; but, never conforming to social codes.
Quality and social responsibility is extremely important for jitrois. Thus, the house exclusively uses local craftsmen and materials to ensure the highest standards. The level of innovation that has been used to elevate the medium of leather to its couture status means that precise artisan skills are required. Products are designed in France, sourced in France and assembled in France. Lambskin is chosen because of its closeness to the softness of skin itself - to create a physical ‘second skin’. The leather is first submerged in a pool of dye to protect it - producing either matte or shining results. It is then treated to best suit it to everyday life and to give it the most luscious finish, whilst still retaining its natural grain.