The fashion industry is a creative playground for young talents everywhere and it can take years for even the most brilliant minds to enter the scene. But these days, social media can give a boost so that creatives can reach wider audiences, faster. Simon Porte Jacquemus is one of these rising designers who utilises the power of social media and personal branding. His designs have attracted a cult following, including an impressive clientele of Hollywood stars like Dua Lipa, Solange, Beyoncé and Rihanna. Beyond the talented designer’s passion for fashion, Jacquemus is also making himself known as a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ visibility through his Instagram. He recently shared a screenshot of one user’s homophobic comment, which read, “I used to want your bag” with a vomit emoji next to it. The French designer cleverly clapped back and replied, “my bag don’t want you”, adding a note to shut down the troll once and for all: “If you know how many gay[s] are working at Jacquemus. We don’t want you as an homophobic potential clients.” So, what else do we know about the French self-taught fashion rebel? Did Reese Witherspoon’s daughter Ava Phillippe come out as LGBT? His late mother is his eternal inspiration At the age of 19, Jacquemus lost his beloved mother, Valérie, to a car crash when he was in Paris studying at the prestigious École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode. After the tragedy, he decided to launch his eponymous label a year later in 2009 using his mother’s maiden name – Jacquemus. Celebrating his 10 year anniversary in 2019, he shared a special picture on Instagram of him as a boy being held by his mother and wrote, “When I lost my mother, more than 10 years ago I decided to launch my brand with her name: Jacquemus. To speak about her and [the] women who inspired me. She gave me force and a big smile. Thank you forever.” During his career’s early years, the French designer juggled launching his own brand and working for Comme des Garçons while he earned support from the legendary Rei Kawakubo herself. He made his big debut at Paris Fashion Week in 2012. Now, his brand is carried by Selfridges, Moda Operandi and Net-a-Porter and he has expanded his collection to span shoes, handbags and menswear. He call his designs “naive, raw and smiley” From a young age, Jacquemus was always interested in costume design paired with a bright, cheerful disposition. “He was a special child, always happy and smiling, dancing or dressing himself up, always with an obsession for costume,” said his grandmother in an interview with Vogue Arabia . ‘I was a binge-eater’ – inside LGBT icon Jazz Jennings’ weight journey And that upbringing clearly reflects in his collections, which he has once described to WWD as “naive, raw and smiley”. Whether it’s through geometric designs, experimental make-up or show venues (from a game arcade to swimming pool), there’s a deep-rooted French nuance and childlike expression in his work. “All around me while I was growing up, everyone was trying to be American, wearing caps and listening to hip-hop,” he said in the Vogue Arabia interview. “I wanted to be like Serge Gainsbourg.” He started the mini-bag trend and is an Instagram phenomenon Jacquemus knows that quirky visuals are a key success factor to stand out on Instagram. He has accumulated over 4.2 million followers, including the likes of Sonam Kapoor, Naomi Campbell, Ariana Grande and Zendaya , among other big names. His celebrity followers not only love his clothing designs, but also his accessories that range from giant straw hats (La Bomba) to teeny tiny bags (Le Chiquito). He recently released regular sized bags, while his straw hats were sold out four times. “If it’s cute on Instagram, it will sell,” he told W Magazine . “That’s just the world we live in.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by CITRON (@citronparis) In 2019, he also opened a citrus-themed cafe named Citron at the new Champs-Élysées outpost of Galeries Lafayette. He designed the menu, decor and uniforms. Needless to say, this also became a social media hit. “What I do is storytelling,” he told W Magazine . “I want to create a lifestyle.” He celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and inclusivity The 32-year-old fashion designer is a proud gay man and openly showcases the importance of LGBTQ+ visibility. He also regularly features the community in his campaigns. For example, his 2021 spring-summer campaign launched during Pride Month and celebrated LGBTQ+ couples. View this post on Instagram A post shared by JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) He is also a big advocate of inclusivity of all forms, from diverse races to body types and ages. Earlier this month, he spotlighted Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny to front his “Le Splash” collection. In the Instagram post, the singer dons a gender-bending look comprising of a pink strappy dress and a pair of blue sandals. Meet Prateik Babbar, the Bollywood hottie leading Netflix’s Cobalt Blue He is unpretentious and a great role model After posting one user’s homophobic comment on a picture that showed him sharing a tender kiss with his husband Marco Maestri, Jacquemus further explained on his Instagram story. “I’m happy we are having somehow this painful conversation. I grew up [without] gay couple [role models] and I know how is important to be one of the [examples] for the young kids out there.” He ended with, “You are beautiful, never forget that.” The French designer is no stranger to sharing his personal life with husband Marco who he married in June 2021. (They shared an adorable picture of their engagement, of course.) Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .