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Taking Fashion To New Heights with Jacqui Emmanuel

After matriculating in 2003 with outstanding results Jacqui Emmanuel set her sights to the skies and pursued her studies in aviation and navigation.

It wan’t long though until she realised that her creative passions soared in the area of fashion design. After trading her aviators for a pair of scisssors, Jacqui completed her Diploma in Fashion Design and degree in Men’s Tailoring. And this is when she began to truly soar, Jacqui went on to win numerous fashion awards and has had showcases at some of the country’s most prestigious fashion events, Vodacom Durban July 2012, Rising Sun Golden Circle Raceday, SAFW Spring/Summer 2013, SAFW Autumn/Winter 2014 Buyers lounge, Durban Fashion Fair 2012/2013 and the list goes one.

Jacqui is the complete package in the world of fashion design and has even had a stint in her early days as an illustrator for Nita Ashley, a local designer. Jacqui completed at internship with Holmes Brothers in 2007. But the sky is clearly the limit for the exciting talent, in 2013 Jacqui was the only South African designer to represent the country at the prestigious Africa Fashion Reception for World Fashion Week in Paris. From here, launching her own label, was the only next logical step,so after a short time spent with Edcon as a buyer in the Free2BU collection, JSE Couture was unveiled to the public at Durban Fashion Fair.

Clearly, it was just a matter of time before the creativity and special brand that is JSE Couture would gain international attention and so it was that Jacqui soon found herself ‘leaving on a jetplane’ to the fashion capital of the world, Milan. “Milan is probably every dream destination for any designer , it inspired me , helped me to understand quality standards and design specs on an international level as well as trends for forthcoming seasons, my internship in Milan was wonderful , I think us South Africans have a lot to offer Europe.”

Jacqui also completed the groundbreaking initiative by the KZN Fashion Council ’21 Steps to Retail’ which has enabled her to channel her creative genius into more than just a brand but a business specialising in alternative luxury wear.


Description: Bold yet feminine, with unconventional use of fabric, colour and texture combined with an eye for detail and impeccable craftsmanship. From couture inspired evening gowns to Ready To Wear collections to that most prized item in every girls dream, the wedding gown, Jacqui brings the same passion, creativity and chic sophistication to every piece that she designs.

Jacqui is consantly researching trends and finding new inspiration to keep her at the cutting edge of the industry.

I have had the pleasure of meeting the exciting design wizard and not only is her creative genius plainly visible but her love for the industry is just as obvious. I believe we should do what we love so we never work a day in our lives , fashion makes me happy

She has a lot on her plate but still has time for a project close to her heart, creating and nurturing yound design talent. She plans on starting a crash course on design for aspiring designers but also a 2 week internship programme to help young designers develop, grow and understand the responsibilities of the industry. “Fashion isn’t just about glitz and glamour , it’s a business.”

Jacqui’s love for the industry is evident and the constant ever evolving cycle that nothing stays the same is a driving force behind her groundbreaking designs. She especially loves that fashion can be a conduit for the communication of art and emotion, much like musicians express their emotion through song or writers through their books, Jacqui’s adorns our bodies and translates into such beauty that it sashays with every step we take when graced with a JSE Couture piece.


1. Describe a typical day in the life of Jacqui Emmanuel

up at 5, pray, gym, brekkie and some Cartoon Network , a day at the studio , or fabric shopping , consulting with clients , on the go meals , gym , dinner with mom and then social media and time to turn in after prayer and a good read.

2. Describe yourself in three words?

simple ,honest , unicorn

3. What fashion item, in your opinion, should a girl never be without?

A pair of comfortable denims , a simple black cocktail dress, a pair of nude heels

4. Your favourite colour at the moment?


5. When and where can we expect to see a JSE Couture store?

the boutique is at 88 golden poppy crescent , Durban , however the flagship store will be opened in 2015, watch this space

6. Describe your ideal client?

ideal client would be someone who doesn’t bring a picture with her but rather says what do u think would look good on me. We are designers not screwdrivers after all.

7. Three point fashion advice for the festive season?

festive season is always hot: keep ur outfits simple and less bling is more please. Do something different with your nails or hair , nothing says festive better than a little creativity. Dress for comfort and don’t forget your shades and sunblock, Opt for a natural or Eco friendly New Year’s Day piece so u can start 2015 being a humanitarian and consciously helping the world become a better place

8. Do you have a fashion icon/muse? If so, who would it be?

Icon – Alexander McQueen

9. What fabric do you especially love working with?

I love working with lace ,the intricacy the time put to make it makes me want to perfect every seam


Apple or Android Apple

Coffee or Tea Coffee

Movies or Theatre Theatre

What do you do to relax Art

Favourite meal Dessert, every dessert

Do you cook? if so, what is your specialty?

Only if forced to, options are limited to noodles or pasta

What book are you reading at the moment

The Tao of Poo by Benjamin Hoff

A Jacqui Emmanuel creation Designer : Jacqui Emmanuel Designer : Jacqui Emmanuel Designer : Jacqui Emmanuel Designer : Jacqui Emmanuel

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