During the effervescent ‘80s, Sophie Renier and Paul Droulers created a character: Jack Gomme. “Jack” was inspired by a detective novel persona; “Gomme” was inspired by the gummy material that characterized the brand’s first collection. And thus the tone was set. Beyond the sense of whimsy and the distinctive materials, the brand is about spontaneity, the desire to create ergonomic objects and serious commitment to ethical means of production. Made in France and sold internationally, Jack Gomme bags radiate a discreet and functional charm. The brand dwells in a unique space, at the crossroads of fashion and design, all while remaining down to earth.
For twenty years, the Jack Gomme duo has been continually having fun. They have organized a fashion show where models were styled with giant bags, recycled plastic shopping baskets in order to reinvent them as laid-back chic, created a new “way of carrying” with the first kangaroo bags, and printed their monogram—a sketch of their two faces done by Marc Borgers—like a luxury label on the fabric of a collection that was a huge hit in Japan.
Jack Gomme’s strength comes from having the foresight to mix rigor with good humor, utility with style, function with beauty and volume with weightlessness. To wit: their “light” line of weightless-seeming cloth bags that are stored in pouches. Sophie and Paul are inspired by events in their own lives and brainstorm with joy. It is precisely in this way that they conceived of the kangaroo bag, when their daughter was born in 1996: a “hands-free” bag to be worn asymmetrically, facilitating the parents’ mobility while they’re carrying their kids.
Beyond the functional, both are passionately and boundlessly devoted to the creation of new materials. By maintaining close relationships with their suppliers, they seek out different transformation tests to emphasize the weightlessness, the finish, and elasticity of a fabric, beit coated cotton,net or canvas. Paul Drouler’s main purpose was to make the materials illustrate a graphic style.
Privileging an artisanal approach, quality, longevity and innovation, both with materials and design, the creative duo frequently pushes beyond the bag category to create other objects: the “in-out”, portable, light and adjustable cushion-mattress, shoes, a shoulder strap, a bottle holder...
Successful in Japan since it débuted there, and sold in the United States since 2000, Jack Gomme keeps its feet on the ground, its head on its shoulders and its hands busy in its Parisian atelier. Paul designs each prototype while Sophie manages the team and develops the collections. In 2011, Jack Gomme organized a huge fashion shoot in which 200 clients participated. In short, Jack Gomme has had the foresight to keep up the “irrepressible lust for life” that is so dear to them.