Fashion Magazine

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQET

By Attireclub @attireclub

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQETJacques Flynn is the founder of JAQET, a brand dedicated to offering the men of the world a sophisticated, tailored, 100% handmade wallet. Jacques was born in Paris, France, but moved to the United States with his family when he was only three years old. Being passionate with automobiles and design, he attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he received a degree in transportation design. After he graduated, Jacques accepted a full time job at Mazda's Los Angeles based design studio, where he currently works. At Mazda, Jacques coordinated and worked on many projects, including for the 2008 Mazda Kaan, which won the 2008 Los Angeles Design Challenge.

Jacques has also led the 2016 MX5 Speedster Concept, which is a car described by Mazda as a "vastly different take on the fourth-generation MX-5, ", for which the designers "wanted to see what they could do if that idea was taken to the extreme." The outcome was unveiled at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Always open to new design disciplines, Jacques discovered that there was a lack of well designed and well-crafted wallets on the market. And this is how JAQET appeared. All the JAQET products, which now range from wallets and iPad portfolios to belts and other leather products are dyed, cut, stitched and branded by hand in California. The JAQET pieces are made from the highest quality full grain leather and are designed to be the sartorial equivalent of a great car: timeless in design, strong and elegant.

In this Attire Club interview, originally published in the InCompany magazine, Jacques shares his thoughts on design, cars, career and more!

Attire Club: Given that you work at Mazda and run JAQET in parallel, how would you say do car design and accessories design intersect? How do you translate elements of car design into accessories design and vice versa?

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQET
Jacques Flynn: When designing anything, I always try and express the purest message of what I'm trying to convey. With car design I always try and boil the concept down to its purest form, whether I am working on a concept sports car or a production SUV. It is important to have a strong story to tell and convey that as simply as possible. With accessories design, this process of boiling down the main concept or idea to its purest form is also very important. When designing a new wallet for example, we try and achieve the simplest solution for the problem. If the wallet needs to carry many cards and cash for example, we deliver the most minimal yet effective way to do this without complicating the design.

AC: What elements of design define the JAQET wallets?

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQET
JF: At JAQET we keep our designs minimal with an emphasis on good proportion and simple function. We want our products to be timeless both in the sense of style but also quality and craftsmanship. We want our user to be able to use their accessory for as long as they possibly can. The fact that all our products are handmade supports this strong craftsmanship and ensures that every piece is made to pass our strict guidelines.

AC: What challenges did you face when tapping into a new field of design?

JF: The biggest challenge was to see the product all the way through to production. The concept and design was really enjoyable and came natural as a professional designer. But learning the craft was all very new and then when it came to make a production run I was at a loss on how to proceed. I slowly learned and mastered the craft of leather work and after hired people and taught them the skills. I now have a small team that helps me with all of the production components of the company.

AC: What are you obsessed with at the moment and how does it show into your work?

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQET
JF: My biggest obsession right now would probably be any design work that has that clear and pure expression I talked about earlier. For example, I've been looking at a lot of modern and mid-century architecture. I love the simplicity of a lot of those pieces of architecture, and how strong they are with great presence. I also love when fashion can be that pure. For example, some of what Thom Browne is doing is very interesting and at the same time, the message and story has always been very consistent and is quite pure.

AC: Working with cars and fashion, you must always be one step ahead of the game. What do you think will be the future for car design and for practical fashion accessories? Any flying cars anytime soon?

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQET
JF: Haha, the flying car question! Well, in car design we are quite ahead of the game simply because we have to be. Producing a vehicle for the customer takes years for conception to on the show room floor. There is a big shift in how car design is approached these days because of all the technology that is affecting the way we interact with cars. Everything from how we drive the car, how we live with the car and even how we buy the car is being challenged right now. As for the flying car, there is 1 or 2 that actually exist! It's more the regulations and logistics of how to implement them on a large scale that is the challenge now.

With fashion, the curve is not so great, in fact maybe the opposite in that it is incredibly fast. Customers want the "new" all the time. While we want our goods to be timeless, it's important to keep our designs fresh and new to keep the customer excited and interested. I think we might see a really cool intersection of technology and old world crafts collide at some point. That could yield some really interesting and successful products.

AC: What career advice do you have for people who want to work in design? What are the biggest lessons you learned in your car design career and since you launched JAQET?

In His Own Words: Jacques Flynn, Founder of JAQET
JF: My biggest piece of advice to anyone getting into any creative field is to simply listen to yourself and go with your gut. Don't take too much advice. If you have an idea that you think could work, attach it. Give it your all, and don't get caught up in all the thoughts of peers, professors and colleagues. If you can boil whatever idea you have to its simplest form, that will help you gets it to its purest, and the message or story will be clear. This "story" element of design is very important and should never be overlooked.

AC: And, just out of curiosity, what car do you drive and which wallet do you use?

JF: Well, working for Mazda I drive a Mazda which is a great perk! I really do enjoy driving all the cars, especially the MX5. I also have a 1968 Volvo p1800 that I have been fixing and tinkering with. It's always been one of my favorite designs. Right now, I'm using one of our new bifold wallets; keeps everything you could want in your pocket and still has the slim profile that's so important to me!

Thank you!

Fraquoh and Franchomme

To discover the full range of JAQET products, go to

P.S. We want to hear from you! What do you think of Jaques' cars? What do you make of the Jaqet wallets? What are you looking for in a car/wallet?Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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