For our last episode of Essentialwe speak to Jakob Hetzer, a designer and creative consultant born in Detroit, raised in Germany and now based in Los Angeles.
Gaining a devoted following early on through his unique personal style, often balancing refined simplicity with functional details and grit, he continues to engage with the community through his eponymous product line described as “- A CONVERSATION”. Offering products ranging from copper-tinted trucker jackets to goatskin gloves and handmade 925 silver jewelry, the brand moves at a pace determined not by business standards, but by what is deemed essential to a given time.
Flowing freely between product, art and fashion, Hetzer presents new ideas only when they have had time to mature and meet its strict standards. Through years of working with clients and partners around the world, he continues to develop his distinct tastes while documenting his developments. Parts of the plan can be found via JH – CURRICULUM, which features exclusive content such as a bi-weekly literary column, JH projects, and guest writers’ thoughts.
Follow us below as we get a glimpse into the enigmatic creative’s life through his Essential choices that include items from JH and everyday items reflecting his current lifestyle.
Visvim Black Elk Flannel
I’ve had this thing for years, been through a lot. A comfortable and sophisticated daily driver (enough).
1990s Carpe Diem Boots
My most worn shoes, infinitely robust. Comfortable for long days, but tough enough to withstand the pressures of a motorcycle.
JH – DARTCAP – BLACK
We released this hat in late 2020 in an attempt to create a comfortable, athletic hat that feels and looks a bit more understated. So far it has stood the test of time for me.
JH – PROGRAM
This is a fairly recent article with us. I couldn’t find a silk scarf that was subtle enough, but meaningful enough, so we started working on our own. It is very useful when traveling, riding, etc. We managed to create a sort of educational manifesto to warp and print on this piece. I found joy in deciphering it in its obscured form.
Carol Christian Poell Self-Edge Vest Bag
Perhaps my most useful garment. Worn almost daily for over 5 years, has taken on a nice color due to exposure to sun, wind, etc.
Could you tell us about the idea behind your label’s 2022 “Quintet” series and what you have planned for JH’s future?
The concept of JH – QUINTET was to reinvent historic designs, using modern materials and stitching finishes, then present them in a sculptural form. We rarely publish more than one article at a time, but sometimes a concept is worth developing for a larger set of products. There is constant development at JH, we usually work on several projects at once and then release as work allows. Currently, we are working on an exciting international cooperation, as well as a brand new medium that we are eager to explore.
How much have you found your daily wares affecting your experience of the world?
I think I did a good job of finding a uniform that I don’t have to worry about, I don’t want my clothes or everyday clothes to be a priority. A reliable product should not take up mental space – which is also what we at JH aim for.
What made you take the plunge and go to fashion school after business school? Did you find your formal studies beneficial for launching your own eponymous label?
I’m not a strong believer in traditional education, I hopped from school to school, gathering information as needed, until I felt ready to move on. I’m grateful for my education split between business school and fashion school, although I don’t think you should rely too heavily on either.
Can you tell us about your daily life? Would you describe your lifestyle as regimented?
My daily life is everywhere, lots of travels and lots of new challenges. As a result, I try to structure myself as much as possible with a strict morning routine. Waking up early, meditation, stretching, exercise. My lifestyle is very inconsistent, but disciplined.
We spot the special JLC Reverso edition. Have you been more interested in watches lately?
Over the past few years, my interest in watches has actually waned a bit, I found the market and public interest to be quite oversaturated. I’ve gotten rid of a few more severe watches and now stick to a fairly condensed collection. This Reverso Tribute (on Nato strap) is a good discreet bat.
What have you listened to or read lately. Do you consume most of your content online?
I listened to a lot of REM, a lot of Vatican Shadow, it’s always a broad spectrum. As for books, I like to oscillate between old classic literature and modern non-fiction, jumping from Albert Camus to Hans Ulrich Obrist, etc. I consume a lot of online media, as required by my job. I do my best to compensate for it with physical literature and organic instinct.