Hot Shots: José Manuel St-Jacques: José Manuel St-Jacques

José Manuel St-Jacques

St-Jacques: Unleashing the wisdom of the fashion ages
Photo: Liam Maloney

A drink-slinging, mouth-fisting fashion maverick

José Manuel St-Jacques is the next name Quebec fashionistas will care about. He’s a baby, so young it hurts the 30-something likes of me, and yet the talent that pours out of this fresh fashion school graduate is hella mature. His leatherwork, for instance, exhibits as much wisdom and understanding of basic wearability as it does imagination – and that more or less sums up his philosophy. Everyday glamour is indeed what you’ll see him wear at his night job as a Sala Rossa bartender.


Proletarian procrastinator (a.k.a. working student).


Fashion design graduate, CEGEP Marie-Victorin, specialized in fur and leather works. I can also fit my fist into my mouth.

Age Too young to tell, too old to lie.

How did you come to be doing what you do?

I guess just in a very natural way. The mouth fisting was an hour a day of hard practice for a year.

Who is the person most responsible for you being where you are today, either through encouragement or inspiration?

Our almighty God. He’s such a go-getter!

Where were you five years ago and what were you doing?

Smoking mint bitch sticks with my hoochy-mama hags downtown, Mirabel. (Yes, as in the airport.)

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

At the mint-scented burial of an ashtray full of what remains of these poor, poor smoking friends.

How much of a role did official, institutionalized schooling play in furthering your life or career aspirations (or not)?

You mean, how much money do I owe in student loans?

What makes you good at your job?

I have OCD and cannot leave something half way of what it is supposed to be.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

A delicious mix of sunshine bliss caressing my cheek and the suave melody of an early rising nightingale.

What makes you lose sleep at night?

The semi-pro karaoke "singers" castrating Céline Dion and The Black Eyed Peas in the two bars across from my house.

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