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Rajni Jacques

Fashion & Creative Director

Rajni Jacques’s career may be documented by beautiful imagery—glossy magazine spreads, campaigns, even inspiration from her own street-style photos—but the fashion and creative director doesn't just reflect on her work in finished products. “I love the inner workings, the soup to nuts of building a story,” Jacques says. It’s for this reason that, in addition to the esteemed editing titles she’s held at Teen VogueInStyleGlamourNylon, and more, she refers to herself as a storyteller.

Story is the thread that ties together Jacques’s career, starting with her own: During college, Jacques happened to sit across from an Essence editor on the train from New York to New Jersey. She loved art but never aspired to work in fashion media. After striking up a conversation with the editor, she was connected to an opportunity to intern at the now defunct Honey. She took it and eventually would forgo her law-school track and head to Columbia University for her master's in journalism. 

“I never woke up in the morning and said ‘this is what I want to be,’ shares the creative whose career in publishing spans two decades. “I’m super happy that I ended up here because I’ve been able to do so many things that have helped me become a better storyteller in whatever medium I’m in.” As of last year, that means bringing her talent and experience to Snapchat as the Global Head of Fashion and Beauty.

With social media democratizing fashion, beauty, and culture, Jacques’s latest role is one of her most exciting. She brings her passion for story and style to possibly her widest audience yet, connecting those with shared interests across the globe. And even encouraging future creatives who look to follow in her footsteps. 

"I’ve always felt that change can be good, and so I embrace it."


My favorite part of my work is the research, digging deep, and finding references and inspiration. I could be researching a time period or something as simple as a color. Why is a specific color called that? How often has it been used? What does it signify? It’s almost like vintage shopping: You don’t necessarily know what you’re going to find but sometimes you’re just surprised by what presents itself. For me, that’s 100% the thing I love the most about my job.


When it comes to tech, digital, or social media it’s very much the new frontier of what I was already doing at magazines. I didn’t say, “I’m moving to tech now.” It’s just timing and feeling like I’ve done everything I could have possibly done in that realm. I’ve worked at all the places I’ve wanted to work. I created the stories that were important to me. I worked with so many people I’ve always wanted to work with. And now it’s like “what’s the new challenge?”

In my current role, I’m still creative, I’m still storyboarding, but it’s another medium. And that shift happened way before I started working at Snap because the entire publishing world has changed so much. At the beginning of my career, if you were an editor you edited for one thing—I worked at magazines where there were editors specifically just for denim. But as social media became more prominent and the iPhone became prevalent everything changed. So even when I was in publishing I had to think about the 360-degree aspect of a story: How do we amplify on our website, on our social channels? Now at Snap, I’m still doing the same thing but just in a whole other realm.


There are a couple of things that happen with change. Learning happens. And for the most part, especially when it comes to innovation, change better serves the future that comes behind me, my children. So changes in my career don’t scare me. In fact,  while I love magazines, social media democratized things and opened the floodgates. It’s allowed someone like me to be in the industry, where there were not many women who looked like me. It’s opened doors. I’ve always felt that change can be good, and so I embrace it.


When I first started my career, I would get dressed in trends because I thought I needed to. But the more I moved up, the more I felt like I didn’t have to aesthetically be something that I’m not. I’m very much a jeans-and-tee type of girl or a T-shirt and a nice pair of pants, with a focus on accessories and my lipstick. I learned I’m more comfortable in a casual, minimal look, and therefore more confident and do better work. I don’t mean comfortable as in comfort, but comfortable as in content and happiness with where I am, how I feel, and how I show up. For me, it was more about creating with my mind than creating with my clothing.

"No matter where I end up, I always make sure that everything I do, every story I’m trying to tell, is of inclusiveness because I don’t want anyone to feel left out."


The best advice I ever got was from my mother. I was in high school and, while I had my close friends, I never felt seen. There were a small number of us who were minorities, specifically Black, in school, and I never felt 100% comfortable in that setting or where I grew up. I remember talking to my mom and saying “I hate this. Why did we move here? There’s no one here for me.” And she said to me, “No one wants to peak in high school. The only direction to go after that is down.” She taught me that everything is gradual and you put in the work to move forward and on an incline that’s genuine.


What’s exciting for me is augmented reality: being able to try things on—sunglasses, jackets, etc.—from the comfort of your own home. You don't have to go into a brick-and-mortar store, you can sit on your couch, try it on, and then be able to share that with your friends. For me, it’s a game-changer. It goes back to when I was in sixth grade and I’d go to the mall with friends, and now, I can do it from my bed or sitting on my couch. That aspect of where fashion meets tech is super exciting because it allows people who live in rural areas to try on brand-name designs that they might not find in the retail stores in their town. It allows fashion to get into the hands of people who might not have otherwise been able to be a part of it.


My north star is always to make my work feel inclusive and not exclusive. That sits deep with me because I worked in an industry where—yes, there is more diversity now—there weren't many women of color. I came into this industry to push inclusivity before it was a buzzword because I was part of that group. I wanted to see more of myself and mentor women and men who wanted to work in the same field. I wanted to help get them there—whatever I could do. So no matter where I end up, I always make sure that everything I do, every story I’m trying to tell, is of inclusiveness because I don’t want anyone to feel left out.


There are no real gatekeepers in fashion anymore. You can forge your own way, you can create your own thing. For example, there are still people with agents if they want to be a stylist‚ but there are so many more stylists and creative directors who do their own thing and post their work on their own social media. Social media, in a sense, has become their agent. So if you’re going out for jobs and feel like the door keeps getting closed on you, there is a path now to do your own thing, at your own pace, on your own time. And can brand yourself because there are so many tools now to push yourself out there. You don’t have to wait for permission at all.

She’s Worth a Follow

Find Rajni on Instagram.