Icon Inspiration: Jackie Kennedy Onassis, the Francophile First Lady

When I was ten years old, I made a project based on John F. Kennedy, our 35th president. It was then that I became fascinated by the Kennedy family, specifically JFK’ wife, Jacqueline.

As a lover of American sportswear, I was initially enamored by her style. Throughout her life, Jacqueline Kennedy’s style was transformative, yet still encapsulated a high level of sophistication. While her style during JFK’s presidency was debatably the most notarized (she frequently wore pieces by Givenchy and Chanel), I love the simplicity of the clothing she wore in the 1970s. I always associate crew neck sweaters, turtlenecks, trousers, and trench coats as preppy essentials–pieces of clothing that Jackie was commonly photographed in during this decade.

While I am a firm believer that Jacqueline Kennedy is one of the greatest style icons of all time, I also think her intellect should be acknowledged more frequently. She had a passion and appreciation for the arts, language, and literature. Behind those big sunglasses was a Francophile of great depth, who spoke several languages and later went on to become an editor at Viking Press. For these reasons, I think it’s crucial to not only value her style, but also to educate ourselves about her own contributions to U.S. history.

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