Tennis has been an essential passion throughout Gregg Cohenca ’12’s life, from his childhood competing in juniors tournaments to his four years on Bucknell’s varsity squad. But the clothes he wore while competing didn’t reflect his personality, on or off the court.
Cohenca says that JACQUES, the performance-wear brand he launched in 2017, fills a hole in his closet by discarding neon colors and garish logos in favor of unadorned shorts and tees in colors inspired by nature.
“I really wanted to put out a product that was more understated and more sophisticated in its presentation,” he says.
Manufactured in New York City’s Garment District, Cohenca’s clothing line is a reflection of his personality and aspirations, from its low-key chic to the company’s name — an homage to Cohenca’s grandfather, who immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt and started a business.
“My grandfather was very much a Renaissance man — he spoke several languages and was very dynamic and cultured,” Cohenca says. “I wanted to incorporate that spirit in the brand.”
Cohenca is only selling his clothes online while he searches for the right distribution partners, but his line is already generating early buzz, including a write-up in Vogue magazine and a promotional collaboration with tennis great Mark Philippoussis. As he takes on the daily challenges of developing a new business, Cohenca says he frequently draws on the lessons he learned as a member of Bucknell’s tennis team.
“It really shaped me as a person,” he says. “From work ethic to discipline to time management and leadership skills, those four years really helped; they really shaped who I am.”