Marc Jacobs

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Articles on Marc Jacobs

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When talking about the brand Marc Jacobs, it would be difficult to separate it from the designer Marc Jacobs, because his style and the impact of the career he’s had so far really shows in his collections.

The American designer is among the most recognizable names in fashion, having been the creative designer of Louis Vuitton for 16 long years before he moved on to focus on his own line. But since he was 15, he had this whole life of fashion before him, with the teen working on a Charivari store in New York that has now closed as an assistant and began a friendship with fellow American designer Perry Ellis.

Jacobs graduated from the High School of Art and Design and soon enrolled at the prestigious Parsons School for Design by 1984. Living with his grandmother at the time, his senior project was inspired by her, Jacobs using oversized knitted sweaters made personally by her. The sweaters garnered him awards from the school as well as the Design Student of the Year. His project also impressed other brands that sought him out to for them, including Robert Duffy with Sketchbook and Barbara Weiser from Charivari.

This early success without it even being 10 years after graduating from the school just made Jacobs be ahead in the game.  In 1986, he and Robert Duffy founded Marc Jacobs Inc. Their first collection not only caught the eye of those in the know but also of the people behind the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc or the CFDA, bestowing upon the team behind the label its Perry Ellis award for New Fashion Talent. A few more years later, he began to be the face of Louis Vuitton as its creative director.

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Contemporary but still unexpected style

Marc Jacobs - The man behind the brand

Marc Jacobs is famous for his everyday styles that are still unique in spite of the term. He gets his inspirations from popular culture, or whatever may be the emerging scene at the time. In the 1990s when grunge began getting widespread with the emergence of grunge bands, Jacobs took the genre and translated it into fashion, still covering the edginess and youthfulness it evokes. The staple flannel shirt seen in grunge fashion is in part due to him.

This made way to Jacobs being associated with streetwear, combining rebelliousness with couture. Some of the items that made its way to the fashion scene were big, unlaced combat boots and clashing prints, the latter still evident in the label’s collections today. Among those who fashioned the brand’s creations were Cher, Winona Ryder, Miley Cyrus, and Anthony Kiedis. Some of the brand’s most notable models include Abigail Lipp, Ana Viktoria, Dylan Stevens, MacKenzie Cockerill, and Toks Adewetan.

The partnerships and the awards

Models walk the runway for Marc Jacobs Collection in Lexington Armory.
Models walk the runway for Marc Jacobs Collection in Lexington Armory. Photo: lev radin

Complementing his contemporary designs is Marc Jacobs’ partnership with other up-and-coming and contemporary artists in the industry especially during his time in Louis Vuitton but some of them he has also tapped on for his own label. These include Zana Bayne, which he worked with for accessories of the S&M persuasion, Ava Nirui and Julie Verhoeven. Marc Jacobs has also partnered last year with Vans to create a psychedelic collection of footwear.

Marc Jacobs was awarded by the CFDA multiple times in the 1990s and the 2000s for his work on womenswear, menswear and accessories, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. In 2013, the label recorded a first in the history of the Fashion Group International’s Superstar Award as it was the first time that it was awarded to two people: Jacobs and his business partner Robert Duffy.

Still continuing the legacy

Marc Jacobs pink bag and floral jacket before Gucci fashion show in Milan.
Marc Jacobs pink bag and floral jacket before Gucci fashion show in Milan. Photo: andersphoto

In 2014, and at that year’s Louis Vuitton Summer-Spring collection, Marc Jacobs announced his departure from the French fashion house to focus on his own. Despite still holding the head of his eponymous line since its foundation, this time he came back to focus more on its collection or perfumes, cosmetics, and other accessories. By that year, the brand has also grown significantly, with 285 retail stores worldwide and presence in 60 countries.

Even after 30 years, Marc Jacobs still redefines American fashion with his avant-garde creations that will continue to excite the industry. His willingness to mix and match patterns, shapes and colors that can be chaotically beautiful still leave everyone in awe. 

Models walk runway for Marc Jacobs at Park Avenue Armory.
Models walk runway for Marc Jacobs at Park Avenue Armory. Photo: lev radin

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