Controversial out-of-the-box creativity – bold speaking – and a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) personality is the winning combination that has made 45 year old Marc Jacobs a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. At the age of 21, fresh out of college, he and partner Robert Duffy founded the label that started it all.
With Jacobs as the creative genius and Duffy as the financial whiz their successful 24 year journey has gained worldwide fame with yearly sales of almost 2 billion. “I really don’t know what’s opening where,” states Jacobs. And with regards to the launch of Marc by Marc Jacobs in 2001 “I’m so glad we diversified,” says Duffy. “It means we can go where the money is, and right now that’s Marc by Marc Jacobs.”
From Daisy his bestseller spin-off perfume to the astronomical 45 stores opening this year that will carry the Marc Jacobs line – one of which is in Moscow – Jacobs and Duffy make a phenomenal fashion statement in their own right to be watched and learned from. Defining the fashion trends for almost a quarter of a century with no sign of waning in the near future.
As the creative director since 1997 for Louis Vuitton he was responsible for the Stephen Sprouse Louis Vuitton graffiti bags in 2001 and the more recent Sprouse animal-print scarf craze, Takashi Murakami’s smiley-cherry Louis Vuitton designer bag in 2003, and the artistry of Richard Prince for the spring/summer 2008 Louis Vuitton bag collection. You will consider adding these new exquisite contemporary bags to your art collection.
Last March Jacobs received media attention in a different fashion when he was admitted, by his friend and partner Robert Duffy, for the second time to a drug rehab facility. He gained tabloid attention when he was released and pronounced clean. The publicity put him in the same playing field so to speak as his clients, and his transformation physically is remarkable.
Jacobs speaks about his choice of Victoria Beckham as the face of his signature line. “Just like I’m interested in contemporary art, music, all sorts of things, I’m fascinated by pop culture, and people’s fascination with her and other contemporary icons, as I call them. As soon as I saw her after the Louis Vuitton show for spring/summer 2008, when she came backstage, I got the idea and went to see her at the Ritz. We spoke about the irony and perversity of it, and she totally got it.” With his usual muses being that of Sofia Coppola, Charlotte Rampling and Rachel Feinstein, Beckham is a definitive change for Jacobs.
Marc is a definite team player and has stated that he has never done anything by himself. He will credit everyone from the pattern-cutters to the stylists for their input and ideas. Though he admits that he is the final filter in the design team, he states that the customer is the ultimate final filter – for “What survives the whole process is what people wear.”