Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs (born April 9, 1963) is an American fashion designer. He is the head designer for his own fashion label, Marc Jacobs, and formerly Marc by Marc Jacobs, a diffusion line, which was produced for approximately 15 years having been discontinued after the 2015 fall/winter collection.[1] At one point there were over 200 retail stores in 80 countries.[2] He was the creative director of the French design house Louis Vuitton from 1997 to 2014. Jacobs was on Time magazine's "2010 Time 100" list of the 100 most influential people in the world,[3] and was #14 on Out magazine's 2012 list of "50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America". He got married on 7 April 2019, to his long time boyfriend Charly Defrancesco.[4]

Marc Jacobs
Jacobs at the 2017 SXSW
Born (1963-04-09) April 9, 1963
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
EducationHigh School of Art and Design
Parsons The New School for Design
AwardsKnight of the Order of Arts and Letters (France), MTV VMA Fashion Trailblazer Award 2019 (USA)

Early life and education

Marc Jacobs was born to a non-observant Jewish family in New York City.[5][6][7] When he was seven, his father, an agent at the William Morris Agency, died. His mother, who remarried three times, was "mentally ill" and "didn't really take care of her kids", according to Jacobs.[8] As a teenager, he went to live with his paternal grandmother on the Upper West Side, in an apartment in the Majestic on Central Park West.[9]

He attended the High School of Art and Design and studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York.[5] While at Parsons in 1984, he won the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award, and Design Student of the Year.[10] He also won an award in 1991 from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.


At age 15, Jacobs worked as a stockboy at Charivari, a now-defunct avant-garde clothing boutique in New York City.[11] While still at Parsons, he designed and sold his first line of hand-knit sweaters. He also designed his first collection for Reuben Thomas, Inc., under the Sketchbook label. With Robert Duffy, Jacobs's creative collaborator, and business partner since the mid-1980s, he formed Jacobs Duffy Designs.[12]

In 1986, backed by Onward Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing the Marc Jacobs label. In 1987, he was the youngest designer to have ever been awarded the fashion industry's highest tribute, the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Perry Ellis Award for "New Fashion Talent".[13] In 1988, Jacobs and Duffy joined the women's design unit of Perry Ellis as creative director/vice president and president, respectively, following the death of its namesake and founder.[14] In addition, Jacobs oversaw the design of the various women's licensees. In 1992, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Jacobs with The Women's Designer of the Year Award. In the same year, he designed a "grunge" collection for Perry Ellis, leading to his dismissal.[15]

In the fall of 1993, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. launched their own licensing and design company, Marc Jacobs International Company, L.P.[13] In 1994, Jacobs produced his first full collection of menswear. In 1997, Jacobs was appointed Louis Vuitton's creative director, where he created the company's first ready-to-wear clothing line.[15] Jacobs has collaborated with many popular artists for his Louis Vuitton collections, including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and most recently American artist Richard Prince and rapper Kanye West,[16]

In the spring of 2001, Jacobs introduced his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs.[11] In 2005, Look was the Marc by Marc Jacobs ready-to-wear license holder in Japan with retail value of €50 million.[17] In 2006, Jacobs started a new line of body-splash fragrances in ten-ounce bottles which are distributed by Coty. First being sold only in perfume boutiques, they have become more and more popular. In 2007 filmmaker Loïc Prigent released a documentary film about Jacobs entitled Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.[18][19] In February 2008, Jacobs was accused of plagiarizing a scarf design created in the 1950s by Swedish designer Gösta Olofsson.[20] Jacobs settled the matter by offering monetary compensation to Olofsson's son.[21] In 2009, Jacobs launched a shirt, sold at his stores,[22] demanding the legalization of gay marriage. In May 2009, Jacobs co-hosted, with fashion model Kate Moss, a "model and muse"-themed gala for the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.[23]

In February 2010, Jacobs sued Ed Hardy for infringing on the designs of one of his embroidered handbags.[24] In the course of the Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week in July 2011 Jacobs was the patron of the young talent award "Designer for Tomorrow by Peek & Cloppenburg". The five finalists were selected by Jacob and the juryboard and received a personal coaching by Jacobs. The juryboard and Jacobs appointed the winner of 2011 during the DfT award show. In August 2011, it was reported that Jacobs may succeed John Galliano as creative director of Christian Dior.[25] According to The Daily Telegraph, Jacobs "firmly laid to rest rumours that he was to move to Christian Dior" in January 2012,[26] but rumours prevail.[27]

In February 2013, Jacobs was named the new creative director for Diet Coke. In honor of the brand's 30th anniversary, Jacobs would spend one year where he was slated to give the brand a "stylish and light-hearted" makeover.[28] In March 2013, the New York Daily News revealed that the "faux fur" used in many Marc Jacobs garments is actually the fur from raccoon dogs from China.[29]

In October 2013, after the Spring/Summer 2014 show, it was revealed that Marc Jacobs would leave Louis Vuitton to focus on his own line.[30]

On January 9, 2014 it was announced that Jacobs's new Spring/Summer collection would feature actress/singer Miley Cyrus, photographed by David Sims.[31]

On February 26, 2014, it was announced that actress Jessica Lange would be the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty. In addition, it was announced that Lange would be featured in the brand's Summer/Fall print-ad campaign photographed by David Sims, and would also star in a short campaign film directed by Jacobs, to start streaming online May 5, 2014.[32] Previously, Jacobs had dressed and interviewed Lange for Love Magazine's fifth anniversary issue, and had her provide a spoken-word version of Happy Days Are Here Again as the soundtrack for his Autumn/Winter 2014 show.[32]

For the first time Marc Jacobs decided to rely on social media to cast models for Marc by Marc Jacobs's Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign and with its success did so again for Spring/Summer 2015 with photographer David Sims, with models including Aaron Whitty, Abigail Lipp, Amy Woodman, Ana Viktoria, Dylan Stevens, Eb Eunbi, Lindsay Lurgin, MacKenzie Cockerill, Nadia Kishlan, and Toks Adewetan.[33]

In February 2018, LVMH confirmed that Baja East co-founder John Targon would join Marc Jacobs as "creative director of contemporary".[34]

On August 26, 2019, Jacobs was presented with MTV's first "Fashion Trailblazer Award" at the Video Music Awards, in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America.[35]


Council of Fashion Designers of America:

  • MTV VMA Fashion Trailblazer Award, 2019
  • Womenswear Designer of the Year, 2016[36]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011
  • Womenswear Designer of the Year, 2010
  • Accessory Designer of the Year, 2005
  • Accessory Designer of the Year, 2003
  • Menswear Designer of the Year, 2002
  • Accessory Designer of the Year, 1999
  • Accessory Designer of the Year, 1998
  • Womenswear Designer of the Year, 1997
  • Womenswear Designer of the Year, 1992
  • Womenswear Designer of the Year, 1991

Marc Jacobs stores

In Summer 2013, there were 285 Marc Jacobs retail stores (including Marc by Marc Jacobs & Marc Jacobs Collection) in 60 countries. In December 2013, the new Marc Jacobs flagship store opened in Shanghai.[37]

In March 2015, Marc Jacobs announced the end of his secondary brand Marc by Marc Jacobs in order to focus on the development of his main label Marc Jacobs and to target to a more luxury-oriented audience.[38]


Explaining his clothes, Jacobs has said "what I prefer is that even if someone feels hedonistic, they don't look it. Curiosity about sex is much more interesting to me than domination. ... My clothes are not hot. Never. Never."[9] The audience for his fashion shows typically includes celebrities like Kim Gordon and Vincent Gallo.[39] Guy Trebay, a critic for The New York Times, in response to Oscar de la Renta's comment that a coat designed by Jacobs closely resembled one that de la Renta had designed thirty years earlier, wrote that "unlike the many brand-name designers who promote the illusion that their output results from a single prodigious creativity, Mr. Jacobs makes no pretense that fashion emerges full blown from the head of one solitary genius".[40] Jacobs was one of the first fashion designers to establish this "street wise aesthetics – a [mash up of] a little preppie, a little grunge, a little couture." The Marc Jacobs brand is also known for fine arts driven and avante garde AD campaigns, often featuring a group of cultural icons and artists in lieu of traditional fashion models in minimally staged settings, and photographed by high-profile photographers. In 2015, Jacobs launched a popular lifestyle campaign that featured artists, celebrities, and cultural icons such as Sofia Coppola, Cher, Willow Smith, Winona Ryder, Daisy Lowe, and Anthony Kiedis.[41]

Jacobs revisited this approach for the Marc Jacobs Spring 2016 advertising campaign, describing the concept as a fashion story representing a "series of connected events; a visual narrative. It is a personal diary of people who have and continue to inspire me and open my mind to different ways of seeing and thinking. The spectrum of individuals photographed in our Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign represent a celebration of my America." Adding, "The people featured in our campaign personify this collection of fashion through their individuality. Collectively, they embody and celebrate the spirit and beauty of equality." Dena Silver, from The, called it "the best campaign of the Spring 2016 season." She then elaborates about what makes this campaign notable: "The designer (Marc Jacobs) has handpicked a star studded cast of his family members to model the Americana gear from this collection." Adding "Technically speaking, none of the people in this series of photographs are related to Mr. Jacobs by blood, but rather, they're people who mean a lot to the Marc Jacobs brand." The Marc Jacobs Spring 2016 advertising campaign featured Lana Wachowski, Sandra Bernhard, Bette Midler, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Sky Ferreira, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski as well as lesser known artists Vincent Michaud,[42][43] Oli Burslem, and Milk, a contestant from RuPaul's Drag Race, as well as several runway models.[44]

Personal life and causes

Jacobs has an ongoing project entitled, "Protect The Skin You're In", which has celebrities pose nude, with their breasts and frontal area covered, for T-shirts to raise awareness about melanoma; all sales benefit research at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Some of the celebrities that have posed are Miley Cyrus, Eva Mendes, Kate Upton, Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum, Hilary Swank, and Naomi Campbell.[45]

On April 4, 2018, Jacobs proposed to his boyfriend, Charly Defrancesco, via a flashmob while in a Chipotle restaurant.[46][47] The flashmob did a routine to the song "Kiss" by Prince.[47] They were married in a lavish wedding held in New York City on April 7, 2019.

See also


  1. "What happened to Marc by Marc Jacobs?".
  2. "Marc Jacobs". Glamour.
  3. "The 2010 Time 100". Time. April 29, 2010.
  4. "The Power List". Out. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  5. Wilson, Eric. "Marc Jacobs". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  6. Jewish Virtual Library – Jewish Biographies -Fashion Icons: "Kenneth Cole" retrieved September 7, 2015
  7. Bloom, Nate (May 21, 2010). "Jewish Stars 5/21". Cleveland Jewish News.
  8. Levy, Ariel (September 11, 2008). "Profiles: Enchanted. The transformation of Marck Gustavo Jacobs". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  9. Larocca, Amy (August 21, 2005). "Lost and Found". New York. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  10. "Marc Jacobs". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  11. "Marc Jacobs". Voguepedia. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  12. Singer, Sally (Summer 2008). "Robert Duffy". 032c (15). Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  13. "Biographie". Marc Jacobs Website.
  14. Amy Larocca (5 September 2005). "Lost and Found". New York Magazine.
  15. Craven, Jo (May 11, 2011). "Marc Jacobs". British Vogue. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  16. "Louis Vuitton – Designer Fashion Label". New York Magazine. New York Media. October 31, 2011.
  17. Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  18. Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton on IMDb
  19. Feaster, Felicia (March 12, 2008). "DVD: Marc Jacobs, the Pixie". New York Press.
  20. "Marc Jacobs plagiarized my dad's scarf". The Local. February 19, 2008. Archived from the original on February 27, 2008.
  21. "US Fashion Designer Makes 'Plagiarized' Scarf Payout". The Local. March 4, 2008.
  22. "Towleroad: Marc Jacobs T-Shirts Demand Gay Rights for Taxes".
  23. Soto-Ward, Sylvana (May 4, 2009). "It Duo: Marc Jacobs and Kate Moss". Vogue. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  24. Aboutaleb, Britt. "Fashionista". Fashionista. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  25. "Marc Jacobs may become Dior creative head – report". Reuters. New York/Paris. August 23, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  26. Blanchard, Tamsin (9 January 2012). "Marc Jacobs: Not moving to Dior 'was probably best for everyone'". The Telegraph.
  27. Cowles, Charlotte (March 7, 2012). "Marc Jacobs for Dior Rumors Make a Comeback".
  28. "Marc Jacobs named Diet Coke creative director". Vogue. UK. February 6, 2013.
  29. "Marc Jacobs' 'faux fur' garments actually use the coats of Chinese canines". March 8, 2013.
  30. "Confirmed: Marc Jacobs Is Leaving Louis Vuitton". Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  31. "Miley Cyrus for Marc Jacobs – Spring/Summer 2014 Campaign ( UK)". 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  32. "Jessica Lange: New Face Of Marc Jacobs Beauty ( UK)". 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  34. "Marc Jacobs Hires New Designer for Lower-Priced Product Push". The Business of Fashion. 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  35. "Marc Jacobs Will Receive MTV's First-Ever Fashion Trailblazer Award". Vogue.
  37. Mistry, Meenal (August 25, 2011). "Fashion's Better Halves". Wall Street Journal Magazine.
  39. Trebay, Guy (September 13, 2007). "In This Front Row, Downtown Cred". The New York Times.
  40. Trebay, Guy (May 28, 2002). "Familiar, but Not: Marc Jacobs and the Borrower's Art". The New York Times.
  45. "Marc Jacobs Reissues Celebrity "Protect The Skin You're In" Tees To Benefit NYU's Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group". NYU. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  46. "Marc Jacobs proposes to boyfriend using a flashmob and it is spectacular". The Independent. 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  47. Jones, Fionnuala. "Marc Jacobs proposed to his boyfriend with a flashmob in a burrito restaurant". The Daily Edge. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
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