Marc Jacobs: A history

First published: 31-07-2014

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs created the eponymous company - and the diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs - in 1993, when he ?developed ?his first range of products.

He was born in New York City but went to live with his grandmother when he was a teenager.

Mr Jacobs remembers this experience of living with his grandmother fondly and during this period, he attended the High School of Art and Design and, upon finishing, he studied at the renowned Parsons School of Design.

Aged 21, he designed his first collection for Reuben Thomas. In 1987, Mr Jacobs became the youngest ever individual to win the Council of Fashion Designers of America Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. 

He then masterminded the womenswear collection ?for Perry Ellis, but in 1993 he launched into independence after he created a so-called grunge collection. While the critics adored it, the company did not feel the same way and so, with financial support from his previous bosses, he started his own company with his business partner Robert Duffy.

With encouragement from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Italian designer Gianni Versace, the pair of them refused to be downhearted by the poor reception to that range. In 1994, they organised a small show and models Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell performed for free as a sign of their support. 

Mr Jacobs found success with this venture and in 1997 was named creative director of Louis Vuitton. This role involved overseeing the brand's first ready-to-wear range. 

Diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs was launched in 2001 and, to celebrate ten years of clothes and accessories for both men and women, a capsule selection of the most popular items from the range was released. 

When speaking about the items he designs and produces, Mr Jacobs told New York Magazine: "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."

New York Times critic Guy Debray said: "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".

Towards the end of 2013, it was announced that Mr Jacobs would end his connection with Louis Vuitton to focus on his own line after the Spring Summer 2014 collection. 

Celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Kate Moss have been seen wearing the wares of this brand - the latter wore one of Jacobs' dresses to her book launch, which was hosted by the designer himself. 

Jessica Lange has been announced as the face behind Marc Jacobs Beauty, while the 64-year-old actress will also be included in the brand's summer and autumn print campaign. 

With a host of awards under the brand's belt, it will be interesting to see if the success continues, especially in light of Mr Jacobs leaving his post at Louis Vuitton. 


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