Clean, playful, young, ever-changing. Known in every fashion enclave around the world, Marc Jacobs‘ style hardly needs description.
The design house has been among the top since the early 90s, when Jacobs launched his eponymous line. His secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs followed in 2001.
Meanwhile, Jacobs’ collaborations read like a “who’s who” of celebrity designers and entertainers – he’s designed for Louis Vuitton and Perry Ellis, and has worked with Kate Moss and Kanye West, to name but a few of his partners.
But Jacobs is more than comfortable working solo. In fact, that seems to be the element in which he shines most. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t always know where he’s going when he starts a given collection, and that can pose a challenge to team work.
“I usually start out by saying I have no idea what we’re doing, because I don’t,” he told Calvin Klein in an interview for Harper’s Bazaar.
“I’m terrible with a blank piece of paper,” he explained, “so I can’t get started looking at nothing. But if someone shows me six pieces of fabric, I’ll say, ‘I don’t like this, I don’t like this, but that’s interesting.’ And that interesting thing might not last. But it’s a catalyst, and it gets the ball rolling.”
That seemingly haphazard way of starting each collection has worked to Jacobs’ advantage, and has helped him build a line that can’t really be pigeon-holed by a single aesthetic. One season, it’s neon brights and polka-dots, the next it’s uptown luxe with crocodile clutches and a tawny English color palette.
But beyond all the variety and playful willingness to mix it up, there is one area where Marc Jacobs doesn’t budge – wearability.
As much as Jacobs enjoys “making things that really look like fashion-show clothes,” he believes “it’s just not enough to like some concoction. I’m not interested in making stuff for museums; I want the clothes to be worn. I don’t care if the girl sits on a curb in them after a party and they’re destroyed. I have to believe that there’s going to be a life for these things. Otherwise, I wouldn’t send them down the catwalk.”