Born: New York, U.S., 1963
An early influence in fashion started from Marc Jacobs grandmother. Teaching him how to knit, Jacobs interest in fashion led him to attend the High School of Art and Design. Graduating in 1981, he then enrolled at the Parsons School of Design. While studying at Parsons, Jacobs was recipient of some of the highest awards from the school including ‘Design Student of the Year’.
Jacobs began to design while at Parsons, creating and selling a line of hand knit sweaters. During a graduation dinner, Jacobs met Robert Duffy. Duffy was impressed with Jacobs’ designs with started a personal and professional relationship between the two.
After graduating, Jacobs designed his first collection under his own name, the following year; Jacobs won The Council of Fashion Designer of America Perry Ellis Award for ‘New Fashion Talent’. Jacobs had the honour of being the youngest designer to ever receive the award.
His first company lasted only two years, with Jacobs quitting to join Perry Ellis as Vice-President of Women’s Design in 1989. Duffy went with Jacobs, hired as President of the company. In 1992, the CFDA once again honoured Jacobs with the Women’s ‘Designer of the Year Award’ for his famous ‘Grunge Collection’ at Perry Ellis.
In 1993, Jacobs’ and Duffy launched, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc., starting their own licensing and design company; Marc Jacobs International Company. Jacobs’ new designs were praised for their simplicity and modern look.
In 1997 Jacobs and Duffy joined Louis Vuitton, as creative director and studio director. Jacobs had plans to design deluxe items a person could travel with. Jacobs also created the company’s first ready-to-wear clothing line.
The same year they opened the first Marc Jacobs store on Mercer Street, in the Soho district of New York.
In 2001 a diffusion line, Marc by Marc Jacobs was introduced with a spring runway show. In 2004 a shop selling both brands was opened in Boston and a year later three new shops were opened in Los Angeles. In 2006, a shop was opened in Paris followed by another opened in London in 2007. The same year a new line for children named ‘Little Marc Jacobs’ was launched.
In 2007 the company started an eyewear range as well as releasing the first fragrance, ‘Daisy’. This followed by more shops opening in London, Savannah, Georgia, Tokyo and Moscow. In 2008 more locations where again opened worldwide with the Chicago boutique offering several limited edition fragrances.
The company currently has ranges including Marc Jacobs Collection ready-to-wear, male and female, Marc by Marc Jacobs male and female, two shoe collections, two eyewear and two sunglass collections, one collection of watches, nice fragrances and a children’s line. Marc Jacobs personally has gone onto winning seven CFDA awards.
In 2013 Jacobs announced his departure from Louis Vuitton after a sixteen-year tenure, confirming previous rumors that he was leaving to focus fully on his eponymous brand.
Known for his simple and modern designs, Marc Jacobs has the ability to design clothes people want to wear, making him a successful designer for his own company and other houses he has worked for.
In February 2013, Marc Jacobs became the creative director for Diet Coke, revamping the brand’s image for its 30th anniversary. However, it was later revealed that some of his garments contained faux fur made from raccoon dogs from China. In October 2013, after the Spring/Summer 2014 show, Jacobs decided to leave Louis Vuitton to focus on his own line.
Jacobs collaborated with actress/singer Miley Cyrus for his new Spring/Summer collection in 2014, which was photographed by David Sims. He also enlisted actress Jessica Lange as the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty, featuring her in print-ad campaigns and a short film directed by Jacobs.
For his Marc by Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign, Jacobs used social media to cast models, a strategy that proved successful and was repeated for the Spring/Summer 2015 campaign.
In September 2020, Jacobs launched “Heaven,” a polysexual line aimed at a younger audience, blurring gender boundaries, and featuring brand signatures with a contemporary twist. The campaign showcased rising stars like beaba doobee and Iris Law.
Jacobs has received various awards, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2016 and MTV’s Fashion Trailblazer Award in 2019.
The Marc Jacobs brand is known for its avant-garde and fine arts-driven advertising campaigns, featuring cultural icons and artists instead of traditional fashion models. Jacobs has an ongoing project called “Protect The Skin You’re In,” raising awareness about melanoma by having celebrities pose nude for T-shirts, with proceeds going to research at the NYU Langone Medical Center.
In April 2018, Jacobs proposed to his then-boyfriend, Charly Defrancesco, through a flash mob routine in a Chipotle restaurant. They got married in New York City in April 2019 and purchased a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Rye, New York.
Marc Jacobs Biography