Marc Jacobs

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Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs SXSW 2017 (cropped).jpg
Jacobs at the 2017 SXSW
Born (1963-04-09) April 9, 1963 (age 58)
New York City, U.S.
EducationHigh School of Art and Design
Parsons The New School for Design
Charly Defrancesco
(m. 2019)
AwardsKnight of the Order of Arts and Letters (France)

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 before it was 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".[4] He was married on April 6, 2019 to his long time partner, Charly Defrancesco.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Jacobs was born to a non-observant Jewish family in New York City.[6][7][8] When he was seven, his father, an agent at the William Morris Agency, died. His mother, who remarried three times, was, according to Jacobs, "mentally ill" and "didn't really take care of her kids."[9] 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.[10]

Jacobs grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and attended Teaneck High School.[11][12]

He attended the High School of Art and Design and studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York.[6] While at Parsons in 1984, he won the Perry Ellis & Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award, and Design Student of the Year.[13] In 1987 he became the youngest designer ever to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. He also won the Women's Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1993.[14]


At age 15, Jacobs worked as a stockboy at Charivari, a now-defunct avant-garde clothing boutique in New York City.[15] 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.[16]

Marc Jacobs logo

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".[17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

In the fall of 1993, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. launched their own licensing and design company, Marc Jacobs International Company, L.P.[17] In 1994, Jacobs produced his first full collection of menswear.[citation needed] In 1997, Jacobs was appointed Louis Vuitton's creative director, where he created the company's first ready-to-wear clothing line.[19] 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.[20]

Marc by Marc Jacobs in Porto.

In the spring of 2001, Jacobs introduced his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs.[15] In 2005, Look was the Marc by Marc Jacobs ready-to-wear license holder in Japan with retail value of €50 million.[21] In 2006, Jacobs started a new line of body-splash fragrances in ten-ounce bottles which are distributed by Coty. In 2007 filmmaker Loïc Prigent released a documentary film about Jacobs entitled Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.[22][23] In February 2008, Jacobs was accused of plagiarizing a scarf design created in the 1950s by Swedish designer Gösta Olofsson.[24] Jacobs settled the matter by offering monetary compensation to Olofsson's son.[25] In 2009, Jacobs launched a shirt, sold at his stores,[26] demanding the legalization of gay marriage. In May 2009, Jacobs co-hosted, with model Kate Moss, a "model and muse"-themed gala for the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.[27]

In February 2010, Jacobs sued Ed Hardy for infringing on the designs of one of his embroidered handbags.[28] 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.[citation needed] In August 2011, it was reported that Jacobs may succeed John Galliano as creative director of Christian Dior.[29] According to The Daily Telegraph, Jacobs "firmly laid to rest rumours that he was to move to Christian Dior" in January 2012,[30] but rumours prevail.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33]

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.[34]

On January 9, 2014 it was announced that Jacobs's new Spring/Summer collection would feature actress/singer Miley Cyrus, photographed by David Sims.[35]

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.[36] 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.[36]

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.[37]

In February 2018, LVMH confirmed that Baja East co-founder John Targon would join Marc Jacobs as "creative director of contemporary".[38]

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.[39]

In September 2020, Jacobs released Heaven, a polysexual line aimed at a younger audience while blurring gender boundaries. All of the garments incorporated brand signatures to celebrate its history, while giving new context towards a newer, younger audience. The campaign also featured young rising stars and trend-setters, such as beabadoobe and Iris Law.[40]


  • Womenswear Designer of the Year, 2016[41]


Marc Jacobs storefront in New York City

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.[42]

In March 2015, Jacobs announced the end of his secondary brand Marc by Marc Jacobs in order to focus on the development of his main label and to target to a more luxury-oriented audience.[43]


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."[10] The audience for his fashion shows typically includes celebrities like Kim Gordon and Vincent Gallo.[44] 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".[45] 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."[citation needed] 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.[46]

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,[47][48] Oli Burslem, and Milk, a contestant from RuPaul's Drag Race, as well as several runway models.[49]

Personal life and causes[edit]

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, Cara Delevingne, and Naomi Campbell.[50]

On April 4, 2018, Jacobs proposed to his then-boyfriend, Charly Defrancesco, via a flashmob while in a Chipotle restaurant.[51][52] The flashmob did a routine to the song "Kiss" by Prince.[52] They were married in a lavish wedding held in New York City on April 7, 2019.

The couple purchased a home in Rye, New York in April 2019. The Westchester home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is known as the Max Hoffman House.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions | Marc Jacobs".
  2. ^ "Marc Jacobs". Glamour.
  3. ^ "The 2010 Time 100". Time. April 29, 2010. Archived from the original on May 2, 2010.
  4. ^ "The Power List". Out. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  5. ^ "Marc Jacobs Marries Longtime Boyfriend Charly Defrancesco". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Eric. "Marc Jacobs". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Jewish Virtual Library – Jewish Biographies -Fashion Icons: "Kenneth Cole" retrieved September 7, 2015
  8. ^ Bloom, Nate (May 21, 2010). "Jewish Stars 5/21". Cleveland Jewish News.
  9. ^ Levy, Ariel (September 11, 2008). "Profiles: Enchanted. The transformation of Marck Gustavo Jacobs". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Larocca, Amy (August 21, 2005). "Lost and Found". New York. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  11. ^ Robb, Adam. "NJ native designers Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, nominated for CFDA Fashion Awards", The Star-Ledger, March 17, 2011. Accessed February 12, 2020. "Jacobs was raised in Teaneck and attended Teaneck High School and McCollough grew up in the New Jersey suburbs. (It's not uncommon for high fashion designers to be vague about their NJ roots.)"
  12. ^ Ruse, Leslie. "Did you know these New Jersey celebrities were engaged?", Daily Record (Morristown), August 7, 2018. Accessed February 12, 2020. "Marc Jacobs, Teaneck - Fashion designer Marc Jacobs, a graduate of Teaneck High School, used a flash mob performance to the Prince song "Kiss" to propose to boyfriend Charly Defrancesco at a Manhattan Chipotle on April 4, 2018."
  13. ^ "Marc Jacobs". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Marc Jacobs". British Vogue. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Marc Jacobs". Voguepedia. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  16. ^ Singer, Sally (Summer 2008). "Robert Duffy". 032c (15). Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "Biographie". Marc Jacobs Website.
  18. ^ Amy Larocca (September 5, 2005). "Lost and Found". New York Magazine.
  19. ^ a b Craven, Jo (May 11, 2011). "Marc Jacobs". British Vogue. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  20. ^ "Louis Vuitton – Designer Fashion Label". New York Magazine. New York Media. October 31, 2011.
  21. ^ Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  22. ^ Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton at IMDb
  23. ^ Feaster, Felicia (March 12, 2008). "DVD: Marc Jacobs, the Pixie". New York Press.
  24. ^ "Marc Jacobs plagiarized my dad's scarf". The Local. February 19, 2008. Archived from the original on February 27, 2008.
  25. ^ "US Fashion Designer Makes 'Plagiarized' Scarf Payout". The Local. March 4, 2008.
  26. ^ "Towleroad: Marc Jacobs T-Shirts Demand Gay Rights for Taxes".
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Aboutaleb, Britt. "Fashionista". Fashionista. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  29. ^ "Marc Jacobs may become Dior creative head – report". Reuters. New York/Paris. August 23, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  30. ^ Blanchard, Tamsin (January 9, 2012). "Marc Jacobs: Not moving to Dior 'was probably best for everyone'". The Telegraph.
  31. ^ Cowles, Charlotte (March 7, 2012). "Marc Jacobs for Dior Rumors Make a Comeback".
  32. ^ "Marc Jacobs named Diet Coke creative director". Vogue. UK. February 6, 2013.
  33. ^ "Marc Jacobs' 'faux fur' garments actually use the coats of Chinese canines". March 8, 2013.
  34. ^ "Confirmed: Marc Jacobs Is Leaving Louis Vuitton". Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  35. ^ "Miley Cyrus for Marc Jacobs – Spring/Summer 2014 Campaign ( UK)". January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Jessica Lange: New Face Of Marc Jacobs Beauty ( UK)". February 27, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Marc Jacobs Hires New Designer for Lower-Priced Product Push". The Business of Fashion. February 1, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  39. ^ "Marc Jacobs Will Receive MTV's First-Ever Fashion Trailblazer Award". Vogue. July 30, 2019.
  40. ^ "Say Hello to Heaven, Marc Jacobs' New Polysexual Collection". PAPER. September 9, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  41. ^ "CFDA Fashion Awards 2016: The Full Winners List!". June 7, 2016.
  42. ^ Mistry, Meenal (August 25, 2011). "Fashion's Better Halves". Wall Street Journal Magazine.
  43. ^
  44. ^ Trebay, Guy (September 13, 2007). "In This Front Row, Downtown Cred". The New York Times.
  45. ^ Trebay, Guy (May 28, 2002). "Familiar, but Not: Marc Jacobs and the Borrower's Art". The New York Times.
  46. ^ Kosin, Julie (July 8, 2015). "Marc Jacobs Unveils New Video of Cher's Fall 2015 Campaign Shoot". Harper's BAZAAR.
  48. ^ "Sites-mjsfra-Site".
  49. ^ "Marc Jacobs Casts His 'Family' in This Spring 2016 Ad Campaign". February 2, 2016.
  50. ^ "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 October 29, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  51. ^ "Marc Jacobs proposes to boyfriend using a flashmob and it is spectacular". The Independent. April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  52. ^ a b Jones, Fionnuala. "Marc Jacobs proposed to his boyfriend with a flashmob in a burrito restaurant". The Daily Edge. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  53. ^ Joyce Chen (April 9, 2019). "Marc Jacobs Drops $9.17 Million on Frank Lloyd Wright–Designed Home Outside NYC". Architectural Digest. Retrieved February 16, 2020.

External links[edit]