Designer Profile: Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs was born in New York on the 9th April 1963, and from a young age it became clear that he was a dedicated follower of fashion. Attending the High School of Art and Design and Parsons School of Design, he received honours and won the Design Student of the Year award as well as creating and selling his own knitwear which he had designed for Reuben Thomas’ Sketchbook label.

It wasn’t long after finishing his formal education that Jacobs became the youngest designer to win the Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent: one of the most prestigious awards in the fashion industry. It was his first self-titled collection which won him the honour, as well as a great deal of attention worldwide, and only a few years later he had partnered with Robert Duffy and built his reputation considerably.

In 1989, the duo were put at the head of the Women’s Design department at Perry Ellis, a position for which Jacobs received further honours by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) with the Women’s Designer of the Year award for his ‘Grunge’ collection. Shortly afterwards the Marc Jacobs International Company was established by the new partnership, and in 1997 they opened their first store in New York’s Soho district, but this was only the beginning: making history in the fashion world, the partners soon became a part of the Louis Vuitton family, with Jacobs as Artistic Director.

The world renowned Marc by Marc Jacobs line was launched in 2001, and since then his reputation has boomed across the globe. Whether at the heart of controversy, winning awards, or sparking inspiration, the American designer has regularly been in the fashion press, and with his many collections in swimwear, eyewear, sunglasses, accessories, and childrens’ lines, it’s not hard to see why. By the end of the decade his brand was truly global, reaching out to Japan and Russia, and he now holds more than a hundred stores across the world.

A master of his craft, Jacobs has always proved his worth through his masterful use of materials, in particular fur. His use of new technologies and processes along with his enthusiasm and passion has been a formula for success, as shown through his current empire, which includes ready-to-wear collections for men and women, special items and accessories, Little Marc Jacobs, nine fragrances and watches in association with Fossil. More than this, along with Duffy the pair also support over 60 charities today and take an active part in their promotion.