Marc Jacobs spoke French Institute Alliance Française last night.
He talked about his the history of his brand, and his design aesthetic with Deputy Director of the Museum at FIT, Patricia Mears.
The conversation covered all the Marc Jacobs basics: his first sweater collection out of Parsons, his partnership with Robert Duffy, his busy lifestyle, but there were some new bits of information that even the most astute Marc buffs probably don't know. Like:
1. He's only worn jeans three times in the past two years.
2. Speaking of pants, Marc's famous kilt was the result of a bad mood in the office. He was feeling uninspired and told his assistant Casey to go to Barneys and buy him a pair of funny pants to cheer him up. Thus the Comme des Garçons kilt streak commenced.
3. While at Perry Ellis he hired his best friend from Parsons, Tracy Reese, and other Parsons grad Tom Ford to design for the label. Tom and Marc together is every American's dream, right?
4. The greatest American designer according to Marc? Ralph Lauren.
5. But Yves Saint Laurent's his design hero.
6. The company started at 113 Spring Street with one pattern maker and two sewers. All three are still with the brand today.
7. Juergen Teller shot Marc's very first ad, of Kim Gordon on stage in a Marc Jacobs dress styled by Venetia Scott. So not much has changed there.
8. The common thread between Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton is collaboration. Marc stressed the talent and passion of designers he works with at both brands, and that the end result is not a manifestation of his own vision, but the vision of each member of the creative team. Very different from the dictatorship Tom Ford describes, no?
9. The major difference is between MJ and LV is Marc's personal conceptions of New York and Paris. Marc Jacobs is about New York, and Marc always needs to create a logical, credible collection for the brand. Paris, however, "is like a cartoon," so Vuitton is always about flaunting what you have and suspending logic.
10. On the casting at his AW10 Louis Vuitton Show, Marc says it wasn't about age, race, size, or shape. Instead Marc says, "iconic women are always Vuitton." He worked with Katie Grand to pick out icons, and even lamented the lack of Daria and Isabeli saying, "we wanted them, but they were booked for other things." Could you even imagine Isabeli pouring over a Vuitton corset? It's almost too incredible.
11. All the design on all Marc Jacobs products is in house. That means every t-shirt, headband, necklace, glove, tsotchke you find at the Stuff by Marc Jacobs store on Bleeker was designed by the Marc Jacobs creative team. We'd like to know who came up with this.