In an interview with WWD, Robert Duffy, president and vice chairman of Marc Jacobs International, admitted that Jacobs's contemporary line was "getting a little stale." So he's made two very exciting hires to liven up the brand: Former Marc Jacobs's accessories designer Katie Hillier has been named creative director and beloved designer Luella Bartley has been named design director of women’s ready-to-wear. Of course, Marc Jacobs will still oversee his little sister namesake line.
When Marc by Marc launched in 2000 there wasn't much competition in the contemporary market. Now there's tons (see: Philip Lim, Alexander Wang, Theyskens' Theory, Rag & Bone). “The competition has become too great,” Duffy said. “We have an issue with the ready-to-wear... We rested on our laurels and it hurt us.”
Hillier and Bartley, both immersed in London's vibrant and young fashion scene (where they will remain), should certainly help with any "issues." Fashion-o-files will be especially excited about Bartley's return to fashion. Her geeky-preppy namesake line, which was around from 1999 until she shuttered it in 2009, garnered a cult following.
We have Hillier to thank for bringing Bartley back--she hired her as one of her first moves as creative director. (Hillier used to design accessories for Bartley.) “[Hillier] is a great leader," Marc Jacobs told WWD. "Her creativity and energy inspires me and everybody she works with."
Needless to say, we're awfully excited to see Marc by Marc Jacobs next season.