Just three seasons into Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier's tenure at Marc by Marc Jacobs, bad news has befallen the house. According to a report from WWD's Bridget Foley, Marc by Marc Jacobs will be discontinued and folded into the main Marc Jacobs line.
Foley, who has written a book about Jacobs, writes that the merger between the brands will result in a single line with a "range of merchandise and price points currently divided between the two lines, from luxury to contemporary." And it will be more aesthetically cohesive.
A rep for Marc Jacobs declined to comment on the matter for this story.
Why shut down Marc Jacobs's beloved little sister? The brand's forthcoming IPO would be the first place to look. LVMH has been making gradual changes to Marc Jacobs's business as it prepares for a public offering, with Jacobs, himself, stepping down from his creative role at Louis Vuitton in order to focus on his own line, and 46-year-old Sebastian Suhl, formerly the CEO of Givenchy, joining the company in July as its new chief executive. LVMH's Bernard Arnault has made clear his ambition to achieve Michael Kors levels of success with Jacobs's IPO.
Still, the move is strange, given that Marc by Marc Jacobs makes up the bulk of the company's sales — at the time of Hillier and Bartley's debut, Robert Duffy said that number was 70 percent. The line is carried by most major department stores; Marc Jacobs is not. Too broad a range of price points could confuse shoppers, and make it difficult for wholesale buyers to merchandise.
We'll be interested to see how this one plays out.