When Marc Jacobs discontinued its lower-priced diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs in 2015, the industry outcry was — not to be dramatic — slightly deafening. Shoppers and editors alike were devastated, and not simply because the closure would effectively bid farewell to longtime collaborators Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley, the secondary label's creative director and Marc Jacobs's womenswear designer, respectively. To say the clothes were great would be an understatement, infused with Marc Jacobs's very particular string of playfully sharp downtown DNA — available to a broader audience at a less expensive cost.
While Marc by Marc Jacobs as we knew it will not be returning to retail anytime soon, the house is introducing a new kind of offshoot with a more democratic price point.
On Wednesday, WWD reported that Marc Jacobs is launching a new, lower-priced label with its Pre-Fall 2019 collection. The line is called "The Marc Jacobs," like the namesake designer's Instagram handle, and is currently being shown to retailers, though under embargo for press. According to WWD, the between-season collection — a famously lucrative one for brands of all makes and models — is divided into two components: "Runway," comprised of those pieces the brand would design normally, alongside "The Marc Jacobs." WWD also speculates that this new initiative is the brainchild of Chief Executive Officer Eric Marechalle, who joined Marc Jacobs from Kenzo in July 2017.
Marc Jacobs's recent business woes have been well-documented, with everything from store closures across Europe and New York to reports of corporate distress peppering the brand's news presence. (In February, Marc Jacobs hired buzzy Baja East Co-Founder John Targon as the brand's "creative director of contemporary." He departed two months later.) "The Marc Jacobs" may not be the second coming of Marc by Marc Jacobs, exactly, but perhaps Marechalle is simply looking to restore a touch of that popular label's magic.
We've reached out to Marc Jacobs for comment, and will update this post as we learn more.