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Surprise! Marc Jacobs Closed New York Fashion Week After All

The designer dropped his latest collection via... WeTransfer.
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Back in the day — before a global pandemic was raging and the economy was near-constantly on the verge of collapse, threatening to take the fashion system down with it — Marc Jacobs was the designer who closed New York Fashion Week. He'd take over the Lexington Armory and, at precisely 6 P.M. (usually, anyway), he'd present his latest collection, initially amongst an ornate set piece, but transitioning over time to using just the sparse space of the room.

Lately, though, Jacobs has taken to doing what he wants, when he wants. Following his Fall 2020 collection — the last to be presented on calendar — the designer took a big step back to consider what was next for his brand, from the future of runway shows to how he thinks about making clothes.

"We certainly won't be showing it that way [we had been]. Already, last season, very few people came to New York, very few people showed in New York. The idea of everybody getting on a plane, coming to a show — from models to makeup artists to editors to journalists — that's just unrealistic to think about right now," he said at an April 2020 Vogue conference. "I just don't think that when this lifts, everyone's just going to get back on a plane and back on a train and back on a bus to come to a show. We have to be patient with the process. [...] What I do and the clothes that I make and the way we present a show, it feels like that probably will never exist as we know it, the way we did it."

His only show since was for the Fall 2021 collection, presented last summer at the New York Public Library. It was a collection that felt both joyous and protective, packed with layered puffers and knits, rave-ready flashy fabrics and oversized reflective discs, black and white swirls mixed with his logo blown up to enormous proportions. 

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Those ideas continue in the line he surprise-dropped on Friday morning, dubbed simply "Runway 2022." In just 10 looks — all rendered in that same stark black and white palette, mixed with denim — Jacobs builds these concepts out further; there are maxi-length skirts with distressed detailing, shredded strips of fabric making up long-sleeved tops and shawl-like wrappings, enormous puffer vests and coats blanketing the models. The paillettes are shrunken back down and used in skin-revealing tops; the logo, conversely, gets even bigger running along pants and an oversized scarf. What didn't continue, though, was (somewhat obviously) the runway format.

Though he'd said in the Fall 2021 show notes that "my love for fashion, the desire to create and share collections through this delivery system — the runway — endures," Jacobs instead presented the Runway 2022 line via... WeTransfer. There are no show notes, no hint at what ideas drive the collection, not even an indication of whether the name "Runway 2022" means that this is the only collection we'll see from Jacobs this year. 

It's smart for designers to consider what works for them in this current landscape and disregard what might be expected of them if it doesn't make sense for the business. Still, New York Fashion Week doesn't quite feel the same without Jacobs on the runway — and while a surprise drop definitely brings a little drama, the emotion of Jacobs' clothes doesn't compress into a ZIP file as easily as the beautiful images do. 

See the complete Marc Jacobs Runway 2022 collection in the gallery below:

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