Marc Jacobs is the head designer for his own fashion label, Marc Jacobs, and formerly Marc by Marc Jacobs, a diffusion line, which was produced for approximately 15 years having been discontinued after the 2015 fall/winter collection. At one point there were over 200 retail stores in 80 countries.
He was the creative director of the French design house Louis Vuitton from 1997 to 2014. Jacobs was on Time magazine's "2010 Time 100" list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and was #14 on Out magazine's 2012 list of "50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America".
At age 15, Jacobs worked as a stockboy at Charivari, a now-defunct avant-garde clothing boutique in New York City. While still at Parsons, he designed and sold his first line of hand-knit sweaters. He also designed his first collection for Reuben Thomas, Inc., under the Sketchbook label. With Robert Duffy, Jacobs's creative collaborator, and business partner since the mid-1980s, he formed Jacobs Duffy Designs.
In 1986, backed by Onward Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing the Marc Jacobs label. In 1987, he was the youngest designer to have ever been awarded the fashion industry's highest tribute, the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Perry Ellis Award for "New Fashion Talent".
In 1988, Jacobs and Duffy joined the women's design unit of Perry Ellis as creative director/vice president and president, respectively, following the death of its namesake and founder. In addition, Jacobs oversaw the design of the various women's licensees. In 1992, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Jacobs with The Women's Designer of the Year Award. In the same year, he designed a "grunge" collection for Perry Ellis, leading to his dismissal.
In the fall of 1993, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. launched their own licensing and design company, Marc Jacobs International Company, L.P. In 1994, Jacobs produced his first full collection of menswear. In 1997, Jacobs was appointed Louis Vuitton's creative director, where he created the company's first ready-to-wear clothing line. Jacobs has collaborated with many popular artists for his Louis Vuitton collections, including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and most recently American artist Richard Prince and rapper Kanye West.
In the spring of 2001, Jacobs introduced his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs. In 2005, Look was the Marc by Marc Jacobs ready-to-wear license holder in Japan with retail value of €50 million. In 2006, Jacobs started a new line of body-splash fragrances in ten-ounce bottles which are distributed by Coty. First being sold only in perfume boutiques, they have become more and more popular.
In 2007 filmmaker Loïc Prigent released a documentary film about Jacobs entitled Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. In 2009, Jacobs launched a shirt, sold at his stores, demanding the legalization of gay marriage. In May 2009, Jacobs co-hosted, with fashion model Kate Moss, a "model and muse"-themed gala for the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.
In February 2013, Jacobs was named the new creative director for Diet Coke. In honor of the brand's 30th anniversary, Jacobs would spend one year where he was slated to give the brand a "stylish and light-hearted" makeover. In March 2013, the New York Daily News revealed that the "faux fur" used in many Marc Jacobs garments is actually the fur from raccoon dogs from China.
In October 2013, after the Spring/Summer 2014 show, it was revealed that Jacobs would leave Louis Vuitton to focus on his own line. He went on to feature celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Jessica Lange in his collections and brands.
In 2019 he was awarded MTV’s first-ever Fashion Trailblazer Award at the VMAs in a partnership between the brand and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
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