It takes more than just skill to become a fashion genius. It takes an inbred talent that has been nurtured through experience, excellence and also adversity. Marc Jacobs is a fashion genius.
He has revolutionized trends across the new millennium through his innovative take on elegance, luxury, “grunge” and femininity. He is not only the curator of one of the biggest brands in fashion, the eponymous label Marc Jacobs; but he is also the genius behind the house of Louis Vuitton.
Since being named its Creative Director, Jacobs has not only quadrupled the annual gross revenue of the House of Louis Vuitton to over $5 Billion, but has also turned what was exclusively a luggage company into a “global fashion powerhouse”. In 2010 he was even titled one of TIME magazines most influential people of the year, a significant feat for merely ‘a fashion designer with good taste’.
Jacobs, who turns 50 in April, has had a very interesting history to say the least. Like most of the innovators of today, Jacobs has had his fair-share of failures and misfortunes.
Jacobs’ father died from ulcerative colitis when he was seven, and after moving from household to household, he was eventually raised by his grandmother. After having feelings of intense “alienation”, Jacobs finally found acceptance in his grandmother and acknowledges that his love for luxury and good quality clothing came from her.
It is apparent that Jacobs had a knack for fashion even when he was young. He attended one of the world’s leading fashion schools, Parsons School for design, where he was awarded the Design student of the year and achieved three of the schools greatest honours . It is no surprise that even after being the youngest designer to ever receive the Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion talent in 1987, Jacobs was head-hunted to design a collection for Sketchbook and well, the rest is history.
However there is a price to fame and fortune. In 1999, two years after being named the Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, Jacobs was persuaded by friends Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour to check into rehab after a period of intense cocaine binges and alcohol, heroin and drug abuse. Unfortunately he relapsed in 2007, claiming that alcohol and drugs made him feel “taller, funnier, smarter and cooler”.
However I have full faith in Jacobs. His work continues to be unparalleled and certainly in a league of its own. His mastery in perfecting the chic/grunge look is remarkable and his ingenious block spring-summer 2013 collection for Louis Vuitton has had many tongues wagging.
What do you think of Marc Jacobs? Do you think he’s a mastermind or a mystery?
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