Marc Jacobs was born in New York City on April 9, 1963. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in 1981 he entered Parson’s School of Design. As a design student at Parson’s, Jacobs was the recipient of some of the schools highest honors. He was awarded the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award, and the Design Student of the Year Award all in 1984. While still at Parson’s Jacobs also designed and sold his first collection of hand-knitsweaters. The collection was designed for Ruben Thomas, Inc., which is still in tact today. In 1986, backed by Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing the Marc Jacobs label. The following year, Jacobs received the distinct honor of being the youngest designer ever to be awarded the fashion industry’s highest tribute: The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. In 1989 Jacobs and Duffy joined Perry Ellis. Duffy was named President and Jacobs was named Vice-President of Women’s Design. While at Perry Ellis, Jacobs oversaw the design of various women’s licensees as well as creting the designer collection. In 1992, the CFDA once again bestowed Jacobs with a distinct honor: the Women’s Designer of the Year Award. In the fall of 1993, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. launched their own licensing and design company: Marc Jacobs International Company, LP.
Marc Jacobs: The Designer
Born in New York City in 1963, Marc Jacobs took full advantage of growing up in the fashion hub of the United States. When he was fifteen, he worked as a stock boy in the Charivari Boutique in Manhattan, a boutique that opened in the 1960s and is known for its avant-garde designer clothing and past and present celebrity clientele (including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Andy Warhol). It was there that he met revolutionary fashion designer Perry Ellis, who became his role model.
Jacobs attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and graduated in 1981. From there, he went on to the Parson’s School of Design in New York, one of the most exclusive and respected design schools in the world. He distinguished himself throughout his years at Parson’s, earning such awards as the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award, and Design Student of the Year. While still a student at Parson’s, he sold a collection of hand-knit sweaters to Ruben Thomas’ Sketchbook line and began a partnership with Robert Duffy (called Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc.)
In 1986, Jacobs launched his first line under the Marc Jacobs label to mass critical acclaim and was awarded The Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1987. Jacobs and Duffy then worked for Perry Ellis Designs, where Jacobs launched his first grunge inspired line which consequently led to his dismissal from Perry Ellis (though the line gained high praise from fashion editors.)
Jacobs and Duffy started their own licensing and design company in 1993. This lead to contracts for distribution in Japan and a line of shoes manufactured in Venice, Italy. In 1997, Jacobs continued to branch out by joining Louis Vuitton as Artistic Director. That year also brought the grand opening of the first Marc Jacobs store in Soho. The Council of Fashion Designers of America honored him again, this time with the Women’s Designer of the Year Award.
The millennium brought even more expansion for Marc Jacobs Designs, including a new line of handbags launched in 2000, the contemporary Marc by Marc Jacobs line launched in 2001, and a ground-breaking fragrance ad-campaign featuring Sofia Coppola in 2002. Marc Jacobs stores also expanded to San Francisco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan. In 2007, Jacobs won the Designer of the Year Award from the Accessories Council.
Jacobs continues to expand operations with new fragrances, shoes, handbags, accessories, and ready-to-wear clothing every season.
The Label: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Few labels have ever launched to instant rave reviews from fashion editors, buyers, and consumers alike. Marc by Marc Jacobs is just such a label.
Using celebrity muses like Sofia Coppola, Victoria Beckham, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, and Dakota Fanning, Marc Jacobs creates eye-popping collections every season. But his designs aren’t only for the rich and famous. He mixes vintage, modern, playful and sexy to create garments, accessories, and shoes that would make any woman say, “ I must have that!”
Launched in 2001, Marc by Marc Jacobs is the contemporary arm of the Marc Jacobs fashion empire. The style is down-to-earth, yet lighthearted, perfect for the modern working woman. Marc by Marc Jacobs is designed with real women in mind, containing everything from blazers to blouses, sun dresses to evening gowns, jeans to sweaters, shoes to swimwear. But the collection doesn’t shy away from taking risks with colorful, innovative patterns and surprising combinations of fabrics and detailing. He chooses colors and fabrics that complement each other without extreme matching and creates designs that inspire trends across the globe.