‘I feel we’re missing a little bit of “fashion”.’
With so much focus today on the diminishing size of Marc Jacobs’ business, System asks the (almost taboo) question: does it actually matter if the clothes sell? Does that make them better or worse than other clothes? Or is it simply one measure of success, one of many, to which untoward attention has been paid of late?
By Alexander Fury
Portfolio by Juergen Teller
I first met the designer Marc Jacobs in real life in summer 2018, at a dinner Miuccia Prada held to celebrate her first cruise fashion show in New York. Actually, that’s a lie. I really first met Marc Jacobs thanks to Katie Grand, when I worked for her at Love magazine. In October 2012, I bumped into her as she was coming out of Hedi Slimane’s debut womenswear show for Saint Laurent. She introduced me to a small, slender man dressed all in black. ‘This is Alex, he works at the magazine,’ she said. ‘And this is Marc, he works at Louis Vuitton.’ As then, he did.
Of course, I felt like I knew Marc Jacobs; everybody kind of does. He has transcended the narrow confines of the fashion industry – a task few have managed – to reach a level of universal fame, as designer avatar, archetype, and Simpsons character (in 2007, albeit for Harper’s Bazaar rather than the TV show). You could argue that it was Louis Vuitton, where, from 1997 to 2013, Marc Jacobs was artistic director, that launched the designer into the mainstream. But, equally, it could be said that it was Jacobs – the first person to design clothes bearing a Louis Vuitton label – who transformed Vuitton from a successful, but staid luggage company into the world’s most valuable luxury-goods brand, now worth, according to Forbes magazine, an estimated $33.6 billion.
Read the full interview and take a special look into the artwork, vape smoke, and pet-shaped cookies that decorate the home of Marc Jacobs in System No. 13. Click to buy.