Marc Jacobs launched a new contemporary line on Thursday. After shuttering his last mid-market venture, Marc by Marc, in the spring of 2015, after the 56-year old New York based designer says it “grew and it grew into something that [he and former business partner Robert Duffy] no longer recognized, what we wanted or intended it to be,” Jacobs is trying his hand again with THE Marc Jacobs.
Beyond the focus on individual pieces that comes with the new contemporary line, which with its $90 tees and $895 coats is meant to be “something unlike the collections we are already doing,” Jacobs views on the new venture, itself, are interesting. He notes that the same corporate pressures remain: the “pressure to create things that people will want,” Jacobs revealed to Fashionista in connection with the newly-debuted venture. There’s the “need to do [a bag] that’s so identifiable, that everyone will know it’s yours from across the street and blah blah blah.” That is no easy feat he says from experience (Jacobs has a few “it” bags under his belt, but nonetheless, “That’s what a bunch of corporate people always tell you.”
There is also the push to listen to follow market data, and look to the trajectory of the biggest names of the moment, even if it is “something completely unrelated [to my business],” he says. “For a while you’d hear, ‘Look at Supreme’ … or, ‘Look at Off-White,’ [and its like] Okay. I look at it, it’s great. It’s graphics on sweatshirts, on T-shirts, on streetwear. But when were we ever that? And where would you think in any world that we would get on that boat and be credible?”
Fashionista notes that Jacobs “insinuates that he pays little attention to hype and those who are drumming it up,” and instead, is doing things his own way. When it comes to THE Marc Jacobs, that means harkening back to what made the now-defunct Marc by Marc line so successful in the first place, and for years, it was successful. It “was marketable,” “made money,” and “helped us to continue doing Runway and the things we wanted to do at that level,” he tells WWD’s Bridget Foley.
Jacobs contributes the early accomplishments of that line to him and his team going “with our instincts and allow[ing] ourselves the freedom to do what we wanted, not get dictated to by a bunch of rigid ideas about what marketing and production and everything needed to be or should be, quote/unquote.”
So, Jacobs says he’s “doing this the same way we’ve always done it. We are working on something that feels right to us. The thing that has given us the best results is trusting our instincts. Whether our instincts are timely or whether they speak to someone who is the customer today, I don’t know. That’s something that we’ll have to find out.”