(Samir Hussein/Getty Images Europe; Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America; Bauer Griffin) As Marc Jacobs resigns from his Louis Vuitton creative directing post, let us celebrate his remarkable career thus far that has ruffled many feathers; both figuratively within the fashion industry and quite literally on the runway.
The New York native attended Parsons School of Design, due in large part to his grandmother who became his guardian after his father's death and encouraged him to pursue his fashion designing dreams. He would later come to work for Perry Ellis, who he serendipitously met while working at Charivari, an upscale clothing boutique. The designer persuaded Jacobs to attend the acclaimed arts university after high school.
Even in college his talent was apparent. Charivari purchased sweaters Jacobs featured in his final project, which the New York Times later dubbed "kids' clothes for grown-ups." In 1984, he drew the attention of Reuben Thomas executive Robert Duffy, who signed him to design for the company's sportswear label Sketchbook. Jacobs completed his first collection at the age of 21, just after graduating. Duffy believed in his talent so much, in fact, that together they formed Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc., which has evolved into Marc Jacobs International, and are still business partners to this day.
Jacobs was also recognized with numerous awards including, fittingly enough, the Council of Fashion Designers of America's (CFDA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1987, making him the youngest designer to ever receive the honor. In 1989, Perry Ellis recruited Jacobs and Duffy to direct their womenswear line. In 1993, however, the duo were fired following the debut of Jacobs' infamous grunge collection for the brand, despite its industry acclaim. Ironically, around the same time the designer was recognized again by the CFDA with the prestigious Women's Designer of the Year award. The liberation from the brand left Jacobs to cultivate his own name brand.
(Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America; PacificCoastNews.com; Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America; David Livingston/Getty Images North America; PacificCoastNews.com; Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America) In 1997, Marc Jacobs began his 16-year tenure as creative director for Louis Vuitton. His creations for the distinguished luxury brand garnished the attention of countless A-list celebrities, all eager to flaunt his designs on the red carpet. Jessica Alba and Kirsten Dunst, for instance, both donned pieces from his Spring 2013 collection; Sarah Jessica Parker fittingly paraded in his designs for the Fall 2013 runway show in Paris; meanwhile, leading ladies Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon and Rachel McAdams all wore the designer for screenings of their films.
(ImaxTree)Jacobs' last Spring 2014 collection for Louis Vuitton debuted during Paris Fashion Week. His signature rebellious style was quite apparent in his final show.
(ImaxTree)His most recent theatrical presentation for New York Fashion Week (a dark and intricate Victorian-inspired collection) stood out in stark contrast to the spring season it was designed for. When describing Jacobs' brand compared to the Louis Vuitton brand, Duffy told New York Magazine, "She’s the awkward little sister.”
(Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images North America; Mireya Acierto/Getty Images North America; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America; Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images Europe)For over a decade, the designer created masterpieces for two major fashion houses: the distinquished, Paris-based luxury brand and his quirkier New York-based label. He proved quite successful at maintaining both, as celebrities also enjoyed dressing up in his own name brand digs. Miley Cyrus recently supported the designer in one of his gowns at an event where he was honored; Anna Wintour, who he also credits as one of his big influencers, recently appeared in one of his floral print numbers, and Julianne Hough and Sarah Jessica Parker wore his looks at red carpet events.
(ImaxTree)In 2000, the designer launched Marc by Marc Jacobs, a lower-priced diffusion brand, which Vogue describes as "an idealized vision of adolescence that celebrates both its awkwardness and its sweetness." Jacobs conceeds: "There’s a purity to youth. There’s an experimental side, there’s a curiosity. All that is more intriguing to me than knowing, headstrong, oozing sexuality.” The future is sure to see more off-beat yet on-trend designs from the influential Marc Jacobs.