By Camila Costa and Joana Rodrigues
Photos: Getty Images
For the past 16 years, Marc Jacobs has been the creative director of the luxury company, Louis Vuitton. However, last week, he announced that he would be stepping down from the brand in order to concentrate on his own label.
During his time at LV, Jacobs became one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. He was able to expand his business into a $1 billion sales company, as well as transforming LV into the most lucrative fashion house in the world. He is also the one responsible for introducing Vuitton’s ready-to-wear line, transforming the brand into a global powerhouse.
Theatrical was the word many used to describe Jacobs’s fashions shows for the past 16 years — and his last one was nothing short of that. The scenery incorporated main elements from past seasons: the carousel, train station and escalators. Designs followed the same “walk down memory lane” theme and according to Jacobs, “We went back and used all the different bits of the sets of the past and made them black.”
The monochrome black palette, with the exception of pairs of jeans, added to the funereal feeling in the air. But using all-black had a deeper meaning for Jacobs. His first collection for Louis Vuitton was entirely made in that color and in his last collection, his work of over a decade came full circle.
As always his fashion show gathered many celebrities, including the one and only Anna Wintour, who told the Associated Press by e-mail that the 50-year-old designer “has always understood that it is a house about travel, and every season he has taken us on incredible journeys with his spectacular shows — shows that made Vuitton a global phenomenon, but always brought you back to the heart of Paris.”
Wintour was one of Marc’s inspirations, along with Coco Chanel, Jane Birkin and other strong women.
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy possesses a portfolio of over 60 prestigious brands, which includes Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. CEO Bernard Arnault has said, “This [Marc Jacobs] brand has an enormous potential all over the world. To materialize this potential, we decided together within the next two or three years, to do an IPO. This requires a lot of investment on our side, a lot of management on our side and a lot of personal investment for Marc and Robert to really give the input, both creatively and communication-wise on the brand, all over the world. So it will take a lot of the energy of both of them.”
The time has come for Marc Jacobs to focus on his brand, although his legacy in Louis Vuitton will last forever. For now, there are speculations that the frontrunner to replace Jacobs at LV is former creative designer for Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquiere.
At the bottom of his program, Marc wrote to Arnault, “With all my love, always.” By the end of his final show for Louis Vuitton, the crowd, including Arnault, gave Jacobs a much-deserved standing ovation not only for the collection, but also for the legacy he leaves at the fashion powerhouse.