Monday, May 4, 2009

Marc Jacobs @ the NY TIMES TimesTalks 5/3

Last night was amazing. I had purchased tickets to listen to Marc Jacobs do a live interview by Stefano Tonchi. Tonchi started as the style editor for The New York Times Magazine and currently is the editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine - published 15 times a year covering fashion, design, and travel. It is honestly one of my favorite publications to read - they collaborate with the most fantastic journalists, photographers, designers to pump out each issue. Other incredible positions Tonchi has previously held were at Esquire, JCrew, Self magazine, Vogue and Emporio Armani. The man is fabulous and was entirely suited to interview Marc Jacobs.
(Stefano Tonchi)
I found out about this event over my Sunday morning coffee and paper in bed. There was a small article announcing that the next "Sunday with the Magazine @ the Times Center" would showcase leaders in Fashion, Design and the Economy. Every person to be interviewed would have a one hour time slot and be interviewed by a journalist from the Times. The catch, every session was $30. haha. Other people being interviewed that day were : 1. Peter Baker and Helene Cooper (white house correspondents for the NYT), 2. Tyra Banks, 3. Thakoon Panchgul/Narciso Rodriguez/ Maria Cornejo (discussing style and how Michelle Obama is shaping the fashion industry today - this would have been the other talk I would have gone to had it not been $$. And I have a weird crush on Thakoon..hehe), 4. Paul Krugman (2008 Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economic Science) and 5. Richard Holbrooke (Appointed special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan by Pres. Obama). The Times center only seats about 350 so it feels very intimate and personal. If you live in the New York area or you're ever visiting over the weekend - I absolutely recommend you looking into seeing if TimesTalks are going on. It was incredible.

So. Let's talk about MARC.

The man is my idol. Quick Blurb: Marc was born in NYC and attended the High School of Art and Design and then Parsons School of Design, where he was named student of the year. in '86 he designed his first collection with the Marc Jacobs label. The following year he became the youngest recipient of The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. He became VP of Women's Design @ Perry Ellis in '89 and in '92 was named women's designer of the year by the CFDA.

He has been honored by CFDA with 7 awards over the years, including accessories designer of the year and mesnwear designer of the year. If the guys does it (and he covers almost every base), he does it well. in '97 he joined the prestigious Louis Vuitton as artistic director and opened his first Marc Jacobs store in NY. In 2001 he launched his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs - which now includes eyewear, fragrances, swimwear and children's lines. Now he has over 100 stores worldwide and will be opening 3 new stores (London, Sao Paolo and Milan) in 2009. And what I love most about this man is his contributions and commitment to social responsibility - involved with over 60 charities world wide.

So - if you don't get it. Marc basically designs 2 lines (Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs) and is the artistic vision and contributor to Louis Vuitton. A small idea of how he has impacted LVMH. LV was a luxury trunk company. TRUNKS people. Who, honestly, finds it convenient to travel with trunks? Especially if you can afford the luxury market - you probably don't even need to pack enough to use a trunk because you have a home everywhere you travel stocked with every amenity! Since '97 Jacobs has been responsible for basically branding LV. Before Marc, that classic LV logo was hardly recognizable. But he was able to cue in and note that there was no other way to take that didn't have the history of equestrian influence like Ralph Lauren or the print design background like Pucci. He basically saved LV by turning their Trunk line into fabulous handbags, accessories and directing their clothing to embody luxury.What did I love about the interview? First, he was wearing a kilt. Pretty standard for Marc Jacobs, but to actually see this in person - amazing. Second, I loved when he talked about how his unwillingness to compromise his point of view or personality was the reason for the demises and rises in his career. When MJ worked at Perry Ellis he basically was fired for tapping into the movement that was his "grunge collection", kind of the anti glamor/fashion movement. Although Perry Ellis is very much a preppy, "safe" collection of apparel, it is the line Marc created that got them noticed world wide. What's confusing to many working in the industry is when designing for another person's brand, who's vision do you portray - theirs or yours? And it might not have been Perry's vision but he had hired Marc to portray his. He wasn't willing to compromise that and after doing so, created his platform for a successful future in fashion.It was super inspiring for me to hear him talk about what his signature was. Marc, simply replied, "what signature?" Tonchi then responded, "that's right, you are quite the signature of discontinuous change." Marc then went on to say "if you are they type of designer that needs consistency from line to line, collection to collection, and that works for you, fine. But I am inspired by art, music, color, and most of all, energy. All of those things constantly change. And what is a collection? Its a culmination of ideas. So if my first piece down the runway isn't cohesive to the last, who cares, those were my ideas at that time. I actually am thankful to people like you Stefano who write about my collections because half the time, you're the one finding something within them to connect the line and help them to 'Make sense' to the people who find that important." Going back to Purdue and designing my senior year is making me really nervous. First, because i want it to be a great collection. But second, because I've spent the entire year without a creative outlet. I have SO many ideas of where to draw inspiration from for my collection - so hearing from Marc that it doesn't HAVE to make sense to be great is a little calming and inspiring.

He also said it was important to him to not "ruin the world" by creating a brand with Marc Jacobs. For it to not all connect forces people to find their own style within the brand.

I loved Marc and everything he has to say. He is engaged to be married to his partner Lorenzo and says they are very much in love and excited about the rest of their lives together. They want to have kids to give their shared love to someone else and also have a piece of one another forever if something were to happen to the other. MJ is also hosting tonight's annual Met Gala. A fabulous party supporting an exhibition opening that allows designers to partner up with a model/actress/celebrity/socialite and create a design for them to show off for the evening. The exhibition this year is titled "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion." (Marc Jacobs and fiance Lorenzo Martone)


  1. hi that's jason preston on the photo not lorenzo martone :-)

  2. Ah Thank's!! i threw in pictures at the last minute and trusted the first image on google! thanks! correcting stat!