After 16yrs, Marc Jacobs bids farewell to Louis Vuitton


Last month, it was reported that Marc Jacobs, the emperor of luxury goods, was considering not to renew his contract as creative director of the luxury goods brand, Louis Vuitton. I think its a sad day in fashion. As a lover of the brand and the history of iconic houses, I appreciated the freshness, vibrant use of color, grunge infusion, and accessibility Jacobs brought to the label. In my opinion, much of it is owed to prevalence counterfeits/bootleggers. There are also reports of changes at the helm of LVMH. But with all things, it must come to an end. I am sure, we will BE patiently awaiting his next move.

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Since joining the group in 1997 Jacobs has steered Vuitton’s growth into a global luxury brand which generates nearly 7 billion euros ($9.46 billion) of revenues a year and more than half of parent LVMH’s operating profits. Louis Vuitton’s sales growth has slowed down to 5-6 percent this year after decades of more than 10 percent annual sales growth, driven by an aggressive international expansion and demand in Asia, where it opened shops earlier than rivals.

Marc Jacobs helped develop Louis Vuitton’s women and men’s ready-to-wear lines and runs his own eponymous brand which ranks among the most profitable smaller fashion subsidiaries within LVMH, fuelled by demand in the United States and Japan.

The Marc Jacobs brand also launched in August a cosmetics products line in the United States, exclusively distributed by Sephora, LVMH’s beauty products retail chain.

On Tuesday Louis Vuitton announced it had hired Proenza Schouler accessories designer Darren Spaziani as part of its upmarket drive and efforts to beef up its high-end offering of leather bags.

Earlier this month, signs emerged that Louis Vuitton’s revamp could be yielding results as the brand’s new bags have been flying off the shelves since their summer launch, according to a Reuters survey of shops in Milan, Paris and London.

Looking ahead, names in the hat to replace Marc Jacobs include that of Nicolas Ghesquiere, a darling of fashion editors, who left Balenciaga last year after having successfully infused new life into the Kering fashion brand.

Ghesquiere is regarded as close to Delphine Arnault, Louis Vuitton’s deputy chief executive and one of LVMH’s main talent-spotters. She is also the eldest child of Bernard Arnault, founder and chief executive of LVMH and France’s richest man.

As of today, October 2:


PARIS, France — Marc Jacobs, Robert Duffy and LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault have confirmed that Jacobs is leaving his position as the creative director of Louis Vuitton, the luxury brand owned by LVMH, after many months of speculation.

The news marks the end of Jacobs’ 16-year tenure at the storied French house, which the American designer helped to transform from a staid luggage label into one of the most valuable fashion brands in the world, and the jewel in LVMH’s crown.

Indeed, when Jacobs joined the brand in 1997, the New York-based rookie sensation known for popularising 90s grunge, injected both contemporary cultural currency and his characteristic showmanship into the label through its spectacular runway shows. In his first decade at the house, Louis Vuitton’s profits quadrupled.

Critical to Jacobs’ creative strategy were the designer’s hugely successful collaborations with contemporary artists, including Stephen Sprouse (2001), Takashi Murakami (2005), Richard Prince (2007) and Yayoi Kusama (2012), which played with Louis Vuitton’s key brand signifiers: the “LV” logo and famous monogram. The Murakami collaboration alone generated $300 million in sales.

In 2012, Louis Vuitton’s sales growth slowed to single digits on the back of sluggish demand in Asia and Europe.

The announcement of Jacobs’ departure came only moments after the designer presented his Spring/Summer 2014 collection for Louis Vuitton, an all-black, Gothic swan song incorporating sets from his most memorable shows for the brand — including a fountain, dual escalators, and a carousel — around which models paraded in dark, funereal clothes and black, tribal headdresses.

Jacobs and his longtime business partner Robert Duffy are said to be preparing for the IPO of the Marc Jacobs label, in which LVMH has 96 percent stake. Market sources suggested the public offering would take place within the next three years.

Art Basel, Billionaire.com, Andy Barnham

Source: NowFashion/BusinessOfFashion/PerezHilton

About the author

Maurice J. Lawyer has written 332 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

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