Few human beings can say that they are a brand name, but fashion designer Marc Jacobs can make such a claim. Born in 1963, he is now the leading designer of the fashion house that takes his name as well as his off-the-rack brand "Marc by Marc Jacobs".
Working his way up the fashion food chain, Marc Jacobs was once affiliated with Perry Ellis. Then he was a director for the equally famous Louis Vuitton, before becoming the head of his own firm. Today, there are more than 250+ retail stores located in more than 80 countries, and all bearing the Marc Jacobs name.
The company also has a very dynamic website and is active on social media and in a long list of charitable campaigns.
A Career in Design
A life in fashion began early for Marc Jacobs and at the age of 15 he was already working in an upscale boutique in New York City. During his years of professional study, he earned money by designing and hand-knitting sweaters. This grabbed the attention of Reuben Thomas, Inc. and he was given his first work as a professional designer when he created a collection for their label.
Recognized early in his career for his innovative eye and good design, Marc Jacobs won many awards while still studying his trade. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, he was given the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, the Design Student of the Year award, and the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award for the 1984 academic year.
Within two years of graduating, he was running his own label, and a year after that he set a record as the youngest person to receive the the Council of Fashion Designers of America"s New Fashion Talent award. For many years after that, the Council of Fashion Designers of America recognized him again for his work - giving him their Lifetime Achievement award in 2011.
By the time he had been running his own brand for a full year, however, his company had caught further attention, and he and his partner were brought in as part of the Perry Ellis design team. Once again, his work garnered him industry recognition and he won the 1992 Women"s Designer of the Year Award.
However, it was at this time that Marc Jacobs made his first career misstep and designed a failed line of grungewear for the Perry Ellis company. This got him fired and and re-inspired him to bring his own label back to life.
In 1994, he and his partner created the Marc Jacobs International Company, and produced its first collection. In 1997, he was hired by the Louis Vuitton company and continued to collaborate with the firm for sixteen years. (He left the label in 2014 to focus entirely on his own creations.)
His design credentials were firmly in place by 2001, and this allowed him to create the ready to wear line known as Marc by Marc Jacobs. A huge hit around the globe, it is considered a multi million dollar brand today. He then branched out into fragrances and accessories - all of which have remained popular with his fans.
A further list of Jacobs" awards is too long to provide here, but it is safe to say that he has been recognized almost annually from 1991 onward.
Time magazine tagged Marc Jacobs on their Time 100 list for 2010 and Out magazine selected him as one of the 50 most powerful gay men in America for 2012.
Marc Jacobs Style
The Marc Jacobs brand features runway designs and the Marc Jacobs lines, but also continues offering ready to wear looks. Currently, the company produces:
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Little Marc Jacobs
His esthetic is, in his own words a blend of "little preppie, little grunge, a little couture". The company is closely affiliated with many charitable organizations and keeps an extensive list of them on the official website.
The company is also guided by a strong desire towards sustainability. The product line and all of its suppliers are kept under strict requirements that take the impact on the natural world into consideration at every step of the process.
Equal parts lifestyle and "look", the Marc Jacobs brand is one of the most familiar in the world of fashion, beauty, and accessories.
Marc Jacobs. Biography. MarcJacobs.com. 2014. http://www.marcjacobs.com/world-of-marc-jacobs#mj-bio