On June 2nd, journalist Steven Kurutz of the New York Times wrote a scathing article about Marc Jacobs’s gradual decline in the fashion industry, and his claims may be correct.
Marc Jacobs was once a fashion powerhouse. The designer has been nominated for women’s wear designer of the year multiple times since 2013. In 2011, Jacobs won CFDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Jacobs used to design looks for fashion mavens such as Sofia Coppola and Winona Ryder. In recent years, however, Jacobs has been unable to recapture the success which he enjoyed in earlier years.
Kurutz stated, “now, there is a sense that Mr. Jacobs has lost his way. With turnover at the top and a designer who himself has suggested he no longer understands what customers want, the label is turning out clothes and accessories that lack a compelling point of view, failing to generate the excitement created by younger peers like Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra.”
Recent events seem to support Kurutz’s claims. In January 201, chief executive of LVMH Bernard Arnault said, “I’m more concerned about Marc Jacobs than the U.S. president,” referring to Donald Trump. LVHM’s chief financial officer also stated that Marc Jacobs was “probably one of the few negative performances we have in the group.”
Marc Jacobs recently pulled back on many of its smaller departments. LVMH shut down Marc Jacobs’ men’s wear department in 2017. In 2015, the more affordable Marc by Marc Jacobs line was also pulled back. Additionally, stores across Europe and New York, including the flagship “MarcLand” store, have been closed down.
Controversy has recently buried the designer and could be a potential reason for the company’s seeming downfall. His relationship with a former porn star as well as his entrance into rehab for substance abuse raised doubts about his ability to run the company. As a result, in 2014, Jacobs removed himself from Louis Vuitton to focus solely on his own company.
However, it may be too early to deem Marc Jacobs irrelevant. His makeup line at Sephora has been tremendously successful. The company has also been attempting to rebrand and reinvent their image, releasing a colorful, youthful looking bag called the “Snapshot.”
The seeming downfall of Marc Jacobs is difficult to overlook. But with the company’s efforts to reestablish the brand, Marc Jacobs may not be out of the game just yet.
Featured Image via marcjacobs.com