Unless you became a Louis Vuitton collector literally decades ago, you probably can’t imagine the brand without Marc Jacobs, Vuitton’s creative director of 16 years, who revolutionized the brand’s handbag business, started an industry-wide trend of artist collaborations and positioned the company firmly at the nexus of fashion and pop culture. Yesterday morning, though, Fashionista reported that industry rumors and its own anonymous sources indicate that Jacobs’ long tenure as head of the brand may be coming to an end when his contract runs out in 2014.

Vuitton and Jacobs are currently still in negotiations to renew the contract, and if Jacobs left, it would be of his own volition. After all, he’s presided over a decade and a half of record sales and profits for the leather goods company, and despite LVMH’s recent desire to take Vuitton in a direction that’s more appealing to the highest end of the market, the brand seems to be comfortable with the idea that Jacobs is still the man for the job. He may have other ideas, though, and in his absence, rumors indicate former Balenciaga chief Nicolas Ghesquiere might be the heir to the throne at the world’s most important luxury brand.

Jacobs recently appointed two high-profile names, Kate Hillier and Luella Bartley, to revamp his Marc by Marc Jacobs brand, admitting that it had fallen behind the burgeoning contemporary market. With the pressure of overseeing four full collections a year for three distinct brands, perhaps Jacobs thinks its time to scale back his responsibilities and focus on the lines that bear his name. In recent years, the Marc Jacobs brand has also fallen behind some of its competitors, especially in the uber-profitable accessories and shoe businesses, even though Jacobs’ shows are still among the most influential in the world. It’s been since the Stam Bag, in the mid-2000s, that Jacobs’ flare for accessories brought his own brand an overwhelming hit.

Although all of this is just gossip, it makes a certain amount of sense, considering the timing and strategies of all the brands and designers involved. The only real question I see involves Ghesquiere; although his motorcycle bags sold well at Balenciaga, his designs, no matter how beloved by fashion people, were generally not retail gold. For a company like Vuitton, that just won’t fly, even though he is unquestionably the most gifted free agent on the design market right now. With the devoted Vuitton fanbase and Ghesquiere’s artistic talent, though, commerce might not prove to be a problem, should these rumors turn into reality.

If you’re a fan of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs or Nicolas Ghesquiere (which might be all of you, actually), let us known your thoughts on these prospective moves in the comments!

Here’s the virtually ageless Winona Ryder, carrying a sleek, black Marc Jacobs Antonia Satchel around Manhattan. She and Marc are real-life pals; she did an ad campaign for his brand back in 2003, and they once shared a spread in Harper’s Bazaar. If that doesn’t indicate a close, personal friendship betwixt celeb buddies, then what does, exactly? I hope that Marc gave her a serious “friends and family” discount on this sporty leather satchel, as it’s currently priced at $2,295 at Net-a-Porter.

You know who I wish I saw more in films? Winona Ryder. For the last decade, she seems to have subsisted on barely-there indie films and teensy bit parts in giant Hollywood blockbusters. (Remember her as Spock’s mother in the last Star Trek movie? Or as the scary, past-her-prime ballerina in Black Swan?) Did people just get sick of her big-eyed, damsel/ingenue schtick? I loved practically everything she did in the ’90′s. She’s now 42, but she barely looks 32 – can we get her a juicy movie role, please?

Winona Ryder Marc Jacobs Antonia Satchel Black-4 Winona Ryder Marc Jacobs Antonia Satchel Black-1 Winona Ryder Marc Jacobs Antonia Satchel Black-2 Winona Ryder Marc Jacobs Antonia Satchel Black-3

Marc Jacobs isn’t as widely revered for his handbags as he used to be (although it’s a different story with his work for Louis Vuitton), but the accessories that liberally dot his runway show every season are still just as influential within the industry as everything else the models are wearing. Marc Jacobs is the king of New York, and his reign doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, even if his handbags aren’t at the top of as many shopping lists as they were in the heyday of the Stam bag.

For Fall 2013, the message was clear – simply shaped, chain-handled shoulder bags with serious texture. Whether it was black leather lattice layered over one of the collection’s omnipresent shimmering, muted jewel tones like a handbag fishnet stocking, python on its own or sequins added to python like super-glam mottling, these are bags that make you want to reach out and touch them. Especially the lone ivory fur option, which may just be the thing that makes me a believer in fur bags after all.

[Images via Vogue]

Although we all remember the Stam bag fondly, it’s been a little since Marc Jacobs has had a huge handbag hit. (At his eponymous line, anyway – his accessories prowess is on impressive display every season for Louis Vuitton.) I’ve liked much of what Jacobs has produced over the past couple of years, but not all of it has translated into brisk bag sales, which generally means it’s time to look in a new aesthetic direction. After a couple of seasons of colorblocked minimalism (which I, for one, always really liked), Jacobs has switched to a bit of an aesthetic throwback with the Marc Jacobs The 1984 Satchel.

Despite the name, the bag doesn’t reference either the year or the book of the same name in any obvious ways. Instead, it’s every inch the midcentury throwback, if a little larger and softer than what women generally wore during the days of Mad Men. The delicate hardware and top handle structure are not what you generally expect from Jacobs, but maybe that’s the point – change your aesthetic, change your sales. Do you like this bag, or would you prefer more of the stuff for which Jacobs is known? Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,495.

Yes, yes, I know. Pre-Fall 2013. That’s totally ridiculous, especially when you consider that according to the calendar, it’s technically still Fall 2012. Fashion slows for no woman, though, and we thought that the bags from Marc Jacobs Pre-Fall 2013 were definitely worth seeing, especially before the collection’s Moda Operandi pre-sale ends tonight, December 4, at 11 p.m.

Jacobs’ accessories have struggled a bit to find their voice since the smash-hit Stam Bag came out in the early 2000s, but lately things have felt a bit fresher. Pre-Fall 2013 expands on that progress, with modern-feeling shoulder bags with just a little bit of old-school inflection. The basic shapes provide a nice canvas for bags in two major color categories, and the clear winners are the blush-based bags. Also of note, two shoulder bags covered liberally in studs, which make the embellishment feel far more refined and feminine than you’d ever imagine. If you see something you like, you might be in luck – this collection is quite well-priced, with most of the bags coming in at under $1,600. Check out all of the bags below or shop the sale via Moda Operandi.

Oh, Selma Blair – it’s hard to keep a low profile when you’re rocking a neon red Marc Jacobs Antonia Satchel. Selma looks especially snuggly in that chunky, oversized cardigan, but her outfit says “I’m desperately trying to blend in to the sidewalk”, while the bag practically screams “Hey, it’s me, Selma Blair! Remember me as an awkward, sexually adventurous teen in Cruel Intentions?” Oh, we do, Selma. We absolutely do.

Not to imply that Selma’s career has completely dried up, by any means (though that satchel is big enough to contain every single DVD from her entire body of work) – she’s currently starring opposite Charlie Sheen in FX’s “Anger Management.” Is anyone watching that? Is it good? Also, she’s never given up on those crazy 90′s bangs. So she still has that going for her. Pick up her bag for $1395 via Neiman Marcus.

The hottest color for fall is burgundy, and it looks like every designer has made sure to include the color in their accessories for the season. We talk often about Marc Jacobs, but I feel like when it comes to Marc by Marc Jacobs I am always covering the same bags. Sure, they look good and are great staples, but enough of the Classic Q line. That is why, when I saw this new design from Marc by Marc, I jumped for joy just a tiny bit.

This design is fresh and new for the line, and I really like the direction Marc Jacobs took when creating the Marc by Marc Jacobs Thunderdome Travel Doctor Bag. This bag may be called a doctor’s bag, but the style is reminiscent without looking overly old-fashioned. (more…)

Let’s be honest: It’s been a while since Marc Jacobs had a huge hit handbag. The brand continues to put on the show of New York Fashion Week, and Jacobs’ influence the course of trends and the fashion industry as a whole cannot be understated, but when it comes to Jacobs-helmed brands, both Louis Vuitton and Marc by Marc Jacobs have done a better job of making handbags fly off the shelves over the past few years. Will Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 change that?

Maybe. The entire show was more restrained and focused than most people are probably used to seeing from Jacobs, and the handbags followed the stark, striped 60s mod feel of the dresses and suits. Most of the runway bags had handles too short to be carried in the crook of the arm, which is a detail that’s commensurate with the collection’s referenced era but also likely hurdle to retail success. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were lengthened at retail, though, and if that happened, there are some stripe-y numbers that I’d definitely consider carrying myself. If you’re looking for an evening bag, the clutches in particular were quite strong. Check out the full runway collection after the jump. (more…)

Vlad has been so antsy over the looming premiere of The Dark Knight Rises that if it weren’t for the fact that we’ve been out of town, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vlad set up a tent and camped out waiting for the premiere. I can’t blame him; though I am not as much of a movie buff as he is, I’m pretty amped up about this movie as well. It is said to be mind blowing and amazing, with equal parts of darkness matched with splendor.

At the much-anticipated movie premiere, the ever-adorable Hailee Steinfeld showed up on the red carpet looking perfectly put together in Marc Jacobs. The dress is cute on her, the shoes are alright, but my eyes immediately went to her clutch. Though Marc Jacobs is not one who’s known to releases hard-sided minaudiere-style clutches, he included one in his Resort 2013 collection and Hailee was lucky enough to carry it. (more…)

I’m not sure why, but I always love Marc Jacobs’ resort accessories the best. Maybe because they’re less conceptual and theme-heavy than those from the spring and fall runway shows, making them more closet-friendly to the average customer? Maybe because the cheery, playful feeling of early spring fits well with Jacobs’ signature whimsy? Maybe a little of Column A and a little of Column B?

Whatever the cause, bags like the ones from Marc Jacobs Resort 2013 almost always catch my fancy. Those of you who aren’t fans of Jacobs’ collaboration with Yayoi Kusama at Vuitton will want to look away from the polka dotted offerings, which are indeed the weakest of the group, but there’s plenty else to take your attention. My favorites are the looks in rubberized leather, which is a material that combines exceptional durability with ultrasaturated matte color for an incredibly bold statement accessory. The red one? I’m dying over here. Luckily, you and I both can pre-order the collection until June 19 via Moda Operandi. Of course, we also have all the pictures after the jump. (more…)

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