Things have changed dramatically for Marc Jacobs over the past two years. In 2014, Jacobs ended his decade-plus tenure at the helm of the world’s most valuable luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, and earlier this year, the company announced it would be folding its lucrative, lower-priced offshoot, Marc by Marc Jacobs, into the regular collection. What’s next for the brand, though, may be largely dependent on handbags.
At Racked, writer Chavie Lieber recently presented a comprehensive history of Marc Jacobs as a designer and brand, in addition to exploring what might be next as the LVMH-supported company seems to ready itself for an IPO. For the piece, Lieber spoke to veteran Wall Street Journal reporter Teri Agins, who has followed Jacobs for much of the brand’s existence, and she posited the designer would need to focus on bags and accessories to regain market standing.
Anyone who got into bags in the It Bag days of the mid-2000s knows Marc Jacobs started to drift from his Stam-era handbag success many years ago, with much of that energy focused at Vuitton. Now that the designer is free to emphasize his own label, there have been signs of life from the accessories department, including recent debuts like the Trouble and Incognito bags.
Those bags won’t recapture the market on their own, but Jacobs has one very important factor on his side: he is, and always has been, really cool. His show is the most important event of New York Fashion Week, he brings out the most interesting and of-the-moment celebrities and people seem really to want him to retain his spot atop the American fashion industry. If he can come up with a steady stream of good bags that are correctly priced (and I believe he, if anyone, can do that), then I’ll gladly sign up to be a customer.
Will you? Let us know your thoughts on Jacobs’s future in the comments.