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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.

You can pick up the Marc Jacobs bag picture above for $1,852 via farfetch.com

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • dela

    One thing that I liked about the brand was a clear distinction between the two lines. I don’t think I would be interested in buying from a brand that offers two diametrically different price points within a same line. It would also lead me to question the quality of production and materials of higher priced items.

  • Yael Heller

    He needs Joy Gryson back :-)

  • Pennydreadful

    Okay, here’s the thing: I like MJ SMGs in general, BUT every leather bag I’ve owned from his eponymous line has been disappointing. Especially, I would argue, for the price point. MbMJ, for example, was pretty reasonably priced for the quality. Marc Jacobs collection bags, on the other hand, never failed to “underwhelm” me when I saw them in person. In pictures, they may be gorgeous, but there’s something about the feel in-hand that is less-than-exciting. That said, I have an MJ Ginger wallet (technically “on a chain,” but I’ve long since removed it) that is really just fabulous. I’ll be interested to see what happens to his bags now that he’s no longer at the helm of LV. (Okay, sidenote: I’ve been far more interested in Vuitton bags since he left the brand. Coincidence? Perhaps).

    • amyt87

      I tend to agree! MbMJ always felt right for it’s price point but MJ just didn’t live up to expectations for the prices it commands. I also have renewed interest in LV since he left – Nicholas Ghesquire has certainly brought freshness to the brand!

  • seres

    My MBMJ petal to the metal Natasha is one of my favourite bags. It was $500, has a wonderful lambskin-like feel and survived falling off a raft into a river. I have never bought a MJ bag because they seem boring and grown-up in comparison. Sorry to see MBMJ go, but maybe the main line could do with some whimsy?

  • FashionableLena

    I haven’t been excited about MJ since the Stam days. The MbyMJ bags were better designed and more functional. The trouble is a cute bag but so reminiscent of any number of designer box bags that seem to be popular now. He’s just not on my radar for bags or small leather goods.

  • SeeJay

    I’m not sure if I’ll bite. I do look forward to seeing the bag collection.

  • lavinia

    I like marc
    jacobs I have loved him when he was at LV he did really good stuff (one for
    all? the neverfull!) and I trust him. I soon bought a MJ bag when he arrived in Milan and opened his first shop. But I must be honest and his brand is a
    little bit confusing when it comes to handbags and accessories. He never created
    a bag which was “his brand bag” and that’s in my opinion what he should do:
    regain the market by giving a strong image of the brand, redesigning its identity. You have to look at his bags and
    soon say “it’s a MJ!” And as you well said he can do it.:)

  • Lisa

    I could argue that the stitching on the Stam, Manhattan and other bags is a recognizable signature. But he never got the quality quite right, hence the bags look better in photos or on the shelf than they feel in the hand.

  • Lisa

    “pictured” above :-)

  • The handle attachments are much too big in proportion to the bag overall and the zip is crazily exaggerated in size. The handle drop needs to be reduced by 7-8cm.

  • Stina Sias

    I love the color of that bag so much but the shape is a little weird… that describes how I feel about most MJ bags, they have a really attractive quality but equally off-putting qualities.

  • LOla

    I think the problem with Marc Jacobs is that for most people, it’s not a luxury brand. It has always been more about fashion than luxury.
    I can’t spend $5000 dollars on a MJ bag or $1000 on a MJ sweater.
    Saint Laurent is as strong in the accessories as it is in a clothes. They should look at Saint Laurent.
    Their bags can be in terms of price point below Gucci and for the clothes, a bit above MBMJ.

  • Dylan Propst

    I adore Marc Jacobs. I think he’s a genius. I think he’s done an awesome job reinventing his handbag line. They’re much more sleek and definitely more appealing than the Stam or other quilted bags. His RTW is amazing as well.

  • Vicky

    I’ve been his fan since the early 2000 and still carry my Stella sometimes. I’m not crazy for his Stam, but I like to check out his bags from time to time. I love his offerings from Marc by Marc Jacobs line more than his namesake line. The price is more reasonable and the design is more me.
    Both of his line still offer one of the best quality in the market.
    I hope he get his groove back soon with his namesake line, meanwhile, I’m sad to see his MBMJ goes.