Is Marc Jacobs About To Consolidate His Collections Under A Single Label?

MBMJ-35-FW15Ever since Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton to fully concentrate on his own signature label, there have been rumors of major reorganization, and it's looking more and more like the future of the brand will be under a single label. WWD has gone on record as suggesting that the Marc by Marc Jacobs (A fall 2015 look is pictured at rightline was increasingly likely to be folded back into Jacobs' main collection which would then proceed with an expanded price point that would range from the contemporary to the designer level. A few weeks ago, similar rumors circulated about the men's Marc Jacobs labels, but it seems that the consolidation would cover the entire company's offerings.
The Marc by Marc Jacobs label has been struggling to redefine its identity over the past couple of years. In 2013, women's designer Luella Bartley was hired to refresh the brand's fashion direction, and at last season's show, it was announced that the label would be relaunched as MBMJ —which actually never happened.
A consolidation move would echo the strategy of currently disgraced designers Dolce & Gabbana who, a few years ago, surprisingly discontinued their D&G diffusion brand and folded it back into the main collection promising a similarly broadened scope for their single label. How that has played out seems more like the lower priced line vanished and the designer collection stayed pretty much the same, but it may simply demonstrate that at the luxury level, less is sometimes more.
WWD also notes that Marc Jacobs' parent company LVMH is closely involved in recalibrating the brand's organization, and a stronger retail presence is considered imperative by LVMH chair Bernard Arnault. Jacobs' own series of boutiques is expected to be expanded. Though he has long had a retail presence in Manhattan with his SoHo collection store and the series of West Village shops which have often traded off between his signature and diffusion lines, they ultimately are too small to make the kind of impact the brand needs and that a major Marc Jacobs flagship would provide. While the label has often hinted that a major uptown store has been in the works —even going so far as to identifying a Madison Avenue location at one point— the store has never materialized.
Exactly what is going to happen to the Marc Jacobs label lineup and retail network remains to be seen, and the company has made no official announcements, but if it hat hit WWD, that means that some major changes are in the air to steady the brand and position it for a stronger future. Stay tuned.

Hear Marc by Marc Jacobs Folding into Jacobs Line (WWD)


Get A Free Manicure
At Marc Jacobs All Weekend

Bleecker Street will be a little bit more crowded this weekend as the Marc Jacobs Beauty store will be providing free manicures from Noon to 8 PM starting now until Sunday. See a selection of colors above, and pick the one that suits you best. If Esquire's SoHo Mega-Pop-Up is not your cup of tea, then perhaps this sort of giveaway may be more in your wheelhouse —or go to both! It's the 21st Century after all, and seeing as how Marc is the sort of designer who routinely wears kilts and famously attended the Met Ball in a transparent lace dress, we're pretty sure that a manicure will be offered to any and all comers. 

Free Manicures at Marc Jacobs Beauty through Sunday May 18,385 Bleecker Street at Perry Street, West Village (@MarcJacobsIntl via Racked)


Beauty Baby Edition

Critical-9-5It's been a whole month since we last heard from a Critical Shopper in the Thursday Styles, so it looks like Alexandra Jacobs is making up for lost time by cramming two reviews into one column. Call it a Fashion Week special. She starts off at the new Marc Jacobs Beauty store on Bleecker Street, which is also the old Marc Jacobs Accessories store. Her main complaint is that the designer's brand new makeup collection seems to have a disturbingly juvenile preoccupation, suggesting that in trying to make a youthful, cool cosmetics line, he has come up with product names that sound like they are made for children. In fact, the customers she happens to come across are still in braces, so she may not be at all off-base. Most notably, however, we are pretty sure —no, we are positive— that when she describes the new line as "cannily of the moment in its transgender marketing" she really means to say "pan-gender marketing" which would refer to the fact that certain products, including lip balm and concealer, are designed to be used by men and women. Of course, transgender marketing does make it sound more daring, but that would mean the line is pitched to an extremely specific segment of the cosmetics market consisting of girls who were once boys and vice versa. Though certainly worthy of attention and respect, we are not totally sure that this is a large enough group to ensure the kind of sales volume and profits that Marc Jacobs and his backer LVMH have in mind.

That's not all. Our shopper also swung by celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe's DreamDry blowout bar where for $30 plus tip she got a pouf-y Veronica Lake inspired do that "drew some perplexed stares walking on Avenue of the Americas". Whether that's a plus or a minus depends, we suppose, on how one feels about Sixth Avenue.

Critical Shopper: Beauty in the Eye of the Dreamer By Alexandra Jacobs
Marc Jacobs Beauty 385 Bleecker Street at Perry Street, West Village
DreamDry 35 West 21st Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Flatiron District


More Marc Jacobs Stores
Coming To New York Next Year

MarcJacobsBeautyBleeckerAs we had guessed, the newly converted Marc Jacobs Beauty store opened today on Bleecker Street just as his new cosmetics line made its grand debut in Sephora stores everywhere. The real news, however was buried in WWD's feature on the new shop, when the designer's longtime business partner, Marc Jacobs International President Robert Duffy, casually mentioned that next year, in addition to new stores projected for Washington, D.C., Southern California, Dallas and Miami, the designer was planning to open two New York flagship stores uptown including a Madison Avenue showplace for the main collection, and  a Fifth Avenue home for the Marc by Marc Jacobs label. Duffy declined to give specific locations for either store, so we are not entirely sure if the Fifth Avenue unit will be in Midown or perhaps in the Flatiron area. He does seem to concede that the company's own modestly sized boutiques have for too long underrepresented the brand in New York to a certain extent. “We’ve never had a flagship store in New York City,”He tells WWD. “I’ve always opened smaller stores, like on Mercer Street and Bleecker Street. Now, LVMH is determined to help us achieve this dream.”

This is not the first time that Duffy has announced a splashy uptown store for the designer. Several years ago he identified a Chase bank building on Madison Avenue as the location for an uptown flagship, but the store never materialized. He may have been referring to the building which briefly became a Rag & Bone shop before recently turning into an art gallery. This time, it sounds like Jacobs' major backer LVMH is taking some more initiative in expanding one of the more prestigious labels in its portfolio. It won't be a moment too soon. Though Jacobs and Duffy seem to enjoy selling their gods in humbly sized, slightly out of the way shops, there is a point when customers, particularly tourists, looking for the celebrated designer's main New York store have to be a bit surprised and probably disappointed to find the stores to be so limited in size and scope. It's kind of like going to visit a Prince and discovering that he lives in the pool houe. If Duffy's news is accurate, than it looks like there will soon be a couple more Brand Palaces available for him to move into.

Marc Jacobs Opens First Beauty Store (WWD)
Beauty Takeover: Marc Jacobs Makes A Switch On Bleecker Street For His New Beauty Line


Marc Jacobs Makes A Switch On Bleecker Street For His New Beauty Line

It's been a while since Marc Jacobs has upset the arrangement of his Cluster of West Village shops, but passersby may have noticed that what was until recently his Collection Accessories store at 385 Bleecker Street is in the process of being transformed into the first store for his upcoming Beauty line. It's not unusual for the designer to shuffle around the contents of his five fashion boutiques in the neighborhood as needed, but they have been reasonably settled in recent seasons. That will change with the launch of his signature cosmetics line coming on Friday. Though it will initially be exclusive to Sephora stores, select Marc jacobs stores will also carry the line including this about-to-be-transformed location. We're betting on an opening this weekend as the line launches.


Miley Cyrus Gets Naked For Marc Jacobs

Fs-miley-shirtIt's not often (or ever, really) that we cover the comings and goings of 20-year-old media magnet Miley Cyrus, but in her efforts to incinerate her squeaky-clean teen superstar image, she has decided to be the next famous body to bare it all for designer Marc Jacobs' charity T-shirt line benefitting the NYU Cancer Institute and NYU Langone Medical Center. Yes, it's naked Miley, and we're expecting a media firestorm to ignite, any minute, now. If you are speedy, you might be able to snag one of these shirts for yourself when they go on sale today at Marc Jacobs stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston and Savannah, Ga. Don't expect them to last too long on the shelves.

We weren't even aware that Jacobs had continued making this series of shirts, which he started several years ago and has included as subjects supermodels, store staff members, musicians and even the designer himself. It turns out that whenever there is a celebrity in need of attention, Marc is there to oblige. Bless his heart.

Miley Cyrus Bares Some Flesh for Charity T-shirt Campaign (WWD)


Marc Jacobs Makes The Most
Of A Bad Situation


What do you do when you are faced with an unexpected, aggravating misfortune that is beyond your control?
If you are Marc Jacobs, you make a t-shirt.

You may remember hearing a few months ago that Jacobs' entire 46-look European sample line for Spring 2012 was stolen off the Eurostar train between London and Paris. So far as we know, the clothes have never been recovered, throwing a wrench into the designer's European Press activities, and to remind people of the designer's predicament, he has placed a mock "Wanted"-style bulletin in the window of his Mercer Street Collection boutique with a strangely Unabomber-esque sketch of a totally unidentifiable perp.

Of course, the poster is also available as a t-shirt, presumably for sale inside the store. We're not sure that the proceeds from the tees will make up for the expensive theft of an entire sample line, but a little humor can always ease the sting of a costly loss. As the bulletin states: "The thief is still at large and considered dressed to kill."

Marc Jacobs 163 Mercer Street between Houston & Prince Streets, SoHo

CFDA Award Nominees Announced
With Special Awards For
The Sartorialist, Comme des Garçons & Johnny Depp


The annual CFDA Fashion Awards were announced yesterday. We are not entirely sure how much these awards affect sales or customers' perceptions of designers, but, lets face it, the fashion industry enjoys patting itself on the back almost as much as the entertainment industry, and it's another occasion for people to dress up in borrowed clothes and be photographed. On the plus side, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang were only nominated one time each this year (the Proenza Schouler boys still rated two), leaving some room for a few more designers to horn in on the attention, so that's progress.

Here are the nominees:

Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominees:
Ashley Olsen & Mary-Kate Olsen
for The Row
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Marc Jacobs

Menswear Designer of the Year Nominees:
Billy Reid
Patrik Ervell
Simon Spurr

Accessory Designer of the Year Nominees:
Alexander Wang

Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Reed Krakoff

Swarovski Award for Womenswear Nominees:
Chris Peters & Shane Gabier
for Creatures of the Wind
Joseph Altuzarra
Max Osterweis & Erin Beatty for Suno

Swarovski Award for Menswear Nominees:
Antonio Azzuolo
Phillip Lim
Todd Snyder

Award for Accessory Design Nominees:
Irene Neuwirth
Pamela Love
Tabitha Simmons

In addition, several additional honors include The Eugenia Sheppard Media Award which will go jointly to The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman and his fellow style blogger and paramour Garance Doré.
The Eleanor Lambert Founders Award for promoting American Fashion will go to Theory executive Andrew Rosen.
The Fashion Icon Award will go to its first male recipient, Johnny Depp.
The International Award will go to Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, and finally, the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Tommy Hilfiger, so... make of that what you will.

The awards will be presented on Monday, June 4th at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and will be hosted by Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers.

2012 CFDA Fashion Awards Nominees & Honorees Announced (CFDA Official Site)


CFDA Awards For 2011 Announced

CFDAaward The CFDA announced their 2011 Awards nominees and honorees yesterday evening, and how you feel about them depends on whether you see award ceremonies as recognition for actual achievement or simply an opportunity for industry promotion and general sucking up.

Alexander Wang got nominated three times. Proenza Schouler got two nods, and four-time-winner Marc Jacobs is guaranteed one award while nominated for yet another. That should help you form your opinion.

The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award will go to 47-year-old Jacobs. Hopefully this is not a indication that the CFDA's nominators think he will die soon. The Olsen Twins garnered a nomination, which should probably lead to some griping about celebrity designers, but the high level of workmanship and quality in their line, The Row has gone a long way to establishing credibility for the erstwhile child stars. Their nomination is the kind of surprise that keeps the entire awards affair from seeming ever more banal.

Additionally, a well deserved Special Tribute will go to veteran photographer Arthur Elgort. The International Award will go to Céline designer Phoebe Philo whose remarkable comeback can't be ignored. The Eugenia Sheppard Media Award will go to Hilary Alexander of The Telegraph even though neither the recipient nor her publication are actually American. The Founders Award will go to Hal Rubenstein of InStyle. The Fashion Icon Award will go to Lady Gaga whose personal style has become something of a small industry iself. If she accepts the award in person, it's a safe bet she will upstage a crowd that is notoriously difficult to overshadow.

Here are the somewhat predictable nominees for the other award categories:

Alexander Wang
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Marc Jacobs

Michael Bastian
Patrik Ervell
Simon Spurr

Alexander Wang
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Reed Krakoff.

Joseph Altuzarra
Ashley Olsen & Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row
Prabal Gurung

Alexander Wang
Phillip Lim
Robert Geller

Alejandro Ingelmo
Eddie Borgo
Jason Wu
Pamela Love

The Awards will be presented on June 6th at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.


Marc Jacobs Officially Headed To Madison Avenue

The Shophound has known for a long time that the folks at Marc Jacobs were actively looking for an uptown location, but you know how picky these people are. It can take years to settle on a space ...and it has. In today's WWD, Marc Jacobs International President Robert Duffy confirmed that the company is in negotiations to take over Madison Avenue's Chase Manhattan Bank building. We are assuming it's the one at 64th Street pictured above in today's snow. Though the charming Colonial revival building hardly seems like the typical designer flagship structure, it's the only building that seems to fit the description in WWD located in the desirable designer district between 57th and 72nd Streets. “There’s only been one tenant in that space for 93 years. Once I find a space, I never give up on the space.” he tells the paper, revealing that he has been working on securing the location for a very long time.

No other details have been disclosed, but Duffy suggests that a store opening will be a long way off. Apparently, there's a bit of asbestos removal and all kinds of renovations to be arranged before we see a store, and that could take while longer, so sit tight uptown MJ fans. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

Robert Duffy Reveals Plans for Marc Jacobs (WWD)