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October 04, 2013

A Farewell to Marc Jacobs

The news was confirmed with a dramatic runway show - Marc Jacobs would be leaving Louis Vuitton.  The man who has been an integral part of the Louis Vuitton brand since 1997 and without a doubt a driving force in transforming Louis Vuitton from more than just being known for brown monogrammed bags into the fashion powerhouse that it is today.  It is said that he is leaving to concentrate on his own Marc Jacobs line as the company prepares to go public.

Where would Louis Vuitton be today without Marc Jacobs?  That is something we will never know. It's almost like there was a Before Marc and an After Marc period.  Before Marc it's not at all debatable that Louis Vuitton was well established within the luxury sector.  After Marc is where he took the brand above, beyond and further, to a level some may even say to be over saturation.  One thing is for sure, if you didn't know the iconic monogram logo before, you definitely knew it once he had come on the scene.  It was all about the logo, in every form, in every reincarnation, in every colour, on everything.

Photo taken from www.harpersbazaar.com

Yes, on everything.  

It was Marc Jacobs who was responsible for Louis Vuitton releasing its first ready-to-wear collection and while this was the a definite sign of the brand's evolution it was with the accessories and small leather goods where the ball was well and truly hit right out of the park.  Collaborations with the late Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami produced some of the most recognizable designs; the Louis Vuitton graffiti (over which Mr Jacobs is sprawled in the above photo) and the Monogram Multicoloure and Cherry Blossom.

Photo taken from louisvuittonads.blogspot.com

 He enlisted an army of celebrities to to advertise the products.  Not that he really needed to.  The lines that snaked outside boutiques when new and limited edition collections were released and the wait lists for products proved this.  I suppose though that the relationship with the celebrity culture was a reciprocal one.  Seeing JLo or Madonna in the print ads upped the highly desirable factor, and at the same time, their association with the brand made them cool.  How many times has Louis Vuitton been named dropped in countless songs?  Kanye West styled himself as the Louis Vuitton Don and strutted around with a monogrammed backpack.   

Some designs have been questionable.  I can't say I was a fan of the patchwork or perforated bags, or the Miroir collection.  However, I thought the small Groom collection was particularly cute and was a nod to their origins as a luggage maker.  I still think that the little bell hop looks like Tin Tin.  I have the rectangular Pochette Cles coin purse although I don't use it very often.

Photo taken from www.purseblog.com



I have a special place in my heart for Louis Vuitton.  It was the first 'actual' designer piece I owned when I received a bag for my 18th birthday.  A bag which I still very heavily use to this day, after all, it's a Speedy.  A Speedy will never get old.  Hands up if your first LV piece was a Speedy.  It seems that the Speedy is a popular starting point as well as the Alma and the Pochette. 

Last year when I was in Paris I visited the Louis Vuitton-Marc Jacobs exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs.  Not only was it masterfully curated with a great use of props, lighting and various media but it was also like walking through a timeline of the brand's existence, almost like going from a silent black and white movie to a surround sound high definition full colour spectacle.



The rumour is that Nicholas Ghesquiere will take over the reins from Marc Jacobs.  It will be interesting to see what he does with LV and at the same time see what MJ does with his own label.

Some of my favourite and/or memorable Louis Vuitton moments below...

Photo taken from www.stuffpoint.com

Of course Ms Carey had the flagship store on Les Champs-Elysees shut down so she could drape herself over some vintage trunks.

Photo taken from www.straightfromthea.com

The Louis Vuitton Don with his gold and silver Miroir.

Photo taken from www.style.com
Photo taken from www.style.com

The dreamy Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

Photo taken from www.vogue.com

Photo taken from www.vogue.com
Photo taken from www.vogue.com

Lemon yellow, checker board retro goodness at Spring/Summer 2013.


Always a favourite moment to be had in the flagship store.  Unfortunately no vintage trunks to drape myself over.  I forgot my bikini.

Thank you Mr Jacobs for all the Louis Vuitton loveliness through these years.  I'd spend the money all over again.

Photo taken from www.nytimes.com



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