As fashion week approaches, get ready for a stronger and perhaps fiercer Marc Jacobs.
Not that the sometimes mercurial designer is angry. In fact, he appears happy and more confident. How that will be relayed into his collection remains to be seen, but it definitely piques one's interest.
"Some people think I've lost my mind," Jacobs said during a sit-down dinner party for some 400 people to celebrate the Marc by Marc Jacobs opening on North Damen Avenue in Chicago. "But I feel good. I feel very strong."
Not just physically — in the sense that he's often up at 6 a.m. for a 30-minute run on the treadmill and adheres to a strict diet of avoiding white flour, sugar and dairy following a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis — but in the sense of himself, as well.
"In the past, I've been very quiet," he said. "Now I'm just being very honest. I don't know if people are ready for that."
Jacobs is. After the controversy surrounding the two-hour delay of his September show, the designer makes no excuses. "I've learned over the years to first please myself," he said, "because you can't please everyone."
Now he takes pleasure in doing a little shopping and appreciating his healthier, fit appearance. In his earlier, heavier days, "I didn't like shopping," he said. "After years and years of just working, you forget about indulging one's self."
On this night, he shows a penchant for diamonds, wearing three sizeable diamond studs in one ear, a single hefty one in the other, along with an almost tennis bracelet-like diamond necklace around his neck. "I enjoy how I look," he added.
Not that his life is without its stresses: His recently dyed blue hair requires weekly upkeep, he's preparing for fashion week on the heels of the Paris shows and, in the meantime, he's growing his retail presence.
The company currently operates 21 Marc by Marc Jacobs stores, with at least four new international locations set for this year, and runs 23 Marc Jacobs Collection boutiques, with five new Collection stores slated to open this year.The retail part he leaves mostly to Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs. "We have a mutual trust for each other," he said. "If he's opening a store in Turkey, I'm not wondering what that is."
Jacobs admits, however, that the pressure to create a spectacular collection is acute. "It's more painful for me than it ever was," he said. "But I'm happiest when I'm working. If I wanted the easy life, I'd make tablecloths or napkins. They never change."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast