On Monday night, Marc Jacobs will receive the CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. That will bring to 10 the number of CFDA Awards residing in the sleek glass display cases visitors see upon entering the reception area of his company headquarters on Spring Street — 11 if he also wins the award for Womenswear Designer of the Year.
If those of us of a certain fashion age wonder where the time went that turned New York’s seemingly perennial enfant brilliant into a figure of mature ubersuccess, we don’t wonder how it happened. Jacobs’ career is indeed one of dazzling achievement rooted in rare talent and a bottomless love of fashion. It has made for a thrilling, tumultuous narrative, one played out publicly over the course of a quarter century and filled with challenges, dramas, titillations, provocations and always, fabulous fashion. And oh yes, hard work. On Friday I visited Jacobs to chat about the honor, which he prefers to think of as a career-in-progress citation. On my way out at four o’clock, I asked about his plans for the holiday weekend. He looked as if I’d gone daft. “Memorial Day?” he asked. “I don’t think I’ve had a Memorial Day off in 30 years. We’re all here. The design team’s here, working through Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I’ll go to the gym every morning, but I’ll be here after the gym. It’s resort.”
Bridget Foley: So, Lifetime Achievement… Marc Jacobs: You can only imagine what I have to say about that.
B.F.: What was your first reaction? M.J.: You know how I am about the CFDA Awards and stuff like that. It’s a great honor and I think it means a lot to everybody here to be recognized by our peers. But when I think of Lifetime Achievement, the first thing that comes to my mind is some venerable actor who hasn’t been in a movie in 30 years whom the Academy is honoring; Lifetime Achievement seems quite final to me. I [prefer to look at it] as an “In-the-Process-of Award.”
It’s not my achievement, number one. It is Marc Jacobs as a company. As you know, that’s Robert [Duffy] and myself and Leslie [Clements, director of sales], and Kate [Waters, director of public relations] and the design team, Joseph [Carter, women’s design director] and all of the people in the stores and everybody who’s been here and been through this for all of these years. It’s Coty, it’s Iris with the shoes, it’s Safilo with the sunglasses. It’s every single thing that has helped to build this brand. That, I guess, is our achievement so far, but we’re not done. We want to continue to add to this.
B.F.: I don’t think I’ve ever heard you use the word brand before. M.J.: No, I probably haven’t. There are two words that seem to come up all the time right now and I wouldn’t [typically] use them: sustainability and brand. Everybody uses them and I think I’m probably a bit of a chimpanzee. Brand. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before. But, again, the achievement is that Robert and I met many, many years ago and we’ve had many, many ups and downs — as you and everybody else have documented — we’ve had failures and we’ve had successes and we’ve had good ideas and ideas that maybe weren’t as good and as lucrative. So when you sit here and talk to me, I’m Marc, and when you talk about Marc Jacobs, it’s a company that a lot of people have helped to build.
B.F.: What was the hardest time you and Robert ever went through? M.J.: I think the hardest was when we were fired from Perry Ellis, because we’d had several failures: the Kashiyama thing went wrong, the Seventh Avenue Sketchbook thing went bankrupt, all of these things. At a certain point you think we want to keep going but have we just used up all of our get out of jail free cards? How much can we fight?
B.F.: Let’s talk about brand in reference to what it used to be: a company, a house, a label. Do you think that the word brand has taken some of the intimacy out of fashion? M.J.: I feel like a little bit of a cheat using it because I don’t really know if I feel like our company is a brand in actual fact. These past couple weeks I’ve had to do a lot of things regarding the CFDA in terms of interviews, etc. And I just had a meeting with Coty. They presented us with the position of Daisy Eau So Fresh and said we were the most successful flanker ever. Flanker is a new word for me, too.
B.F.: About fragrance branding, have you seen the Justin Bieber fragrance bottle? M.J.: Yes.
B.F.: Does it remind you of anything? M.J.: Yep, yep. We just had a conversation about it. Coty said, “Do we sue them?” and I said, “You know what? Let everyone else say what they want.” I received Google [Alerts] about people saying it was derivative. We’re not going to do anything about it.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye