SOFIA’S CHOICE: MARC’S NEW HANDBAGS

Byline: Miles Socha

NEW YORK — Central Park on a dreary winter day. A slushy path. A bold squirrel and Sofia Coppola.
Those are the offbeat ingredients in Marc Jacobs’s first major advertising statement: a print campaign to mark the fall launch of his handbag and accessories collection. Photographed by longtime Jacobs collaborator Juergen Teller, the double-page ads are slated to break in August and September fashion magazines, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and Interview.
The images, artistically framed but candid, depict Coppola alone in the park amidst stands of bare trees. In one photo, only her hand is visible, dangling a handbag in front of a curious squirrel. In another, a red handbag sits abandoned in front of a metal sculpture titled, “Three Bears.”
“I just think they’re really, really sweet and it captures the essence of what Marc Jacobs is,” said Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs International. “The message of our Collection is luxury, but it’s not very precious. There’s something very friendly and warm and stylish about it, and Juergen is the perfect photographer for us.”
Although Jacobs has been in business for 15 years, he has rarely advertised. In recent seasons, his footwear licensee, Iris SpA, has occasionally run a few pages in niche publications like Joe’s Magazine and Self Service. These ads also featured personalities instead of models, including Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Lisa Marie Burton, wife of filmmaker Tim Burton. That’s why choosing Coppola was a no-brainer. “It’s very personal because she’s a friend and she’s always worn our clothes,” Duffy said.
As reported, a substantial advertising budget is part of a multitiered strategy by Jacobs and partner LVMH to build the Marc Jacobs brand over the next few years.
Duffy declined to disclose the budget for the handbag campaign. However, sources pegged the media buy for fall at more than $500,000. It includes niche titles Purple, Dazed & Confused and Nova.
Campaigns are also expected for Jacob’s new secondary line, Marc, bowing for spring 2001 retailing, and Duffy did not rule out advertising the Collection in the near future.

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