Given the global economic crisis, most of us, if we’re shopping at the designer level at all, are looking for classic, investment-worthy pieces. However, utility and tradition have never been leading tenants for Marc Jacobs, with his it-could-be-vintage attitude toward high-end fashion. Case in point: Jacobs’ seminal spring 1993 collection for Perry Ellis. A who’s-who of Nineties models showed off Jacobs’ looks, including a baby-faced Tyra Banks, Shalom Harlow, Helena Christensen, a pre-Sarkozy Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Christy Turlington.
Always an editorial darling, Jacobs further endeared himself to critics and the public with this grunge-inspired lineup. He took what he saw on the streets — flannels, mix-and-match prints, lots of layering, Birkenstocks and Dr. Martens — and translated that into capital-F fashion that was as chic as it was wearable. Jacobs’ bosses at the house of Ellis, however, weren’t impressed. They fired him soon after.
WWD cited the “quirky elegance” of Jacobs’ “terrific clothes” in its review, which also noted the puzzled reactions of some retailers. “It was obvious, in fact,” the review read, “that some in the audience felt out of the loop, including more than a few bewildered-looking store executives,” excluding Bloomingdale’s Kal Ruttenstein, who “turned to an assistant and proclaimed, ‘We’re coming back tomorrow for windows.’”
WWD also included a behind-the-scenes scoop: “At Perry Ellis, ascending star Kate Moss had her own changing room, while the likes of Christy, Naomi and Carla shared communal space. Was Kate pulling a Claudia Schiffer? No way, says Robert Duffy, president of Perry Ellis Sportswear. ‘It was all very arbitrary,’ he explains. ‘Kate was at the knitwear desk — it’s so small, it’s tight for even one person.’ But Kate is just a slip of a girl.” So, how did everyone get along? See for yourself.