Marc Jacobs is returning to the runway on Monday—and giving a boost to brick-and-mortar retail while he’s at it.
The designer, who skipped the last two seasons, is presenting his fall collection at 7pm at the New York Public Library, and it will be projected simultaneously on the facade of Bergdorf Goodman at 57th Street and 5th Avenue.
The event marks the beginning of a new partnership between the designer and the New York store, which will be the exclusive global retailer to sell his runway collection when it lands for the fall.
The live viewing experience will also be an opportunity for fans to experience the collection in real time, a concept Jacobs has toyed with before. For his Spring 2016 “One Night Only” show at the Ziegfeld Theatre, the designer had models starting their runway walk on a red carpet on West 54th Street, to the delight of passers by.
The fall 2021 show will be projected on a loop on the outside of the Bergdorf Goodman store from 7 to 11 pm on Monday.
True to form for Jacobs, who has become a social media star during the pandemic, the news was announced on Instagram to his 1.6 million followers. He noted how the store has been a supporter of his since the mid-1990s, following his exit from Perry Ellis, adding, “I could not imagine a better partnership between two New York City brands.”
Buoyed by the 2020 success of Marc Jacobs Perfect, Coty Inc.’s biggest fragrance launch in 15 years, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand began plotting a return to growth earlier this year.
The runway collection debuting Monday will not be available in Jacobs’ own stores, however, which suggests that the 130 doors the designer currently has globally will now solely feature his contemporary The Marc Jacobs line, his streetwear line Heaven or off-price merchandise.
In April, a new retail concept for Heaven launched on Fairfax Avenue’s streetwear row in Los Angeles, featuring creative director Ava Nirui’s cheerfully subversive mix of clothing and lifestyle products steeped in grunge, anime, rave culture and Marc’s own ’90s fashion history, now being discovered by a new generation.
“We are concentrating our focus on U.S. retail this year. Every month, we will be opening a new store, and each time the format will be adapted to the local customer,” chief executive officer Eric Marechalle told WWD at the time. He joined from Kenzo in 2017, and in 2020 managed to guide the Marc Jacobs brand to profitability for the first time in five years.
“I feel very secure with Eric. I think he’s doing an incredible job,” said Jacobs. “The changes we’ve made, with online, with creating more accessibility, and from a financial sense, are setting us up to be able to do runway,” the designer added, sharing that his collection would incorporate learnings from the brand’s new digital savvy and swing to more accessible product.