Tag Archive: Marc

What Is It Like To Work For Marc

Most employees finish the workday and clock out. Not Marc Jacobs’. Moments after the designer took his runway bow after his Spring ‘11 collection show, a friends-and-family crowd—including many of Jacobs’ own employees—headed downtown to celebrate their boss. And, incidentally, themselves. In conjunction with the new Bookmarc book store on Bleecker Street, the company has just published Brian Bowen Smith’s The Men and Women of Marc Jacobs, a collection of photos of the extremely photogenic MJ workforce. The steamy launch fête (”I lost five pounds in there,” one partygoer cried) and gallery exhibition stretched through two rented buildings adjacent to the Bleecker Street Marc by Marc shop, as well as across the street at Bookmarc.

Having spent four years documenting the faces of Marc Jacobs employees, photographer Brian Bowen Smith (who got his start as a model and, subsequently, assistant to Herb Ritts) is as bona fide an expert on the company as they come. “This isn’t a family you can just jump into. It’s a gift,” Smith (left, with Jacobs) says. “Robert [Duffy, Marc Jacobs’ president] is the kind of guy that will go through the trenches with you, do the same shit with you, eat at the same table as you, and make everyone feel as though they’re all on one plane. Marc is the same way.”

“I think it’s just that they all stay forever. We have a really low turnover rate,” Duffy says of the company’s family feel. And why’s that? “We give them raises, clothing allowances, and pay their medical benefits, and just treat them how I would want to be treated.” Doesn’t sound like a bad gig. But, as warm and fuzzy as MJ HQ may be, Duffy admits that there is one aspect of interoffice relations he’d like to change. “Marc is constantly blowing smoke in my face for two solid weeks in our office while getting our show together. I want him to quit smoking and to quit blowing it in my face.”

Secondhand smoke aside, the celebration left more than one guest wishing they, too, could join the family. “I could do anything,” Bryanboy exclaimed. “I could be the girl sitting behind the water cooler, I would be a fitting assistant. I could be in the closet. Anything, really.”


Marc’s Hurt

MARC JACOBS doesn’t appreciate negative comments comparing his earlier grungy style to his contemporary collections.

“Sometimes it hurts my feelings, but basically I’m really happy with the attention that we get. It’s more work-related than what I’m going through in my personal life,” says Jacobs. ” If people weren’t interested in the work then they wouldn’t really care about my personal life. So I think about it logically. The attention toward me is basically because of what we’ve built as a company. If we built a pile of crap then nobody would care what I ate for lunch.”

The designer, who has his own line and is the creative director at Louis Vuitton, argues there is no conflict of interest between the labels.

“First of all there are two separate teams, so even if we have the same impulses within the same season, the way they manifest themselves are so different,” he told Interview magazine. “And secondly, geographically they are in two separate places. New York is where I was born and raised for most of my life. I think there is a personal connection to New York…Paris is more like fantasy.”

What is inspiring him at the moment?

“I don’t know much about classical music, but I’ve been enjoying listening to it lately,” he says. “I find it very calming and with my energy not being as high as it often is, I guess I’ve just been enjoying the beauty of different composers.”

Would I wear a man’s fragrance? Absolutely,” Daisy Lowe told us last night at Harvey Nichols for the launch of Marc Jacobs’ new men’s scent, Bang. “Especially this one. It is very peppery, but in an edgy, musky, woody way. Sort of like Marc himself,” Lowe added with a laugh. The raven-haired model showed up with buddies Mischa Barton, Jaime Winstone, Beth Ditto, Gareth Pugh, and Pixie Lott to celebrate the U.K. debut of Jacobs’ first male fragrance. Jacobs was on hand, too—trooper that he is, coming directly from the airport—and told us he was thrilled to be in London. “I love it, I have a lot of good friends here,” he said. That was evident from the mob scene that greeted him—Rifat Ozbek and Anna Sui took turns holding him in long embraces. “But I also love the architecture, the museums, the restaurants, the theater, everything. Especially, though, I love Claridge’s. It’s just a pity that I am leaving tomorrow.”

Conversation quickly turned to fragrance as Jacobs enlightened us on why he chose to venture into masculine scents after years of domination with more feminine offerings (this is the man, after all, who has blessed us with such girly olfactory treats as Lola and Daisy). “I felt it was the right time, and my partner Robert Duffy was quite into the idea, and it all came together really well. It took a while to get right, but we are really happy with the results.” And happy was the theme last night as catwalker-turned-DJ Jesus Luz (who couldn’t stop grinning—guess he loves deejaying more than modeling) spun tunes for party-ready guests. The closing song? “Celebration,” by Madonna, of course, throwing the crowd, led by Lowe, into a wild frenzy. “This is as crazy as it was in my day,” said sixties party legend Anita Pallenberg, observing the scene. “These people can really party.”

The Lanvin store, reported to open in September, is actually open already—albeit without electricity or air-conditioning. Hasn’t seemed to stop the determined Upper East Side ladies, who’ve already been spotted shopping by candlelight.

Just in case you were still waiting on that invitation: “No, I am not getting married,” says Marc Jacobs.

A sad spot during a festive week: A memorial for Alexander McQueen has been scheduled for September 20, to take place during London’s fashion collections.
Miranda Kerr’s racked up another high-fashion campaign for Fall (Jil Sander, left), and a new husband: She and Orlando Bloom secretly wed last night. Sneaky!

Animal activist Stella McCartney is one step closer to her dream of getting the bearskin helmets off of the Royal Guards: The designer met with Her Majesty’s minister for defense equipment yesterday with a proposal for an ethical alternative. This is the woman who made pleather accessories chic, so we’re pretty sure she can do anything.