If you're going to steal designer clothes, best not to steal one-of-a-kind samples by one of the world's leading designers. They tend to stick out on eBay.
That didn't stop opportunistic thieves with an eye for couture after they stole about £40,000 of Marc Jacobs samples from near the label's Mayfair store on Wednesday morning.
Journalists became aware of a problem when Vanessa Barthel, a press officer from Jacobs' European office, cancelled a press preview due to take place at the shop on Mount Street.
Ms Barthel told journalists: "The Marc Jacobs PR team is sorry to inform you that our press day tomorrow in the Marc Jacobs store is cancelled, due to the theft of the SS12 collections during its transfer from Paris."
The firm has subsequently declined to comment on the theft apart from a tweet posted yesterday afternoon which read: "Thank-you all for your concern about our stolen #SS12 Collection. Onward, upward."
Despite the tweet implying the theft had accounted for the entire Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2012 collection, industry insiders suggested that clothes from the set which were due to be shown on the catwalk were safe in New York. The £40,000 figure cited by the police appears to confirm that the robbery did not account for a whole designer collection – one recent Marc Jacobs skirt alone is on sale for over £7,000 at the fashion website Net-A-Porter.
It's unclear whether the thieves are aiming to sell or copy the designs. It would be difficult to sell the garments online without drawing attention to them – and only very tall and slim thieves would be able to wear the items which were destined for models on the pages of Vogue, Elle et al.
A spokesman from the label refused to verify any details of the theft. Emails to Ms Barthel and to staff at the firm's American public relations office also went unanswered.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman later confirmed: "We are investigating an allegation of theft which occurred in the Mount Street area at approximately 8am on Wednesday after a quantity of clothing, bags and shoes reported to be worth £40,000 were found to be missing."
With the label reluctant to divulge the facts, disinformation quickly spread online yesterday as fashion bloggers and magazines tried to work out what had happened. Reports ranged from a lorry, in transit from Paris to London, being hijacked. It was also reported the samples had been taken from a train.