Paris Fashion Week: Marc Jacobs leaves Louis Vuitton to focus on his own brand after emotional show

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Designer leaves fashion house to focus on his brand with inspiring final collection

Fashion Editor

Marc Jacobs shows his Louis Vuitton collections in the Cour Carrée of the Louvre, once the seat of power for France's Bourbon monarchs. Which is very appropriate, because Vuitton is French fashion royalty. And a Louis, to boot.

This season it felt especially apt, given the mood of Paris. Revolution was in the air -  the swirling intrigues, barbed comments and daggered glances cloaked in exquisite clothes, have a Choderlos de Laclos quality to them. The tricoteuses were only off the street because they were knitting sweaters for Chanel.

Said intrigues concerned themselves with Jacobs' seat of power at Vuitton, and the rumours that, after sixteen years, he was stepping down from LV to focus on his eponymous brand - a brand that launched a beauty range earlier this year, and is set for imminent IPO.

Backstage after the show, those rumours became fact. The 10-year contracts of both Jacobs, 50, and his his long-time business partner Robert Duffy, 58, expiring at the end of this year, will not be renewed. They are leaving Louis Vuitton to focus on the expansion of the Marc Jacobs brand.

Jacobs was the first fashion designer to create clothing under the Louis Vuitton brand. Installed as designer in 1997, following the high-profile appointments of Alexander McQueen at Givenchy and John Galliano at Dior, Jacobs outlasted both. His 16 year tenure as creative director of Louis Vuitton is bettered only by Karl Lagerfeld's forty-eight years at Fendi, and thirty years at Chanel.

Born to a non-orthodox Jewish family in New York in 1963 - his father, a William Morris Agent, died when he was seven - Marc Jacobs had a passion for fashion and a lust to succeed from an early age. He launched his label in 1984 while still a student at Parsons School of Design when a range of sweaters he created were snapped up by the New York boutique, Charivari, launching him on a fashion career. Robert Duffy - who worked alongside him at Vuitton - was with him from the start, the two forming Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. He showed his first eponymous collection in 1986.

Jacobs' career has never been short of controversy. The furore over Kate Moss smoking a cigarette on the winter 2011 Vuitton catwalk pales in comparison to his 1992 “Grung” collection for Perry Ellis. Inspired by the music of Nirvana and the style of Courtney Love, the collection launched a thousand imitations. It also got Jacobs fired.

Jacobs' tenure at Louis Vuitton has been smoother. It's also been paved with gold: for the past six consecutive years (2006–2012) Louis Vuitton has been named the world's most valuable luxury brand. It rakes in £5.8 billion per year.

It's also transformed Jacobs himself into a fashion megastar. A 2008 New Yorker profile relayed that market research at a Midwestern mall showed American shoppers recognised the Marc Jacobs name, although their perceptions of him were somewhat confused. Most thought he was an actor or a rock star.

The focus on Jacobs' own label, which continues to be part of Bernard Arnault's LVMH stable (the luxury goods conglomerate who own Louis Vuitton, amongst others), is canny. Despite its success, Vuitton maintains a position at the very highest echelon of luxury, with no lower-priced lines or cosmetics. Marc Jacobs, by contrast, has beauty and highly-successful fragrances, as well as his diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs. Earlier this year, the British designer Luella Bartley was tapped to direct those collections.

All indications are that Marc Jacobs is an empire complex. His stepping down from Louis Vuitton is an acknowledgement, perhaps, that his own name is a strong enough brand, both creatively and commercially, to demand his full attentions. LVMH must also agree.

Fashion fans, however, will doubtless miss his high-profile Louis Vuitton shows, the traditional finale to Paris Fashion Week.

His successor at Louis Vuitton is expected to be announced shortly. If those intrigues are once again proven correct, it will be Nicolas Ghesquière, the much-feted Frenchman who headed Balenciaga until October 2012.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    IT Portfolio Analyst - Prince2

    £45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...

    Project Co-ordinator - Birmingham - Permanant

    £20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Head of Maths

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Head of Maths position at a prestigious ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week