News / Arts & Entertainment

Designer Marc Jacobs Leaves Louis Vuitton

U.S. designer Marc Jacobs appears at the end of his Spring/Summer 2014 women's ready-to-wear fashion show for French fashion house Louis Vuitton during Paris fashion week, Oct. 2, 2013.
U.S. designer Marc Jacobs appears at the end of his Spring/Summer 2014 women's ready-to-wear fashion show for French fashion house Louis Vuitton during Paris fashion week, Oct. 2, 2013.
Reuters
— Marc Jacobs, the star designer who turned Louis Vuitton from a staid luggage-maker into a global fashion brand, is leaving to focus on his own eponymous label, a source close to the French company's parent LVMH said on Wednesday.
 
The move follows a series of leadership changes at Louis Vuitton, LVMH's cash cow and biggest profit- and revenue- contributor, aimed at helping the brand regain some of its lost prestige after a sustained decline in sales over the past year.
 
“Marc Jacobs is leaving Vuitton and will focus on his own brand,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
 
LVMH and Marc Jacobs declined to comment.
 
Jacobs' departure comes a month after LVMH founder and chief executive Bernard Arnault appointed his daughter Delphine as deputy head of Louis Vuitton and replaced last year longstanding chief Yves Carcelle with group veteran Michael Burke.
 
Louis Vuitton, which built its name and profitability on its LV-embossed canvas bags, has been suffering from cooling demand in Asia and consumers' growing preference for no-logo products.
 
Over the past year, the brand has put brakes on its expansion, contributing to its sales growth halving to around 5 percent and last month, it hired accessories designer Darren Spaziani, ex-Proenza Schouler, to beef up its high-end offering of leather bags.
 
Nicolas Ghesquiere, a darling of fashion editors, who left Balenciaga last year after having successfully revamped the Kering fashion brand, is seen as a frontrunner to replace Jacobs.
 
“It would be a positive sign if Ghesquiere joined Louis Vuitton as he is one of the most coveted designers today and he would give a creative jolt to the brand,” said David Da Maia, analyst at brokerage Aurel BGC in Paris.
 
Arnault has been regularly changing the creative and management teams of his fashion brands to refresh the style and drive expansion.
 
LVMH's Celine has been going from strength to strength since award-winning designer Phoebe Philo took its creative helm in 2008 while Riccardo Tisci has brought new vitality to Givenchy since his appointment in 2005.
 
Jacobs, whose theatrical fashion shows contributed to heightening the brand's profile, introduced collaborations with artists such as Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse and recently rapper Kanye West to help make the brand more relevant to fashion followers.
 
Swan song
 
Marc Jacobs on Wednesday presented his last collection for Louis Vuitton, an all-black swan song that incorporated elements from his past shows such as the train station he famously reconstituted and the slow-turning white carousel carrying models, including Kate Moss, two years ago.
 
Today, the Marc Jacobs brand and particularly its more accessible line Marc by Marc Jacobs, are among the most profitable fashion subsidiaries within LVMH, enjoying strong demand in the United States and Japan.
 
Marc Jacobs also launched a cosmetics products line in August in the United States, with exclusive distribution handled by Sephora, LVMH's beauty products retail chain.
 
Media reports said the designer aimed to float his business - which is estimated to generate sales of around 500 million euros - on the New York Stock Exchange within a few years.
 
Some industry observers suggest Marc Jacobs has been emboldened by the success of Michael Kors, the U.S. brand whose shares and sales have been enjoying stellar growth since the initial public offering late last year.
 
At the age of 24, Jacobs was the youngest designer to receive the New Fashion Talent award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. After graduating from the Parsons New School of Design, Jacobs worked for Perry Ellis after the designer passed away and shortly thereafter created his own label in 1984 with partner Robert Duffy.
 
He became Louis Vuitton's artistic director in 1997.
 
When Dior sacked John Galliano two years ago after a video showed him making antisemitic comments in a Paris bar, Jacobs was one of the leading contenders to replace him but according to reports, talks fell through over terms. In the end, Dior took more than a year to appoint Raf Simons as its new designer.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."