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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.