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 Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Graham Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once for his work with The Hollies and once as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash. The legendary folk-rocker joins "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his latest project, “CSN 2012,” which captured on video recent live performances by Crosby, Stills & Nash.