[Fashion & Styling] The Legacy of Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton

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Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014

Locomotive Runway Fall 2012 | Yellow/White Striped Runway Spring 2013
Runway 2007, Jacobs kicked off the shopping-tote-as-handbag trend
Christina Ricci, then face of LV 2005
Takashi Murakami's collaborative monogrammed bags in 2003
Stephen Sprouse's graffiti monogrammed bags in 2001

Video and all images are courtesy of Style.com

Marc Jacob's name has been synonymous with Louis Vuitton, some perhaps even use it interchangeably.  Though not to be confused with his own namesake lines Marc JacobsMarc by Marc Jacobs, and Little Marc Jacobs.  Since 1997, the designer has transformed Vuitton, the iconic French luxury house known for its monogrammed handbags and travel trunks to an international fashion house including ready-to-wear and accessories.  That's right, prior to his creative direction, there was no R-T-W.  

The LV debut collection in fall 1998 was minimalist without sound (silent catwalk!), is a sharp contrast to the outrageous runways Jacobs orchestrated in recent years. Who can forget fall 2012, where he transported the models out onto the runway from a live custom-painted, LV-branded steam locomotive?  Or when he sent the models-in-pairs on to the yellow-and-white-stripes-decorated escalators the following season. Collaborations and co-branding are popular now, but Marc Jacobs was ahead of its time; his hit graffiti monogrammed handbags was a result of his collaboration with artist, Stephen Sprouse!  There is also the longtime collaborator Takashi Murakami who injected a little youthfulness to the monogrammed bag in 2003.  Whether he's the collaborative genius or trendsetter, people seem to gravitate towards Mr. Jacobs.  His front-row seats are often packed with influential names in fashion, art, and the film industries.

Earlier this month, after much speculation, Jacobs and his business partner, Robert Duffy, confirmed that they will be leaving the luxury empire to focus on an IPO of the Marc Jacobs Company.  LVMH is an investor in their company, so rest assured that they are leaving on good terms.  Jacobs dedicated his last collection to the many women who have touched or influenced him during his 16 years tenure in Paris, with Coco Chanel, Rei Kawakubo, and Miuccia Prada among them.  "To the showgirl in all of us," was his remark after the show.  Indeed, one can't help but think of Cher with many looks resembling showgirl ensembles.  Nearly all of them were elaborately ornamented with combinations of jet beads, crystals, and glossy feathers.  Jacob's last hurrah was extravagant and showed intricate beautiful craftsmanship, but I wonder about the wearability, and how it'll retail at stores.  Nonetheless, Jacobs has propelled and held the LV brand in the fashion forefront, all while managing his own labels!  No easy task and probably very little sleep over the last decade and a half.   

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