After debuting an all-black 2014 spring/summer collection for Louis Vuitton last week, it was announced that Marc Jacobs is set to step down from his role in the company as creative director after 16 years, in order to take his own brand public.
Jacobs is credited with the transformation of Louis Vuitton from luggage company to a label, that has been named the world’s most valuable luxury brand for six consecutive years. So what was the effect Marc Jacobs had on Louis Vuitton which led to global fashion domination? Here we’ll have a look at some of the ways Jacobs revamped Louis Vuitton and brought them to the top of the luxury fashion game.
Marc Jacobs was not one to shy away from collaborating with other artists during his time at Louis Vuitton and produced some iconic pieces as a result of this. Jacobs’ early collaboration with Takashu Murakaru led to the reinvention of the Louis Vuitton monogram, a design which was instantly popular with the public and adorned the majority of Louis Vuitton handbags whilst his collaboration with Stephen Sprouse produced the graffiti style print which was plastered over the leather goods. Both the collaborations had a similar effect as they were both great commercial successes and produced designs which were distinct to Louis Vuitton. With such attention grabbing designs that incorporated the brands logo, Jacobs made it impossible to ignore the brand.
Fantasy and Frivolity
From recreating a train station to displaying a new collection on a fully operating carousel, Marc Jacobs fashion shows for Louis Vuitton were never ordinary. Instead, Jacobs produced shows which offered an escape from reality because of their theatrical touch and represented the extravagance which a luxury brand such as Louis Vuitton should exude in all of its creations. This touch of theatrical performance extended to the use of costume in Jacobs’ catwalk shows. In 2007 models donned nurse’s uniforms to take to the runway, and bunny ears were made an acceptable accessory to dress up any outfit with after he showcased them in 2009.
Louis Vuitton campaigns and ads have featured only the very best supermodels such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen. In using these iconic and well recognised models, Jacobs continued to associate Louis Vuitton with the very best and the campaigns were made as attractive and innovative as their shows and merchandise.
These are just a few examples of the impact that Marc Jacobs has had during his time at Louis Vuitton in the past 16 years. What they all demonstrate is the approach it seems Jacobs has taken to rework Louis Vuitton’s image. He associated the brand with luxury and pushed Louis Vuitton into the limelight, whether that was through his dramatic catwalk shows, or collaborations that produced statement designs. It would seem that Marc Jacobs deserves the full credit for the reinvention of Louis Vuitton and can leave the company knowing he placed it firmly on top as key luxury fashion brand.