The Current Trend: Marc Jacobs Leaves his Position as Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton

Most recognize Marc Jacobs from his well-known fashion line. From the ready-to-wear Marc Jacobs to the more department store-friendly Marc by Marc Jacobs, it is hard to miss the designer’s name. With fashion trickling all the way down to the Marc Jacobs trinket stores that sell inexpensive baubles in New York’s West Village and Nantucket, the brand is available at every price point. What many may not know, however, is that Jacobs served a sixteen-year tenure as Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.

Now synonymous with grandeur, Louis Vuitton started as a French luxury brand in the mid-1800s. When Jacobs was recruited to be its Artistic Director a little less than two decades ago, it was a pivotal step for American designers in a dominantly French high-fashion industry. This trend continues today, most recently with Alexander Wang as Creative Director at Balenciaga.

In his position at Louis Vuitton, Jacobs breathed fresh air into the storied fashion house. He initiated a number of collaborations with artists, including Stephen Sprouse (famous for the graffiti-inspired Vuitton print), Takashi Murakami (infamous for the rainbow-lettered Vuitton print), and Yayoi Kusama (who added her bold colored dots over the classic Vuitton print). By introducing jewelry and watches, as well as other items, to Louis Vuitton, Jacobs launched the brand into an insanely profitable fashion mecca and away from its reputation as a leather goods line.

It is rumored that Jacobs left his position at Louis Vuitton to focus more intently on his namesake brand.  The Marc Jacobs label is heading towards an IPO and the designer is quickly becoming one of the most influential designers in American history. With a style all his own, I have no doubt that Jacobs will continue to hone in on exactly what women want to wear in the future.