mercredi 25 mars 2015

(Marc By) Marc Jacobs

It is quite funny actually. One of my last posts was a love declaration to Marc Jacobs's secondary line, Marc By Marc Jacobs (MBMJ), and more specifically to the duo Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley's work.

And yesterday, I learnt that this line was about to close. Marc Jacobs himself confirmed it to the Women's Wear Daily.

MBMJ is a brand I particularly cherish, since it has been the first brand I worked for. I keep a lovely memory working in this boutique in Paris, because I really loved this mix of ultra cheap and fun accessories such as pens, necklaces, printed tee-shirts, with middle-price leather goods and clothes never priced above $800, or even watches. It was nice to work in this colorful place, serving so many different types of clients.

I never really loved Marc Jacobs' line, but I always liked MBMJ young and fresh silhouettes. Especially since Hillier and Bartley were its creative directors.

It is not the end of MBMJ : it is supposed to be absorbed by the main line Marc Jacobs, folded into the overall brand name.
This move follows the intention to move towards an IPO (initial public offering) for the whole brand, and thus the secondary line should not be a separate entity anymore.

The whole debate is about the price range. I read different articles, and for now, none of them really agrees. What about this entry-level fashion Marc Jacobs has been one of the first to propose?
Should we forget it?
"The lower-priced line, embraced by lower-budget fashionistas and celebrity fans like Rihanna and Beyonce, typically ranged from $178 for a denim mini-skirt to $798 for a winter coat. Accessories like earrings, iPhone cases and wallets fly off the shelves in the Marc by Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker St. in the West Village.
Jacobs’ namesake line features $3,200 dresses and rabbit fur coats for $5,800"
Source: The NY daily news 

Opinions are contradictory. While Robert Duffy (CEO) was speaking about a focus on this less expensive priced line, The NY Daily News seems quite pessimistic.
"You may need to pay more to make your Marc."
On the other hand, Grazia is not afraid.
"Don’t fret. The price point spectrum that Marc has so carefully crafted over the years will very much still be in existence, just not segregated out into a separate range." 
Marc Jacobs is this designer you can see walking on the catwalk after a wonderful designer show in a pair of Adidas sweatpants and used Stan Smiths. He is one of the pioneers and leaders of this pop culture dimension we give years after years to the fashion world, or I should say, fashion industry. He said it himself.
"On a daily basis I will wear everything from American Apparel to Adidas to Marc Jacobs to Prada. I love that mix of things, that high and low, that rich and poor, all of those contrasts, the everyday and the extraordinary.”
And on the other hand, he will add he never wanted MBMJ to be the "poor-relative-of" of the first line.

It is about unifying the two lines, but I am quite skeptical about how the positioning could be managed and coherent split between these completely different styles and price-ranges. I think the MBMJ's line will be the one which will suffer from this merge.

On the other hand, I could have predicted this move...

 "We’ve gone through many different ways looking at what it was initially and how it had gotten away from that, and I think again we’re back to that same thing… The way to do it is that this is under one label." 
Source: Grazia UK 
When I was speaking about this unsustainable speed and pressure of the fashion's ruthless pace, I always thought about Marc Jacobs.

At the time, he was running his eponymous collection, the first line Marc Jacobs, the secondary sister Marc By Marc Jacobs for men, women including accessories, watches, jewelry, leather goods... but he was also the creative director of the Louis Vuitton's empire.

And all of these lines... following the fashion pace as we know it : Spring Summer, Autumn Winter, Pre-collections, Cruise...etc!

(Have you made the calculation of how many collections it is a year?)

Louis Vuitton Spring 2012
It was predictable, because just not sustainable.

After the end of couture lines at the profit of ready-to-wear's exploding demand, then the end of ready-to-wear lines (Viktor & Rolf, Jean Paul Gaultier) to focus on couture creation, is it the beginning of a new wave of merge of secondary lines with their elder sisters (while some years ago we assisted at the multiplication of this type of entry-level offers)?

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