Monday, October 12, 2009

Icon: Marc Jacobs

this image really triggered in me the desire to be a fashion designer

i remember it was from Vogue, the September 1996 issue - the issue of the year.  Kate Moss and Amber Valletta were on the cover, shot by Steven Meisel.  i think they wore Donna Karan - the cover was like gold with their blonde hair.  the opening editorial was all about American designers (Oscar, Ralph, Donna, et al).  and then there was Marc Jacobs - hanging with the supermodels of that time: Kristy Hume, Naomi Campbell, Cristina Kruse, Chandra North, and Ms. Moss herself - all shot by Annie Leibovitz.  i don't know where it was taken or when (but i'm guessing maybe after his fall 1996 show?) but it was the coolest, most glamorous image of a designer i had ever seen until then.  he was hanging with the cool girls, a table full of cigarettes and booze spread out before them.  i don't know but it really summed up the glamour of fashion, the rock and roll of fashion, the fun of fashion, all at once.  it's really hard to explain but it just was fashion to me as a 15 year old kid back then.  i desperately wanted to be part of that carefree world.

whatever you want to say about Mr. Jacobs, he really is the American designer right now.  i can honestly say that as that 15 year old wannabe-designer-kid, i wanted to be him.  like any aspiring actor who wanted to be like Marlon Brando or a basketball player who wanted to be the next Michael Jordan, i wanted to be Marc Jacobs.  he was just the coolest because he wasn't trying to be - he just was.  he made fashion relevant to me - by marrying it with grunge and by looking like you didn't need to be all decked out in designer clothes to be fashionable and cool.  Mr. Jacobs just hit that pulse for me of what it meant to be a young fashion designer.
i remember the first picture i saw of him - it was in a Vogue from 1992 (i think like the November or December issue; that last what people are talking about-type section).  they profiled designers in their studios and there was Mr. Jacobs, seated, cross legged i think, in jeans and Birkenstocks, in front of a wall plastered with tear images and his sketches (from his grunge collection i believe).  he wasn't this god-like fashion royal back then but just a kid - a smiling and really excited kid in his own cool fashion studio, looking just happy and amazed to be there.

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