Marc Jacobs (born April 9, 1963) is an American fashion designer and the head designer for Marc Jacobs, as well as a diffusion line, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Jacobs is also the creative director of the French design house Louis Vuitton.
Marc Jacobs was born to a Jewish family in New York City, New York. He grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, with his mother, sister and younger brother, where attended Teaneck High School; he also attended and graduated from the High School of Art and Design, located in New York City.
At age fifteen, Jacobs worked as a stockboy at Charivari, a now-defunct avant-garde clothing boutique located in New York City. He later attended The New School, located in New York City, studying at the university’s art and design division; he was also captain of the ballet team. Jacobs also studied at the Parsons School of Design, also located in New York City. During his time at Parsons, Jacobs won the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award in 1984, and in the same year was also awarded the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award and the Design Student of the Year Award.
While still at Parsons, Jacobs designed and sold his first line of hand-knit sweaters. He also designed his first collection for Reuben Thomas, Inc., under the Sketchbook label. Following his studies at Parsons, Jacobs began to design at the Perry Ellis line after its founder, Perry Ellis, had died. Jacobs became prominent on the fashion scene when he designed a “grunge” collection for Perry Ellis, leading to his dismissal in 1993. With Robert Duffy, Jacobs’ creative collaborator, and business partner since the mid-1980s, he formed Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc., which continues to this day. In a 2008 interview for O32c, Duffy indicated that he remains Jacobs’s best friend and confidant.
In 1986, backed by Onward Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing the Marc Jacobs label. In 1987, Jacobs was the youngest designer to have ever been awarded the fashion industry’s highest tribute, the Council of Fashion Designers of America
‘s Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent.
In 1997, Jacobs was appointed Vuitton’s creative director, where he created the company’s first ready-to-wear clothing line.
Jacobs has collaborated with many popular artists for his Louis Vuitton collections. Through Vuitton, Jacobs has worked in conjunction with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and most recently American artist Richard Prince and rapper Kanye West.
As of 2011, Jacobs remained Vuitton’s creative director.