The New York Times'T Magazine went to visit Marc Jacobs in his New York, West Village townhouse to discuss trends, last names and business with the iconic American designer. With the help of a successful stint in rehab, a personal nutritional expert in-residence and a personal trainer, the 52 year-old looks alarmingly young and not a day over 38, but his new business targets are bringing threatening to pile on the stress, according to some telling dreams:
"I was terrified last week," he says when asked how he is sleeping. "I went to my shrink – it was a Wednesday morning – and I felt like I was having such a panic attack. I'd had one of my nightmares. It's a recurring theme: I'm up against something uncomfortable or difficult, and just as I feel like I'm making some progress, there's an end to the dream that says no, you're not getting anywhere, you have to start over. This time, the nightmare was so bad that it felt like I was awake thinking about it, rather than asleep and dreaming. Which is another recurring thing, when I can't differentiate between creating a scenario and dreaming it."
With a public IPO in the offing, the team at LVMH majority owned, Marc Jacobs International, have spent the last three years preparing for a reshuffled business plan and new business targets. A move that saw the more youthful and lower-pinned price point brand, Marc by Marc Jacobs (creatively run by Katie and Luella) change direction, to be absorbed under the main Marc Jacobs umbrella (see our March coverage of this news here).
But today, Marc is happy to boast more creative control over his enterprises than ever before, as creative head of Marc Jacobs the label and Marc Jacobs International, the company, the designer's fresh, humorous and ever-evolving style remains the core of the business.
His beauty line is making waves in the industry with his new fragrance – Decadence – lighting up the fragrance world, Jacobs describes it as "an irreverent, self-indulgent taking of pleasure and luxury...If somebody is eating cherries and drinking champagne on a street corner in an expensive dress, it's a decadent sort of behaviour, but it's kind of playing at something. You know what I mean."
But it's not just fashion and beauty that Marc likes to set trends in "I think it was after the Caitlyn Jenner thing," he says, "and I just said, like, can we just start calling people by their name? You know, not what they do for a living, not their age, not who they're related to. It's 2015. Just say, 'Hi, I'm Caitlyn.' 'Hi, I'm Marc.'" The celebrated designer hasn't needed to be introduced by his last name since at least 2008, so we think he might be able to get away with that.