As Marc Jacobs marries at a celeb-filled wedding, 5 reasons he's a fashion design icon

8th Apr 19 | Fashion

The American designer tied the knot in New York on Sunday.

British Fashion Awards 2013 - London

Fashion A-listers were out in force as designer Marc Jacobs married his long-term boyfriend Charly ‘Char’ Defrancesco in New York.

The guest list on Saturday included actors Chloe Sevigny, Christina Ricci and Justin Theroux alongside pop stars Rita Ora and Lil’ Kim, plus showbiz icons like Bette Midler and Debbie Harry.

Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and the Hadid sisters led the model line-up at Manhattan’s The Grill, where guests enjoyed a spectacular night of dance performances, an animal-themed photo booth and a five-tiered wedding cake.

After more than 30 years in the fashion industry, no wonder Jacobs has amassed so many famous friends.

In fact, embracing celebrity culture has helped the 55-year-old attain star status himself – but it hasn’t always been an easy journey.

In honour of the newlywed’s nuptials, here are five reasons Marc Jacobs is a modern fashion design icon.

1. He was winning awards from a young age

Jacobs began his fashion education at New York’s Parsons School of Design. Before he’d even graduated from the prestigious school, the young designer was garnering praise and was named Design Student of the Year.

Shortly after leaving, he set up his eponymous label and two years later, in 1987, was given the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Perry Ellis Award for ‘New Fashion Talent’, the youngest person ever to receive the award.

Evidently the sponsors were impressed, because after the death of founder Perry Ellis, the brand named Jacobs as vice president of women’s design.

2. He’s got the coolest grunge heritage

The designer continued to impress the fashion establishment, taking home the CFDA Women’s Designer of the Year award in 1992.

But in the same year, Jacobs produced his now infamous ‘grunge’ collection.

At a time when catwalk fashion was all about glamour and minimalism, the young upstart sent out messy-haired supermodels wearing grunge-inspired lumberjack shirts, denim jackets, trainers and Doc Martens.

Critics were horrified, deeming the casual collection wholly inappropriate for a major fashion house, and Jacobs was fired not long after.

He had the last laugh, though. In 2018, after 30 years of success in fashion, he recreated 26 of the original Perry Ellis looks for the Marc Jacobs Redux Grunge collection.

3. He gave Louis Vuitton a new lease of life

After the Perry Ellis debacle, Jacobs refocused his attentions on his own label, before being named creative director at Louis Vuitton in 1997, a post he would hold for 16 years.

Jacobs is credited with transforming the French house, from an out-dated luggage-maker to one of the most in-demand luxury labels.

He did it by introducing the first women’s ready-to-wear line, holding star-studded catwalk shows and collaborating with artists and tastemakers on a series of sought-after ‘It’ bags.

4. He’s a red carpet fashion hero

Over more than three decades, Jacobs has dressed countless Hollywood stars and fashion industry titans for the red carpet.

Nowhere has he excelled more than at the Met Gala, using his unique blend of creativity, irreverence and glamour to help style icons like Kate Moss, Courtney Love, Sofia Coppola, Cher and Madonna shine at the biggest night in the fashion calendar.

Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum – New York
Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs attend the ‘Punk’: Chaos to Couture’ Costume Institute Benefit Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum in New York ( Denis Van Tine/PA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala – New York
Char Defrancesco, Frances Bean Cobain, Marc Jacobs and Courtney Love attending The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2017 (Aurore Marechal/PA)

5. He champions talent – new and old

Ever the pop culture vulture, Jacobs frequently collaborates with his pop star muses, casting Miley Cyrus in an ad campaign in 2014 and sending Lady Gaga down the runway at his autumn/winter 2016 show.

In a bid to discover new modelling talent, the designer has used social media to cast some of his more recent catwalk shows.

And he doesn’t just want stick-thin teenagers representing his brand. He unveiled then 65-year-old actress Jessica Lange in a campaign for Marc Jacobs beauty in 2014.

As he explained at the time: “I wanted to set a kind of precedent that, like with our shows, there’s always a surprise element—there’s something unexpected.”

2014 Met Costume Institute Gala – New York
Jessica Lange and Marc Jacobs arriving at the Met Gala 2014 (Dennis Van Tine/PA)

© Press Association 2019

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