On April 9, 1963, Marc Jacobs was born in New York City. After his father died, he lived with his grandmother in Manhattan. While living with her, he learned how to knit. As he got older, she fostered his love of fashion. He started The High School of Art and Design when he was 15. At the same time, he worked at the clothing store, Charivari. While there, he met another well-known fashion designer, Perry Ellis, who started teaching him the business and helped launch his career. He furthered his education at Parson's School of Design, where his teacher saw the first glimpses of his talent. His final project was a collection of oversized sweaters he later sold to Charivari. Throughout Marc Jacobs' career, he has made a series of career moves and smart investments that helped him amass a net worth of $200 million.
Rise In Fashion
One of Jacobs' first collections was Sketchbook which he designed in 1984 when hired by Reuben Thomas. The same year, he launched Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. with Robert Duffy. This helped him acquire the finances for his own label. Additionally, he became the youngest designer to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America award and the Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. Both of these awards are some of the most prestigious in the industry. Jacob's started working for his mentor's company in 1988 as the vice president of women's designs. This was also where he launched the collection that formed the grunge collection in 1992. According to Britannica, Jacobs' inspiration was the unique combinations of combat boots and flowered skirts and other seemingly discordant elements that blended together for a unique style. The line was why Jacobs' was known as the "guru of grunge" and later named the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 1992. Even though Jacobs' was a rising star in the fashion industry, the Perry Ellis company let him go. Many think this is because his designs did not fit the company's image. However, he was hard at work with the other company he co-founded, and in 1993, Jacobs Duffy Desgins Inc became Marc Jacobs International Company. The following year he added menswear to his already impressive resume. Several years later, he brought his talents to a series of retail stores. Additionally, he signed on with Louis Vuitton and helped streamline the brand, making it more accessible to everyday consumers. However, in 2013 he decided it was time to focus on his own brands and stepped down. Always one to stay busy, he launched a beauty line. Despite trying to add more affordable pieces, many stores shut down. However, Jacobs not only has an eye for fashion, but he is also a savvy real estate investor.
According to Forbes, in 2019, Jacobs listed one of his properties in West Village, New York, for just under $16 million. The fashion designer listed the property after purchasing a $10 million Frank Lloyd Wright home known as the Max Hoffman House with his husband, Char Defrancesco. The couple opted to downsize their real estate portfolio. It was a four-story, 4,346 square foot townhouse. Jacobs chose each element from the ground up, creating a stunning space. The house's designer is Robert A.M. Stern, who did multiple dwellings on the same block. One of the best features is that the owner can either go through the main entrance or an underground passage. The house-made an appearance on Bravo's Million Dollar Listings in May of 2021. According to The Sun, Ryan Serhant, the broker, said, "One of the big challenges about selling this awesome townhouse is that most of the awesomeness - all the fixtures and finishes, artwork and furniture - has been boxed up and sold at auction at Sotheby's." Like many other projects throughout Jacobs' career, his eye for design and detail made the property a standout.
Bumps In The Road
Throughout Jacobs' career, he has seen impressive success and quite a few pitfalls. The designer understands that many people feel his designs are passe. However, since the 80s, celebrities continually tout his brand as one of their favorites. The height of his success was during the 2000s when he was one of the most sought-after designers. According to CR Fashion Book, Jacob's enduring appeal and financial success are because throughout the years is because's maintained a core following of people loyal to the brand. In 2021, his laid-back style saw a renaissance, worn by celebrities like Billie Eilish and Issa Rae. In 2020, he created a retro collection focused on the '60s and mod. Ava Nirui helped him create the line that focused on gender fluidity. Like his first groundbreaking collection in the 90s, it's inspired by the changing social norms and direction and people who want to embrace their true selves. Jacobs' launching this line will very likely bring his name back to the forefront of fashion. Although some of the projects he's done were not met with critical and consumer success, he's worked tirelessly in the industry for years, which is why he still maintains his considerable fortune.
Jacobs once said, "I still appreciate individuality. Style is much more interesting than fashion really." Looking back over his career and his business decisions, it's easy to see why he has continued to see successes and amassed more wealth even during some faulty steps in his career. Considering all the world has gone through since the pandemic, his signature style fits the unbothered look many are returning to instead of haute couture or other disposable trends. Currently, Jacobs' net worth is estimated at $200 million. Yet, this amount will likely increase as his new projects rise in popularity.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee