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Marc Jacobs careers in New York

Marc Jacobs
127 Prince St, New York, NY, 10012
Aug 31, 2021
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Video transcript

Hello and welcome to day 4 of South by Southwest. My name is Kelly crazy. And I'm the program. The conference programming manager for the festival. Before we get started. Wanted to let everyone know that we are utilizing Sly do as RQ a platform. So just go to slide o.com. Use the hashtag South by Southwest and you can ask your questions throughout the entire session, do it. We and those that have the most likes will get pushed to the top. I can say with confidence that in our four years of programming style related content. Marc. Jacobs has always been at the top of our wish list. He's one of the most celebrated and recognized fashion, designers of his generation. He has an uncanny ability to spot who and what is next in pop culture and fashion before his peers and he's the only person I'll wear sequins for at 11 a.m. He's used his own image on social media and instant and Cinema to a remarkable and often. Controversial effect. I've been following his career since he launched the covetable stand bag and genuinely look forward to each of his Runway shows. It is a true career highlight and a definite honor to have him at South by Southwest. Please help me. Welcome to the stage Marc Jacobs with creative digital director of Vogue. Sally singer. High marks never been to South by Southwest before. Have you been to Austin before? No, I've never been to Austin. First time. We're delighted that he alighted today. I don't know if anyone of you are part of his seven hundred thousand plus followers on Instagram, but You are you knew that he arrived yesterday in a fuchsia pink. Very Cameron, baby fat. Yeah. From a different time. Thank you so much for coming. Thank you. And I think to start I'd like to start by talking about the show that we just saw part of that was marks fall show for 2017. That was shown on February 16th in New York at the Armory Uptown. And for me, it was an interesting show because the armor is a vast space and Mark tends to do vast shows with vast. Front rows, full of people who are vastly influential and vastly famous. And instead this time. He did a single front row through the Armory. So, left all the used, you know, you've left everything else. Empty and it was a very quiet show and it was a show where there was I think no backstage photography and a lot of the sort of ways in which we document for social media fashion shows at this moment were cut out. So it was like kind of an anti social media show that then when you exited the show, you were in an Instagram. Moment. So can you talk a little bit about how that came to be? Well, uh, I mean, everything comes to be for many reasons. And as you said, we've shown at the Armory the Uptown or the downtown Armory for many years. And normally, I, you know, the show's involve very elaborate set. I work with Stephen Beckman and we create, you know, my, my attitude about the show is that it is a show and therefore, almost a theatrical experience. Experience and I being a theater lover. I mean I do go to the theater and I've got I grew up in New York City, going to the theater. And, you know, before the performance begins. They tell you to please, put away your cell phones and recording devices. And as I was quoted by Bridget Foley saying, you know, I had been to a performance by the late Prince, the artist Prince and he also refused to kind of Go on stage while everybody had their phones out. And anyway, so thinking about the show and the set and everything. That we had always done and then having done this interview with Bridget Foley and talking about the state of fashion and New York, Fashion Week and all this kind of stuff. You know, I I had been thinking and continue to think about like the show and what it meant to me. And and that that particular collection, and what we were showing and how to I mean in in some way, how to control That experience and what people saw or what people's Focus was and what I wanted them to focus on was the clothes. So, we did. I mean, I talked to Stephen about the set and I said, I wanted absolutely no set and I wanted no, no Runway. No flooring. No nothing. I want to know lighting within the Armory. I wanted absolutely nothing. I felt like whatever light there was within the Armory was sufficient like to see the clothes and I felt that if there were to the armory. Was from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue. So it's a full city block and I felt if the girls walked in from the Lexington Avenue entrance, all the way through to Park Avenue, that that's it's a full. It's a real long walk. And then I felt that if they left the armory. I mean, if they continue to walk and everybody was on each side of them. They would see the clothes as they pass by and it would be an intimate kind of experience. And then, so, in thinking about this, I felt like I really wanted to. I can't obviously force people not to use their phone and refrain from taking pictures, but it kind of, I wanted to politely suggest that They could please put away their phones and watch the show or watch The Collection passed them by. That is the way I would prefer them to meet me halfway in this experience. And so that's what we did and I think most people were willing to do that. So instead of having people holding up iPads and iPhones throughout this show and or just taking pictures of celebrities and the row opposite them. Everybody actually watched the closed path. Bye. And as they left the Armory. I had designed with Stephen these walls of 12 foot tall speakers that stretch the whole block and I had positioned all the girls to pose. So that the audience as they left, would see the girls and hear music for the first time and ultimately, they would be seeing the clothes in the environment, in which I felt they'd look the most beautiful which was Daylight. And again, In New York City background so or backdrop. So, so that the city was really the set and the clothes were in a context. Then, in terms of when I started thinking about that, I thought, well, how can I take this even further? And we called apple, and we asked them for iPhone 7S and they were very interested in promoting the portrait mode of iPhone. So we got these iPhone 7S. We designed this case and we gave all the girls, a phone. And we said well, let's since we've taken away or asked everyone to refrain from using the phones. Why don't you photograph the audience? And, let's see how much diversity there is in the audience, and how much fashion there is in real life. Meaning the real life crowd of the Fashion World, which was the editors and the and the people who attend the shows. So it was me poking back a little bit. And it was me, sort of making this sort of Black Mirror like commentary on everybody. Sort of record. Somebody obviously has seen Black Mirror. So, so it was a combination of all those things. And sorry, I get very long-winded answers because basically, I arrived at everything because of a million different simulations and and thoughts. Yeah, but it's completely without a question, did the digital changes that have occurred if completely changed the way you show your collections now and the vast number of people who can see your collections and experience your collections. And what do you do with all that content? So if the the models are recording, the editors, where does that go? How do Do you? Well, well, that was that, that was, you know, things. Again, all of all of these thoughts, you know, as I'm working on the collection and with my team. And as we were beginning, the discussion about the set, the environment, the show space etcetera, the music or the no music in this case, you know, we we start all of these things started coming up and then one idea, like I said, led to another, I was trying to give, you know, the sort of scope of how this idea developed and then we thought like How great would it be? Will get each of the girls to have a phone? They'll take a picture of themselves. So we'll know whose phone was whose and then what we'll do is we will find a way through our own website. I guess it's called. Yeah, and website. I'm the worst. I mean, to be here and talking about this. I am the biggest Luddite. I just learned like a few years ago, have a, I mean, I just got on Instagram, like two years ago or something and Emailing is about as best as the best I can do on our Google search. I'm good at. But anyway, so then we thought we would. What we would do is we would post each of the girls work like, the they were the photographer's, so, you know, just, as there are Paparazzi, it shows or there are photographers who are there to document the clothes. We thought it would be great to see Anna Wintour walking out and to see, like, you know, the different, what do they call bloggers coming out or or the members of the audience, you know, the Of the audience coming out because, you know, they really do represent the Fashion World in a way. So so we did that. We posted the work of each of the girls with with, you know, crediting them as the photographer. So intent does. It went now that as you're designing, a show of the sort and as you're making all these decisions about music or no music and like does it change the way you design? The clothes, you think your design process is changed to meet? No, the design. I mean my process. This is really the same. The only thing is like I said, and this gets a little esoteric or maybe hard to articulate. Exactly. Is that everything influences us, you know, a collection, although we live in a We and I mean when I say we are its I'm not referring to myself. I mean me and my team but we live in our little bubble of work for this period of time that we're working on the show, but it's still we are sponges for everything that we feel and see and read and hear. So, you know, I am aware. I mean there are things that that permeate that bubble. I do know a little bit about what's going on in the world and I do have contact with, you know, theater and art. They can and and I do follow a lot of people on Instagram and I do get news that way and I do, you know, so all of those things you can't I can't really turn them off and so although I don't think I'm really designing for social media. It's kind of like, you know, I see things in the morning when I'm having coffee and they might either subliminally or subconsciously become an influencer. Or they may very literally become an influencer, you know, I might see an invitation from a nightclub in the 80s that a friend of mines posted in London and it's like, oh wow that make a great t-shirt which might not have been my thinking, you know, the day before. But because it came up that morning on social media and I'm going to work in an hour, you know, that that it stimulates you so. So that's, that's that thing about the immediacy, I guess of this interaction is that, you know, I can't, I can personally decide like I'm not going to let that influence me because it does get in. I have a few questions when they're playing with some are super geeky. So I'm going to, I'm going to get more granular than you one. You've always been a. You are the definitive sponge of doesn't like you've always had the best die for the coolest people, the right music. I mean, the moment, like, no one in fashion has owned an understanding of the Zeitgeist, better than you, bro. Like I mean your grunge collection by far all the editors decided was the most important collection of the last 25 years. You've always known where Aesthetics are and and then just had a Twist them to that next place. No one's ever seen them before, that's what you do. You're better at than everyone back in the day before we could Google everything a large. It seemed to me that it was so easy to draw upon your private mental sort of gallery of your life and your emotions and the way you Remember a club from the 80s, but you couldn't really find it. You couldn't Google it, and find the flyer and that I'm just wondering as a creative person. How do you, how do you keep that emotional resonance, which is beyond the literal? All creative people. I think are feeling this right now. When you can sample, everything, when you can see everything, how do you keep that dream scape for things are warped in a way that are more resonant than any little reaction to them. Well, you know, actually, I mean I thank you for giving me the credit. I think it may be a little overstated but But I think I cuz I don't think I'm actually as aware of things as other people think I am. But maybe that's a good thing but I I do. However, I feel like you know to me there's like kind of it's sort of obvious there. I live in New York City and New York is a pretty visually stimulating place to live and I guess I genuinely have an interest. In the changing landscape, you know, so so if there's a music that sounds far and or different, it's like I kind of can't ignore it because that's just the type of person I am. Or if there's an artist whose work just resonates in some way. It's like I don't know why those things are so seductive to me, but they always have been. I mean, even as a kid like, you know, somebody would pass by and their jacket was too small and their hair was dyed in a funny color and I think most people Might let that just pass or or they might react to it in a very different way. Whereas I was just very kind of like again there was some kind of primitive connection to something that disrupts what is and maybe that's why I'm sensitive in the way. I am, you know that I'm just interested in the disruption. And so now when you're when you follow people online and when you get them to disrupt sir, what do you find disruptive where you looking and who will see? That's and that's the irony of it. Is that if you went You asked me I can't tell you. It's only in retrospect that I can see it and and maybe that's well, if you follow huh, who do you follow follow friends? I mean, I also do that little I can't I don't know what it's what any of those icons are called. It looks like a little magnifying glass on the bottom. So like you touch that. And it says things you might like or something like that. So, so I like looking at that and then discovering various things. I mean, whether it's about bull terrier lovers. Or French Bulldog lovers or makeup artists or like, I don't know. There's something about satisfying things that are very satisfying like cutting through butter with a hot knife and I don't know there's like all kinds of weird stuff on there. But but I look at that to find things that I guess the computer God decided I'd be interested in you know, Nick God. Yeah the gods of algorithms. Yes, you know that that all knowing that all knowing and to be that knows exactly what you Based on what you search and all that kind of stuff. So are you ever like, I don't like that. Why are they sending me that? I'm so glad that. No never no. No, I mean, so so that's one way. But then I follow their friends of mine who again are people who I guess. I've been friendly with over the years. Who you know, sometimes it becomes like this Six Degrees of Separation. Like I'm following Christian who's a hairdresser and then I see that he's done a picture. He posted an old picture with Model from like 20 years ago. So then I click and following them and then you know one thing sort of sets off the other. It's like a kind of chain reaction But but so so I end up following a lot of people because I started following someone close to me and that led me to somebody little bit more distant a little bit, did more distant than somebody who haven't seen in 20 years. And and, and then, you know, there's this kind of spin-off were like, yeah, I feel like you're you are very new to this that I feel like you are very new to this I have I think I Just a few years ago. I interviewed, you know, like computers. I don't go on them. Well, I have a big head, a big route. We're not a big row. I was like very adamant with Suzy menkes. Who's another journalist who she came up to me? And I think what would have happened? I remember very, very well. It was a couple of years ago and we were preparing for show and she wasn't going to be in town for the show. So she asked if she could preview something, I never really allow and we're don't, don't really welcome. I don't understand why people need to see the show the day before the show if they're coming to the show. Fashion journalist like to do that. Yeah, you don't allow it. So so, but so I made this exception. I saw her and that night, we were having a book signing for love magazine. It was a fundraiser and I my dear friend Katy grin, do I work with is the editor-in-chief of Love magazine and Kendall Jenner, who some of you might have heard of, Kendall was signing the cover of love and blocks and blocks were shut off. And I went on this tirade. It was like, oh my God. Is this whole thing? Like I can't believe like the world. I mean, New York has come to a standstill because Kendall Jenner who's like, what is it? She has like a million followers on social media and that's what you know, like I made such a big deal about it. Now, I love Kendall and she's been a model and a friend and we appreciate you. We were the first one to use her and it's going to show first ones to use her as a runway model. But you know, I was so kind of adamant about like being antisocial media, so I did this interview with with, with Susie manx and I was very adamant about. Like, I'm not for social media. I'm all for like being social. I want to have like a human experience. I want to like I want to shop. I don't want to shop online. Are you you very brick-and-mortar. I was like no. So of course being The person that I am as soon as I was adamant, and as soon as it was recorded in document documented that I was like dead set against it, I woke up the next morning and I said, I think I'm going to join Instagram but that's typical fashion. You know, you love it till you hate it. You hate it till you love it. So so of course seeing it in print how against it I was I was like, this is the perfect date has joined, you know, and then I was hooked and I was like, I was like posting every time I brewed a cup of coffee or every you know, every You from the right from the left for that. And how about your shopping? Are you on? Are you like I have never bought a not that I know of. I've never bought anything online, right? What other sites do you otherwise? I say that because I might have bought something online without me, knowing it. But I never actually want anything else and what are the what other sites do you use when you say, you get your news? We're what other news do, you get? Where do you? Well, they're all those pop-up things. I don't know what they are. That, come with the phone. You get your news from the pop up there. Well, yeah, I mean, you know, it's like I feel like someone's making these choices for now. I don't want to take more responsibility than that. But no, I mean, I receive information through people and through my friends and through this phone and whoever, you know, whoever is inside that phone, choosing those stories and in terms of the choices you make for your own social media, now that you have joined Instagram and your August also, oh yeah Neville my dog. Well, that's Nick Newbold. Who's somewhere out here. Nick is really the secret Neville. Neville doesn't actually use Instagram. He does know how to take a selfie though. How do you how do you make the choices for what you post on? How do you continue your very public figure? But it should also say I've always thought of you as a very private figure and I've always thought of you as someone who had very few friends and kept them very close. And very and and now you've got like seven hundred thousand friends and following you Darren dear to my heart and I'm just wondering what's that like because? Well well and how do you make those choices? No, you know what I like? Think that, you know, as soon as I embraced the idea of Instagram because the company has an Instagram account. So Marc Jacobs as a company, obviously post things and some of it, I'm very happy with and some of it, I'm less happy with, but, but I thought, if I had my own Instagram account, I'd kind of make it about, like, my life outside of work. And, of course, my life outside of work is not very big. So my, I mean, and I mean, that in the sense that most of my friends, Friends are people that I have met through work or people. I'm involved with in work or somehow related to the work that I do. And, and, and, but I thought they would be the things like again, like me waking up and take a picture in my closet or, or with my dog sleeping on it, you know, resting on the couch, watching TV, or or if I was watching something and I take a screen grab or something. And I post that. So it's more kind of like instinctive and spontaneous and kind of like, oh this these are Nail, this is the nail color. I'm wearing today, or this is the new pair of earrings. I bought or, you know, like kind of me me kind of thing. And, and it's been fun. You know, I mean, it's my shrink would probably say something about. Like, the the importance of the validation, that one starts to feel by becoming addicted to Instagram because, of course, I'm looking at like, how many, like, certain things got, and I think, oh my God, you know, this got so many likes. And, therefore, I feel so good about myself today. And I mean, that's again in that black. A mirror thing that's like a little scary. You know that it's like when you when you start posting something and you don't get a reaction, you think like