Marc Jacobs was born in New York City on April 9, 1963. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in 1981 he entered Parson’s School of Design. As a design student at Parson’s, Jacobs was the recipient of some of the schools highest honors including Design Student of the Year. In 1984 he met Robert Duffy who is still his business partner today.
In 1986 Jacobs designed his first collection with the Marc Jacobs label. In 1987, he received the distinct honor of being the youngest designer ever to be awarded the fashion industry’s highest tribute: The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent.
In 1989 Jacobs and Duffy joined Perry Ellis as Vice-President of Women’s Design and President respectively. In 1992, the CFDA once again bestowed Jacobs with a distinct honor: the Women’s Designer of the Year Award for his fabled Grunge Collection. Ironically, months before the CFDA awards were announced, they were fired for that very same collection.
In the fall of 1993, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. launched their own licensing and design company: Marc Jacobs International Company, L.P.
Jacobs and Duffy joined Louis Vuitton in 1997, Jacobs as Artistic Director and Duffy as Studio Director. They also opened the first Marc Jacobs free standing store on Mercer Street in New York’s Soho district.
Jacobs introduced the secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, with a spring 2001 runway show. He has gone on to win a record breaking nine CFDA awards including Womenswear Designer of the Year, Accessories Designer of the Year and Menswear designer of the year. And has been nominated well over 20 times. making Marc Jacobs the most nominated designer in the CFDA history.
The first multi-brand store in the U.S. opened in August 2004 on Boston’s Newbury Street and May 2005 brought the opening of 3 new stores in Los Angeles. The company opened its’ first free-standing European store in Paris at The Palais Royal in January, 2006.
In 2007 the company produced the first collection of Marc by Marc Jacobs eyewear as well as launching a children’s collection called Little Marc Jacobs and releasing a fragrance, called Daisy, in September.
In January, 2008 a Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique opened in Chicago’s Bucktown and several limited edition fragrances were launched. The fall brought openings in Paris, Madrid, Istanbul and Athens--all with their first Marc by Marc locations. The company has expanded to more than 300 stores worldwide.
The company’s portfolio now includes Marc Jacobs Collection ready-to-wear, Marc by Marc Jacobs womenswear, Men’s Collection ready-to-wear, Marc by Marc Jacobs menswear, Marc by Marc Jacobs swimwear, 2 shoe collections, 2 optical collections, 2 sunglasses collections, 1 collection of watches, 12 fragrances, the children’s collection and the much loved collection of special items, done under the JACOBS by MARC JACOBS for MARC by MARC JACOBS in collaboration with MARC JACOBS for MARC by MARC JACOBS.
2009 marked the start of a new venture formed with Sumitomo Corp. that meant the start of a new beginning for the Marc Jacobs business in Japan.
Jacobs and Duffy hosted The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala in May 2009 along with Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake and Anna Wintour. The company also had what many rate the most successful fragrance launch of the year with Lola, a new fragrance for women.
2010 brings store openings in Chicago and Milan as well as the launch of a new men’s fragrance, Bang. In January 2010 Jacobs was presented the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by France’s Minister of Culture in honor of his significant contribution to the arts and in May he received the CFDA award for Womenswear Designer of the Year. The company launched its e-commerce site in September 2010 and continues to expand its digital presence.
Jacobs and Duffy continue to run the company and are committed to giving back to the communities where they have stores and beyond. They have been involved with over 75 charities worldwide and the ongoing support of many of these charitable projects—as well as new collaborations--continues to be a top priority.