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A Jacobin Rebellion of a Rather Different Sort

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Marc Jacobs has certainly not had a love affair with Paris. While living in the city as the creative director of Louis Vuitton, Jacobs struggled with everything from the foreign language to the lack of takeout food. But could recent events have him redesigning his previously shaky relationship with the city of lights?

Jacobs is notorious for his punctuality, in fact, his Fall 2005 , Fall 2006 and Spring 2006 shows all began well behind schedule. But when his Spring 2008 presentation was two hours late, a public outcry erupted from editors and guests who felt that this time his tardiness was unforgivable. Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune was especially venomous, suggesting in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily a startling desire to murder the designer. Marc’s response? Claiming to be fed up with New York, the designer is threatening to move his show to Paris next year.

While it’s difficult to determine how credible the threat actually is, a New York Fashion Week without Marc would certainly be an entirely different animal. The Marc Jacobs Show is definitely the most highly anticipated event (the drama! the clothes! Lauren Conrad from the Hills!), so it’s hard to imagine what would take its place. While there are plenty of other shows to get excited about, NY Fashion Week would undoubtedly lose some of its lustre.

The effect on the Marc Jacobs brand itself would likely be less dramatic. Considering that videos, photos and commentary of all of the fashion shows are available on Style.com, it’s doubtful that fewer people would view Marc’s show. Not to mention the fact that most of the important fashion editors fly to Paris anyway. Likewise, Marc’s clothing sales will probably remain healthy: those Mercer Street groupies definitely aren’t going to stop buying!

However, the impact of America’s foremost designer publicly snubbing New York would undoubtedly be far more significant. The situation in the United States is not great as things stand: in last August’s W magazine, Louis J. Esterhazy wondered why American designers have such an inferiority complex. Foreign designers get all the buzz, claims Esterhazy, and Americans all clamor to wear clothing from Europe. Is this because, as Marc says, critics from the United States need to be easier on the hard working designers? Or do the designers themselves need to suck it up and take more pride in their own country?

Only time will tell if Jacobs will make good on his threat. But at least for now, it’s au revoir.



[Image:Flickr
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