Marc Jacobs

person16I have a lot of heroes in the fashion world. From those who constantly break the rules and challenge convention to the grafters who produce clever, useful design, there are too many great figures to name here. But when it comes to an inspiration, a role model, and a personal brand built from the ground up, I am always in awe of Marc Jacobs.

In his fifty-three years he has shown aspiring fashionistas like myself that with the right combination of talent and hard work, it is possible to build a global empire that is still going from strength to strength. Jacobs didn’t have anything handed to him, either. He had a tough upbringing, losing his father at age seven and being taken in by his grandfather when his mentally ill mother could no longer care for her kids. But he knew what he wanted to do, and his fashion career started at the bottom. Aged just fifteen, he went to work as a stock boy in a New York boutique, Charivari. Such ambition. I didn’t have a clue at that age!

Jacobs’ education was at the High School of Art and Design and then Parson’s School of Design in New York. Before he had even graduated, the exceptionally talented lad had already created and sold his first line of sweaters. He also won several awards while still a student, which marked him out for future success. Jacobs was only twenty-four when he won the Perry Ellis ‘New Talent’ award. He was the youngest ever to do so and was quickly snapped up by that label.

person17But the most inspiring thing about Jacobs for me is much more than his beautiful designs. Despite his huge success, he actually cares about real issues. His 2009 shirt design supporting gay marriage and the ongoing ‘protect the skin you’re in’ campaign that benefits cancer research, shows that despite working with icons like Kanye West and Richard Prince, global fame hasn’t turned his head. We should all hope to be so grounded when success comes knocking for us.

webmaster / August 14, 2016 / Design