Designer Marc Jacobs currently helms both his namesake label and Louis Vuitton.
In the latest issue of Vogue, Jonathan van Meter writes a lengthy profile of one of the biggest designers working today, Marc Jacobs, who in turn opens up about the year's biggest fashion story -- his possible move to Dior, now apparently off the table -- as well as his take on the contemporary world of fashion.
Overall, the profile stresses how the designer seems to be in a light, good space in terms of his career -- happy in Paris, happy in New York, and, most importantly, very happy splitting time between his namesake label and Louis Vuitton, with no real reason desire to switch things up. Jacobs also goes into surprising depth about his estranged relationship with his family and his recent relationship with Lorenzo Martone. Most interesting to those following the will-he-won't-he Dior succession saga is a passage where he describes his reasons for staying at Vuitton:
"There have been on-and-off conversations about Dior. I don’t know; maybe someday in the future, maybe years from now, I may end up going someplace else, maybe Dior. But right now I am at Vuitton, and all that matters to me is that that’s where I am and I’m going to keep doing my thing ... The idea of couture doesn’t hold that thing for me. It’s archaic -- in my opinion. I mean, I am really interested in the craftsmanship behind couture. But I can explore all that in ready-to-wear. With couture, one dress each season is photographed by a couple of magazines; there’s no advertising; it reaches 20 customers. I don’t feel there is anything lacking in what we do. I get to work with these amazing craftsmen. Maybe not the same ateliers that would make a couture dress, but, again, we are not in a deficit for working with people who create beautiful things. I am not sure I ever looked at couture as this great opportunity."
Van Meter also stresses the transformation that Jacobs has brought about at Louis Vuitton: Before he arrived in 1997, the label had not ready-to-wear collection and no trend-focused handbag line. According to Vogue, the label "started seeing double-digit growth every year" after Jacobs started leading the house.
Yves Carcelle, Louis Vuitton's chairman and CEO, is even quoted as saying "I hope he stays many more years, but whenever the moment is that he leaves, I think the company will never be the same."
Considering the energy behind Marc Jacobs' presence at the immensely profitable Louis Vuitton, it stands to reason that that would give Jacobs considerable leverage in negotiations with Bernard Arnault and LVMH. When push came to shove, Jacobs is too talented to push into a situation where he's not happy, and Vuitton is currently too important a jewel in the LVMH crown to risk a downturn in the brand's success.
As things currently stand, designer Raf Simons is said to be near a contract for the top gig at Dior, though details are as yet unconfirmed.