Following Marc Jacobs's emotionally charged exit from Louis Vuitton last month, the fashion fairy dust has now settled and he and his business partner, Robert Duffy, are starting a new chapter for the designer's eponymous own label. In an illuminating interview with WWD , Jacobs reveals just what drives him, his thoughts on history's best designers, the inspiration behind the luxe moccasins in his spring summer 2014 Marc Jacobs show and reveals a secret behind his creative process.
What does motivate Jacobs then? Turns out that it's something of a heady concoction - one shared, according to Jacobs with Miuccia Prada: "There's a certain amount of curiosity, a certain amount of boredom, a certain amount of instinct, and there's a whole lot of fearlessness. I do believe instinct plays a big part, besides inspiration and all of that."
He reveals an enormous amount of respect for female designers. After all, the backwards-running clock at his Louis Vuitton swansong show was a tribute to Vivienne Westwood's clock in front of her World's End store on King's Road. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
"Throughout history," he continued, "the best designers and the ones who have made the biggest difference and the longest-lasting difference in fashion are women. Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Madame Grès, Chanel, Westwood. I remember years ago, Saint Laurent was talking about how he wanted to create a style because that's what Chanel did."
"They created a language through things that actually can last," he continued. This is more than simply a new silhouette, it's about creating a style: "Style lasts, a way of dressing, a way of looking at clothes. I think that's something that instinctively comes to women. Men can try to put themselves into that head, but they aren't women…You can't wear it, you can't live it, you can't understand why suddenly it feels good to wear a jacket with no shoulder pads that feels like a cardigan and has a pocket."
Well, at the risk of being slightly fatuous, he IS known for his penchant for wearing man-skirts - no bad thing if it attunes him to the psyche of his clients.
Which beings us to those luxe moccasins in his SS14 Marc Jacobs show - they were inspired by his very own footwear: "I used to wear Minnetonkas," he admitted, "a ballet flat, a little unconstructed suede little moccasin. I thought, what would I think if a girl were walking down the street in an evening dress and those cheap suede moccasins?"
Jacobs went on to reveal a secret behind his design process and how he elevates the ordinary to the extraordinary: "Take something that you know and change three things. All of a sudden they (aforementioned boots) were embroidered with all those micro-sequins and all the colours changed."
His love of fashion, he said was a rollercoaster of highs and lows: "I have days where I just think, 'I can't do this, I don't want to do this.' But it's all over the next day…" He embraces the drama of it all and he has no intention of disembarking any time soon.
"It's so passionate, to go through that kind of torment, that kind of love. I certainly don't mind the paycheck," he adds with disarming honesty. "I love fashion. It's what I've always loved; it's my form of self-expression."