Marc by Marc Jacobs, the contemporary line from Marc Jacobs, will be discontinued and be absorbed by the main line.
Sources said this decision was made to ensure the clarity of the brand’s voice and aesthetic. Instead, Marc Jacobs will offer diverse merchandise and price points currently divided between the lines from contemporary to luxury. LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault told WWD, “The first step is to put in place the organization, and to complete the business plan, which requires retail organization, retail investment and more products. These steps have already started. This will take time, maybe two or three years, to be completely in place.”
It remains unclear about what will happen to the current creative designer, Katie Hillier and women’s design director Luella Bartley who were hired back in May 2013. However, Ms. Hillier has an outstanding history with Mr. Jacobs having assisted him for more than 10 years on various freelance projects. Speculation points at her being likely re-purposed and absorbed by the main line. In October 2013, Mr. Jacobs decided to bow out gracefully from Louis Vuitton to focus on his eponymous label and prepping up for a possible IPO. The Instagram casting for Marc by Marc Jacobs will still continue and will likely be the last campaign for the brand.
We think this is a smart business move. Marc by Marc Jacobs as outstanding as it is, has yet to develop a cult-like following strong enough to justify its existence. From a business perspective, it is a cost-cutting move. Retail space has skyrocketed for the past few years and by merging two lines into one, staff expenses will go down too, especially on the top management levels. On the other hand, this is, most likely, the best time for them to increase their bottom line pricing. By merging the contemporary line and luxury line, they are blurring the divide, lifting up their contemporary line to an affordable luxury status. On the IPO’s side, this is the most logical decision as well. Michael Kors presents a similar concept for his brand and Mr. Kors has done tremendously well in the market. We hope though, that the market won’t be flooded by an over abundance of Marc Jacobs items that it cheapens the brand.