Although Marc Jacobs is leaving Louis Vuitton, Jacobs will very much remain a part of the LVHM family. Showing no signs of slowing down, Jacobs departure as designer from LV is so that Jacobs can focus more on the Marc Jacobs brand and it was proving hard to do both. Recognizing that it is taking a lot more work and a lot more investment, the LVHM family will be providing both in order to help with the expansion. The Marc Jacobs brand has gone from about $20 million 16 years ago to nearly $1 billion today and with LVMH owning a controlling share of the Marc Jacobs operating company their involvement will not diminish. Jacobs and Robert Duffy, (Jacobs long term business partner) own one-third each of the trademark. Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and chief executive officer, spoke of their plans to go IPO and acknowledged the time the partners will have to put in, both creatively and communication-wise on the brand.
It was a fairly spontanious decision to make this Jacobs last show. They knew the time was looming if they wanted to push forward with the Marc Jacobs brand, therefore Arnault left it to Jacobs and Duffy to decide, and last minute they decided to make it this show.
With plans to expand the brand further and with the hugely successful launch of Sephora make up products in August, Duffy talks about how the plans are already in motion. They have hired a new design team for Marc by Marc, Katie Hillier as creative director and Luella Bartley as women’s design director were unveiled last May and autumn 2014 will be their first collection. In addition they plan to increase the collection of handbags and therefore increase distribution. This means restructuring what they're doing and almost going back to square one, in order to expand.
As for Louis Vuitton and it's future designer? Nicolas Ghesquière is considered the front-runner but Arnault says in WWD interview, “We have to, after the show, think and decide. But no decision will be made immediately.”
Whatever happens from here, the Jacobs brand only looks like it's going to continue to grow and become even more influential around the world. As for Louis Vuitton, I'm excited to hear who will take over the brand. Watch this space!