Glamouria by Hayat Ammouri
With Marc Jacobs
|What makes the man who wear a lace dress
or a kilt one of the most influential authorities
in fashion today?
The man himself..
He’s simply Marc Jacobs!
Do you have any special habits when you’re working?
I go to the gym every morning for a couple of hours, then I come to work, whatever is on the plate for the day, I do it. I don’t ask many questions, I go where I am told to.
What’s the difference between style and fashion?
Style is more interesting than fashion. People who are stylish are just true to themselves. They have no fear of self expression, and they have a kind of confidence. Fashion is just something that money can buy. Style is more unique.
When did you become aware that you really had something special?
I don’t think about it this way. I just do what I have always done. I think I was lucky to meet my partner Robert Duffy. He’s the one who recognized something about me, and encouraged me later when we were approached by Louis Vuitton..
Did you feel different as a student?
No, I didn’t feel different, but I had a lot of encouragement. I have always been very ambitious, maybe because I am an Aries, I am stubborn. I knew that I loved fashion, and I got a lot of pleasure working on it.
You got the Lifetime Achievement Award, and you said you didn’t like it?!
Yes, Lifetime achievement means to me you’re done, and I don’t have any intentions of stopping. I am 49, and my life is not over yet. It’s wonderful to be recognized by your peers, and of course it’s a great honour, but a “Lifetime Achievement” seemed a little premature for me.
If Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs were your babies, what characters would they have?
They would both be very good children, but they are different. I was born and raised in New York, having built this brand with my partner Robert, New York is my natural habitat. So I think my relationship with Marc Jacobs is more autobiographical, and more personal. And when I am in Paris, working for Louis Vuitton, I am in a foreign land, it’s more of a fantasy, I think a Vuitton woman is more extraverted. One that I am more connected to. I am a romantic on a personal level, and one is more like pretending, a make believe, a fantasy.
How do women inspire you when you design?
I love to design for women, it’s really open and very free. I always think of my friends. I think of both fictitious characters, real people from the past and the present.. I am not a woman, but I find women so beautiful and so fascinating.
When you design a dress, do you have an image of a woman on your mind?
It’s all a kind of fantasy.. Sometimes maybe the woman is someone you actually know. So you ask yourself, would she like it or no. It’s much more of a creative process, not a research or trying to make somethings that sells or appeals. I hope that it will appeal to somebody, but it isn’t what drives me.
So what drives you?
I like to make things. making choices, choosing colours, evoking a spirit, a change.
Who do you find stylish?
Sofia Coppola is someone I always talk about.. She’s somebody who is extremely creative, and I think she has a voice and a vision, and a sense style that I personally relate to. She’s very natural.
There is so much coming out with your name, how is it possible for you to have control over it?
I don’t have control over everything. I play a part in certain things, and a bigger part in certain things than others.. It’s a big team here, and it’s a big team in Louis Vuitton. I do the best I can to participate actively and as much as I can. But we also surround ourselves with people who are like minded, who are creative. Part of the talent of any company is to surround yourself with people who have good spirit and help you do more and more things.
Doing the perfume for example, I worked with Coty. I don’t know how to make a fragrance, but I could participate in creating an identity and a spirit to it, and work to choose the perfume, but it takes lots of people. Everything is teamwork, and as you grow your team will grow…
Is there anything that makes you uncomfortable?
I wish I had more time to design. There are other aspects to all of this. Sometimes I feel that in the beginning of my career, there was just one thing.. But now there’s the fragrance, Marc Jacobs. Louis Vuitton, the bags, the shoes, the press, and other responsibilities .. so you feel you’re pulled in different directions. I value very much the time before the show, when there is nothing else but to concentrate on the show, and it’s just purely design..
I miss that I have less and less time for the thing that I originally love doing the most..
Is there anything that you dislike in how the fashion world functions?
No, I am very happy. I don’t dislike anything, but designing is what I like the most.
How does it feel to have such an international name and influence in many countries?
It feels good!
You say you don’t think about the market… So you’re not surprised when you succeed?
I am often surprised when things work well. I always hope for the best result. But there is no kind of premeditated calculated approach, we just do it.
What inspires you?
Creativity in any form stimulates creativity in every form, music, arts, literature… I find inspiration in anything. It’s all the same.
What are you proudest of?
I am most proud of what we last did, bot at LV and MJ. That’s kind of my attitude. Whatever we did last is my proudest moment.