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Marc Jacobs Gives Talk at London's Tate Modern

Speaking as part of the museum’s John Edwards Lecture Series, the designer and Peter Marino discussed their love of fashion, architecture and the arts.

MARC TALKS: “I don’t ever think of fashion as art,” said Marc Jacobs during a talk this week at London’s Tate Modern with Peter Marino. “We don’t need fashion. We don’t need beautiful buildings. We need clothes for the body. We need food and water to eat. We need a place to live. But we want so much more — and we have so much more. We have beautiful art, beautiful buildings, clothes, fashion, fragrance, cosmetics, music, writing — it’s all of them that inspire me.”

Jacobs and Marino, speaking as part of the museum’s John Edwards Lecture Series on Thursday, discussed their love of fashion, architecture and the arts. The two worked together at Louis Vuitton, and Jacobs noted that they shared the same therapist, which elicited laughs from the audience.

Jacobs spoke about his departure from Louis Vuitton, and about his successor, Nicolas Ghesquière.

“Actually, I’m a little scared. I mean, it wouldn’t be me if I sat here and pretended to be superconfident about everything,” he said. “There’s a kind of healthy fear that I have — it’s how I operate. On a good day, I believe it’s going to be amazing, and on a bad day I think I need that other place to hide. But anyway, today I’m in a good place. I think it’s going to be great. I guess there’s a plus and minus to doing the Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton thing.

“I loved it and I’ve learned a lot from living in Paris. I don’t know what the future will be, and I’m just sort of like ‘Let’s see, let’s see how it goes.’ I’ve always admired Nicolas. You know, I’m curious to see what he’ll do. I mean, we have such different aesthetics. I guess I’ve gone through kind of ups and downs about it, but the thing is, before me there was no ready-to-wear. There were no shoes; there [was] no jewelry and no men’s wear — there was nothing. So, I had an opportunity that was so wonderful….I’m just really glad that somebody who I really respect and admire and I think is a great talent is there. I’m just curious to see what he does.”

Marino and Jacobs both talked about the frenetic pace of the business.

“It’s a very hectic schedule when you’re working with fashion boutiques,” said Marino. “Brands like Chanel redo 12 or 16 of their stores per year. That’s more than one per month. But then I think Mr. [Karl] Lagerfeld has 12 collections a year to do, I only have 16 boutiques. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Jacobs also talked about his own label and its future.

“I’d really love to control the shopping bags. I’d love to control the stores,” he said. “I’d really love to control everything, but the reality of being able to do that isn’t real. So you surround yourself with people who reflect your sensibility, who you trust.

“I’d like to play a more active part, maybe now that I’m no longer working for Vuitton. Working on my own brand, maybe I’ll have a little more time to focus and participate more.”

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