Marc Jacobs: Getting into the fray

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In what is what is likely a first in the fashion industry when it comes to the blogosphere, Marc Jacobs has joined the ongoing online debate raging about his supposed row with Suzy Menkes, the highly regarded fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune.

In his comment on Cathy Horyn’s On the Runway blog, Jacobs says:

Marc_bow I did NOT stick my tongue out at Suzy Menkes……I pulled a stupid face with my tongue out in happiness for being done with what has been a great but most stressful season for me. I am not stupid, childish or a vindictive person….I had prior to the show left a silly t-shirt and a nice note for Suzy on her seat. Why would I do anything to further upset her? Right after a show!!?? Cathy and all else reading this, I am surprised that anyone who knows me at all think that I am that petty or stupid! Anyone who has ever been on a stage would know you can’t actually see the audience. I made a face at no one in particular….I didn’t have a clue as to who was sitting there. Come on guys, give me a break!!!!!

Jacobs’ decision to respond to the backlash in a public forum, as opposed to using the normal channels of publicists and press releases, was a smart one. You can only respond to the blogosphere by going straight to the heart of the storm and engaging the community. Marc Jacobs’ choice to do this on Horyn’s blog also shows how On the Runway has become a formidable community with its own voice in the industry.   And the response from the community has generally been very positive.

Said one commenter of Mr. Jacobs response:

For some reason I completely missed Marc Jacobs post. I don’t mean to bring his documentary up again (And if your reading this Marc I apologize in advance as it’s all I have to go by) but one thing you gather very quickly is how stressful his job is (It reminded me of architecture school and I can’t imagine pulling off all-nighters again for the rest of my life), it’s not only about the design anymore but maintaining a public image as well.

Horyn added her two cents in, possibly to calm the storm:

Some of you probably noticed that Marc Jacobs posted, explaining his side of what happened at the end of the Vuitton show, and I also contacted him by phone. I’m convinced after talking to him that the tongue-wagging, face-pulling on the runway was misunderstood and not directed at Suzy Menkes, though it upset her, and I offered him my apologies for the fuss. After the dust-up in New York, Jacobs said he had put a T-shirt on her seat at the LV show as an olive branch. It showed a cartoon of the fashion critic wringing the designer’s neck and it was embroidered by Lesage. He thought it was a sweet way of making up.

Menkes herself hasn’t commented on the issue since she said she wanted to wring the designer’s neck after his New York show ran 2 hours late. Her recent review of the Louis Vuitton show, also designed by Jacobs, was cautiously complimentary.

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9 comments

  1. Hello, I am an occasional contributor to OTR. While I enjoy participating , at times I wonder how many (“created”) of the others have “real” knowledge or valid entries, so to speak. This fellow “Marko” began under Autre until Miss Horn provided a forum for a seven thousand word diatribe on I don’t know what. On any given subject introduced on the blog this guy is eating up 30% at the least. Two others have followed on a regular basis. The fights between them are becoming unbearable. If they only knew the majority is scrolling right on by. Mr. Marko has other identities on the www and has irritated certain groups/individuals who are threatening him with physical harm. Having researched this dude his modis operandi is “I challange you”. Check out D.Laurent on You Tube and you will get the point.

    t from Toronto, ON, Canada
  2. Thank you T for your thoughts on OTR and for stopping by the BoF too! As a regular reader of OTR myself, I understand your complaints and issues with people who post long comments and it has been suggested that some of these people start their own blogs, which makes sense to me. I too end up scrolling past these long posts. In the end, it’s important to remember that since blogs (and comments) are only just hitting the mainstream, and an etiquette around what is and is not appropriate is still developing. Remember when people first started emailing? The number of forwarded jokes and stories and spam was unbearable. 99% of people have now realised this and sending jokes is considered poor manners. I believe a similar etiquette will develop for blogs and their respective communities. Incidentally, I couldn’t find D. Laurent. Do you have a link you can post?

  3. Marko/Autre is apparently into film in a big way, possibly even more than fashion. He tossed an email address into a post at OTR, listing the name as “Dick Laurent”. A quick search will show you that D. Laurent is a character in David Lynch’s 1997 film Lost Highway. We are all sort of curious about Autre, since he has inserted himself deep into the discourse at OTR. It’s easy to scroll on by. I do read his posts most of the time though, and think “ah to be so young and passionate about all this”. I, like you, BoF, have to look at the business angle of all this. In my humble experience, runway shows are the biggest sinkhole of time and money. If your business cannot support the cost in the advertising budget, don’t even go there. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for saleable clothes that people want to own and wear.

    georgeheen from Sunnyvale, CA, United States
  4. Dear BoF; Sorry for not getting back to you, although, I see Georgeheen has taken care of that. Read the tenor of “Dick Laurent’s”posts on Yahoo. Regarding runway shows as sinkholes a perfect example would be Ralph Rucci. This designer, has the pretense of showing a double collection in Paris, just to get the attention of the press. I think he is also auditioning in Paris with the hope of a conglomerate buying into his house. Short of Martha Stewart who is in New York, Who wears him? After 25 years in business, he hasn’t produced an accessory or fragrance. Why don’t designers forsake runway shows and look to Isaac Mizrahi as an example. First to go mass with a mass retailer and uses the net to attract the world wide audience. His shows are done inhouse for the benifit of buyers, critics and the press THEN released on film to the rest. Frugal yet forward.

    t from Toronto, ON, Canada
  5. Well, just so some people know (besides the fact that I do eventually read everything): T – that is pure speculation, and no one threatened me with physical harm (I only received some weirdo emails). I first gave that address almost a year ago, and I have great discussions with people about fashion (who also eventually got my true email address – including students from Cornell, Duke). Oh yeah, I love fashion as much as I love film. Funnily enough, more and more, I come to the conclusion that people inside the fashion business (and by that I exclude this blog that I read almost regularly) have NOTHING at all to say about it. They are too immersed, and actually have no clue about design at all. If Rollegirl, et al., represent normality, by all means, I leave it to them.

    Marko from Radovljica, Bohinj, Slovenia
  6. @Marko: We are happy that you keep coming by to check us out. Thank you for setting the record straight on personal harm (am glad to hear that was just speculative). I am also glad that you recognise that the BoF community appreciates design as a critical part of the business. The truth is, the fashion business would be nothing without its great designers. And, many designers would be nothing without their business partners. It is this magic combination which is what counts…and this is why the Business of Fashion exists.

  7. The Marc Jacob 2009 clothes collection is one of the worst collection I have ever seen no colour coordination his fabrics selection is terrible it looks as if he had all these pieces of fabric for years laying oround in his closet and basement and just decided to cut and stitch.

    People should be more honest with their comments and should not say something is good when it is bad just because the person has some celeb status all those celebs who made comments they are lying or blind his line is horrible.

    Street Critic from Brooklyn, NY, United States