Design & Style, Business

Designing for a Fashion House: Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 12:48 min

Learn from Marc's experience at the venerable fashion house Louis Vuitton and how he approached respecting—and disrespecting—the brand's history.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Being Persistent After Failure • Rejuvenate the Brand • A Healthy Amount of Disrespect is Important • Trust Your Instincts


When I was fired from Perry Ellis after doing the grunge collection, there was a little bit of time where I thought I'd never work again, you know. I thought like, oh, who's going to ever hire me? I mean, I was very young at the time I got the job, and then I worked there for a couple of years. And I thought, oh my god, it's all over. And luckily, people who were really on my side and really in my corner-- people like Anna Wintour and actually, people like Gianni Versace-- really tried to help me to find work again. And my business partner, Robert Duffy, and I, we were sort of unemployed for a full year before we got up the energy and the incentive and the idea and the ambition to start again. And again, we had some help from other people. But I didn't really see-- I didn't know. I mean, the future was certainly unclear, and how we were going to go about doing anything was unclear. But we were persistent. And once we got up that energy and once we felt like the fight again, we started. And we had a couple of false starts. But I didn't really see myself working for another brand at that point. What I had hoped was that Robert and I, we would start our company, Marc Jacobs, and that's what we would do. In order to support that, I did various freelance jobs. I worked for a company called Iceberg in Italy. I did a consulting job for a Japanese company. And then, a couple of years later, I got the job for Louis Vuitton as the creative and artistic director for that brand. Well Robert and I had started our company, Marc Jacobs. And we were in a very small studio in Soho, New York. We had just one pattern maker and a couple of seamstresses-- two seamstresses. I had a friend of mine who had help sometimes cutting garments. And we were in this very small little studio loft sort of space. And we were getting quite a bit of attention from people like American Vogue and some of the other fashion publications-- Harper's Bazaar, Women's Wear Daily, W, et cetera. And we were selling our clothes to stores, and we were having these shows. Again, we had some pretty good attention from people. And we were approached by a headhunter who was working for Mr. Bernardo Arnault of LVMH. And she came, and she spoke to Robert and I and said, would you be interested in putting together a project? And it was not for Louis Vuitton. It was for one of the other LVMH brands. It was for Dior originally. And then, I was approached by the president of Givenchy and asked to do a project for them and then one for LOEWE, all of them being LVMH brands. Until finally, Yves Carcelle, who was then the president of Louis Vuitton, said, would you do a project based on what you would imagine Vuitton could be? Because Vuitton was only luggage and handbags. So they didn't have men's clothes. They didn't have women's clothes. They didn't have accessorie...

About the Instructor

Marc Jacobs’s infamous grunge collection got him fired. It also won him the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. In his first online fashion design class, the 11-time CFDA Award winner teaches his hands-on process for creating clothes that push boundaries and set trends. Learn Marc’s construction techniques, how he creates unique shapes and silhouettes, and how you can develop your own ideas from the first sketch to the final piece.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Marc Jacobs

In 18 lessons, iconic designer Marc Jacobs teaches you his process for creating innovative, award-winning fashion.

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