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Design & Style

Designing for a Fashion House: Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 12:47 min

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

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

Create your own trends

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.


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

I learned a lot from this class. Mr. Jacobs' attitude towards what he loves doing is remarkable and infectious. I will always remember that in my own pursuits.

I enjoyed hearing Marc's story and the fact that he wanted designers out there to have more insight into this field before diving into it. I also think it was a good idea for me to take DVF's class before Marc's. That only proved that each designer can go through an entirely different path yet reach the same success.

I feel so inspired by Marc Jacob's story. His creativity and energy are contagious and I can't wait to begin to see my designs come to life as I take all of his advice and knowledge on board!

It helped with the basics in fashions that I did not know. I was a painting major in school. I painted old clothes when I was poor. Someone wanted to buy my shirt that I painted but it was only copy and I wanted it. Enjoyed the course.



Good ideas on viewing designs, ideas, etc. in different ways. Would like to see more visual examples and specifics of the issues he discussed. For example - LV - celebrating the brand - what did this mean? Who are the people he spoke with and what did they do to help to celebrate this logo.

Cristelle S.

Dear MasterClass, Hello. It was interesting to learn about ways to make a brand or design new. Thank you "Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design" class. Sincerely, Cristelle Nicole

Ann T.

I designed this Louis Vuitton bag as a tribute to Nicolas Ghesquiere (who made the silhouette of the PM Boite Chapeau bag) and to Marc Jacobs. This is inspired by Marc's SS12 show, which featured a rotating white carousel. Kate Moss closed the show. It was such a magical presentation. Light, airy and pure fantasy it almost felt like being inside a musical jewelry box. I would love to know more about the makings of this runway show professor Marc. But I hope you enjoy my bag.

Ann T.

I love the idea of "healthy disrespect". I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up for your ideas when other people dislike them. It can be scary to go against the tide but also more rewarding! This is the only way we can manifest change. I love looking at what Virgil Abloh has done for Louis Vuitton, as well as Alessandro Michele, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Clare Waight Keller and Nicolas Ghesquiere have done to rejuvenate fashion houses. They have found a beautiful balance between their own voice and respecting the history of the brand.

Maribele G.

I loved this class, Marc you are such a great designer and teacher! WOW Respect for all you have done, thank you. I recreated chanel black and white image with mexican embroidery very colorful and fun.

Greg M.

I did an adaptation on the Micheal Kors logo. I chose it because of its simplicity. In order to make the logo my own, I added clouds instead of a circle, script Js for my name and a butterfly at the top left corner of the cloud.

A fellow student

Perhaps one of the best lesson of the entire course so far. Healthy amount of disrespect for past, current trends, ideas are necessary to create something new .

Akhere O.

Thanks for your last quote at the end of this lesson. I will forever remember when am undecided about pursuing my dream.

Jean F.

I really enjoy this process.. Though I feel I’d be able to create with a house and embrace what’s its known to be . But the challenge is to not only to continue to build the brand but to be able to take it to another step. It’s called work. Great insight

Elizabeth E.

It was very interesting and fascinating to listening to Marc about his experiences at Louis Vuitton. I think he was very smart to find a way to rejuvenate the brand and very creative to achieve that goal, but more important he was very brave to trusted in his instincts, when people around him was telling him not to go in that direction, Marc took the risk and made him a winner. I really enjoyed this class