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Design & Style

Developing a Collection

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 19:51 min

A collection is more than just a series of garments. Marc shares his philosophy on what makes a cohesive collection.

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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Building a collection comes from working on fabrics, developing fabrics, working on trims, working on embroideries, sketching, correcting patterns, correcting muslins. It comes from choosing, thinking about proportion, working on proportions, working-- for us, it comes from working on accessories-- how important the accessories are to the collection. So whether they dominate, whether they compliment, whether they do both. For me, a collection isn't complete without the knitwear. It isn't complete without the handbags. It isn't complete without the shoes, sunglasses, jewelry. So there's a collection of clothes. But what we show is a collection, is a collection of ideas that are executed and that take form as clothing, as accessories, as makeup, as hairstyles, as shoes, everything. It's the whole that becomes the collection. I would say that although some collections start out the same way, not all collections start out the same way. We do start by looking at fabric. Sometimes, we respond to the season that came before it. And I sometimes am very adamant about like, oh, we can't do what we did last season. Or we should react against it. In fact, that's usually part of the discussion that myself and the designers always have, is let's not do what we did last time. So if it was all black and dark, then next season, it should be something other than black and dark. But that's not a rule. And it's not always the way it goes. But it often starts that way with a discussion of, let's do something else. And that something else usually is color and fabrics. It may be the approach. It may be the proportion. And it usually is all of the above. [MUSIC PLAYING] It isn't the most linear journey I can think of because while we're working on fabrics and while we're working on colors, we're also working on embroidery ideas. We are also creating little samples and little swatches. We're also doing research about things that we're interested in. So these things don't happen in compartments. They kind of happen simultaneously. Now something might take precedent. One thing might take precedent on a given day over another. Some days, fittings are what we do most of. Some days, researching takes precedent. But basically, a little bit of everything goes on every day. There is a bit of sketching. I mean, once we've spent a certain amount of time on the fabrics and the developing of the fabrics, the choice of the colors, then we kind of start honing in on the details, the embroidery. Looking again and constantly. I mean, the research sort of never ends. And even during the fittings, once we start the fittings, that sometimes triggers other ideas and other things that we then explore. So it's a kind of constant volley. And I would say after the first few weeks of really concentrating on fabrics, the pattern makers become ...

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.

focus on instinct, with team, fabric, color, music

Marc Jacobs comes across as a sincerely nice and creative person. I'm a fan who just wanted to hear what he had to say, and I stayed for the entire class. Loved it!

Great to hear from the master himself about the process of fashion design and his story.

Loved how straightforward and thoughtful the instructor was.


Margaret H.

I enjoy it. But I wish there was a tour of his studio/work space and a visit with his team and how he collaborates with the team after the sketches. There was too much talk and it got boring after a few lessons.

Cristelle S.

Dear MasterClass, Hello. I really enjoyed learning about how to tell a story with a collection. Thank you "Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design" class. Sincerely, Cristelle Nicole

Cecilia A.

As a fashion designer and creative in my opinion and compared to other masterclasses I've already taken it is lacking a lot of visual references to clarify, see and understand the process of developing a collection to its fullest.

Jean F.

This is my 2018 collection With the process and ideas Well this was a concept developed as I put each piece together.. I wanted to create a feeling that express harmony and sophistication so my primary fabric were GREEN KNIT AND GOLD MESH .. The green knit fabric was a new experience because of the feel and the amount I had got me into doing gowns. Its green hue I felt it represents growth based of the planet being mostly green so I wanted to creat the collection with the majority of it green.. because after 3yrs of designing and interpreting different looks and harmony to me creates a level of calmness .. and this year I connected with great people far and wide... so there’s a Consciousness happening here but, most importantly I like to think and to be aware of it.. the abundance. And for the gold mesh fabric, I was inspired by the Early 1400’s Europe and a lot of its representation .The imagery of the concept was to give another perspective of elegance. Now to take it into its essence by expressing what it is that I come to the understanding. When it comes to the color Gold. This color has a unique expression , that is being pulled by those seeking knowledge and besides its connotations of luxury is what it has taught me. As for putting in this choice Into perspectives wanted to display wealth .. but not in the sense of money but in a realization on opportunity. Once the one realizes this. Fashion.. sometimes is perception is consumed by ego... and displayed with arrogance, but when you hear 3rdeye Brand I would like for you take in that a reminder of generosity an having an abundance .. I got the sense of being grateful and knowing I could to be able afford amounts of fabric to express myself With the men side of the RUNWAY. .. I love to reflect to myself of the sense on how I feel at the moment. By experience this moment ... in its essence is very therapeutic. Now,From left to right, you see a man who is Laid back, confident, resourceful, and very much,..intelligent As for as the other set pieces you may have notice. I added my visual of my idealistic views on randomness. But BEAUTIFUL. The way the event that come to you, is that , you would never know what to expect and from left to right the ocean blue pocket skirt , garden dress, , flowery afternoon dress.

Elizabeth E.

There is a lot of information in this class that I had to watch the class twice. Marc expressed very well the dynamic that take place in his studio when He and his team are working in a Collection. It's a lot of work but I can "feel" in his words that they are enjoying the whole design process. The edit process is so important and it really determinate the vision of the designer and I am glad that Marc; made emphasis in this point so we can take it in count.. I really enjoyed this class.

Reena Mafaldina D.

Marc is a very eloquent speaker and I love to listen to him every morning so that I can think about his message in the whole day. His teaching is like telling a love story about his profession and I can't resist it. I can go on listening and still want to hear him over and over again. It is true one has to have this knowledge to be successful. Thank you very much Marc.

Vickie R.

I don't know why but I'm still stuck in the 1970s and 80s---the whole George Michael, Madonna, Irene Cara era. I loved those clothes and it was my favorite era. Carefree and fun. I'm just not that crazy about the clothes that are out there today. Although I did recently go to Target here in the Valley and found a David Bowie T shirt!!! That was very unusual to find a Bowie t shirt here and during 2018. Only thing is, the material was a little too thin where everything showed through. But it was fun seeing all the new clothes Target had. I no longer shop at the over priced stores anymore. And my pal Tony advised me to even try to find vintage clothes at the local army surplus store.

Kimberly H.

I find myself thinking how this process is similar to other things in life, like a home renovation - making creative choices, choosing materials, creating cohesion in all the house, editing and changing as you go along. Also gives me an understanding for creating a series or "collection" in doing my digital art, creating a set of art pieces that have cohesion and developing the process with a lot of techniques that focus the project. This lesson answered a lot of questions for me on what can make up the continuity of a collection. I find I am so personally close to what I create, it is hard for me to look at it objectively, so having someone else (my son is great at this) critique the work helps a lot. Listening to this gave me some more ideas to hone in on the theme that I am creating with my collection. As always, hugely enjoying Marc talk about and share his experiences and knowledge.


It happens to the best of us when we don't follow our instinct .I like my ideas on some Grunge

Sandra S.

I tend to focus in on a clothing line that has some type of color cohesion. I do understand now that may not be a good ideal for a personal collection because you need a variety. I am glad to find out its alright for me to seek ideals from my daughter who has a good fashion sense. Great master class.