Design, Photography, & Fashion

Finding Inspiration

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 17:02 min

Music, architecture, fictional characters—they've all inspired Marc and his work. Here, he talks about the importance of keeping your eyes—and mind—open to inspiration, no matter where you find it.

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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Inspiration. Finding inspiration is probably the most important part of the process. Or I would say it's the most important catalyst in the process. Because I and my team, we work on a schedule and deadline. We very often don't have the time to-- I mean, the inspiration doesn't necessarily come first in the process. It comes at some point within the process. But it is when it comes that things actually start coming together. Because up until the point where we recognize what we feel inspired by within a given season, we're just making random choices based on instinct. So early in the process, we start looking at fabrics and choosing colors, developing different fabrics, knitwear, accessories, et cetera. But I think, without the inspiration, I find it's like I'm looking at a blank piece of paper and I don't know what to do. I just can't move on. It's almost like a paralyzing sort of feeling. So when there is something that I'm excited about or inspired by, when there's something I genuinely am interested in or appeals to me, it gives me the incentive to create, and to make, and to do. So the inspiration plays, like I said, a huge part in, I think, the motivation, the catalyst. And it isn't something we can decide to find. It really is a very organic thing that happens throughout the entire process, throughout the months of working on a collection. And I'd say that I feel inspired by different things all the way up until the end. And putting the show together, putting the collection together, making the final choices even down to the hair and makeup, the casting of the models for the show-- all of that needs to have an inspiration. There's not any part of the process-- design, execution-- that without that catalyst ever feels real or right or like it has any authenticity or spirit. [MUSIC PLAYING] When I feel inspired, I think it sets off a load of other actions. There's research. It depends, of course, what the inspiration is. But when I do become inspired by something, then it gives me a little bit of a parameter, which is really useful for me. I find when there are no boundaries, when there are no limits, when there are no rules, I find it's too overwhelming. So when that inspiration does strike and when I do feel there's something I want to say or pursue, it gives me a little bit of a scope. And then I can look into, like I said, doing research. Researching on what-- depending on what it is, what's that look like? Looking for visuals, looking at colors more carefully-- it helps me to edit. It helps me to focus. And so it's very, again, useful in terms of, I guess, creating a focus. And then, going into the design process, it helps to inform the exploration of different details. I'm somebody who's very interested in every single detail of everything. So in terms of the stitching and the size of the stitch, the type of t...

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.

Marc Jacobs is incredibly inspiring and charismatic figure. I am far from fashion, but his tips and attitude towards his craft inspired me to pursue my passion.

I believe Marc has a very inspiring personality and I learn alot from him, wish one day he might look at my design and give his opinion on it. thank you Marc, if I bought the all pass, it was because of your class, really amazing, I wish it was never ends. thank you again for all you shared, it added a meaning and value to the whole expérience and learning proccess, Sally Momtaz

The master classes help me to think by different dimensions always. Great inspiration!

I love the intro. Knowing that he hasn't got any resources back then, made me feeling so fortunate that Marc Jacobs is giving this to me.


Dario Hamlet L.

Good morning Mr. Jacobs, hope you are doing well. Let me introduce myself; I’m Dario H. Luciano , a US Navy Veteran turned Fashion designer. I watched your MasterClass and you inspired me to continue my career. Also, I have a bachelors degree in fine arts-fashion design: My degree is for all facets of the fashion industry: sketching, draping, sewing , sourcing , pattern making, costing and boms. I currently seeking an opportunity to learn from you or work for you. If I’m given the opportunity, I will give 110 percent every day. If kind enough to reply to my email address: ; I will forward you my resume, samples of my portfolio and my LinkedIn. Respectfully, Dario Hamlet Luciano

Suzanne T.

Take inspiration from absolutely everywhere. Life is for living and it is through our senses. Visual, touch, sound, smell, intuition ...all of it affects us and all of it can and does inspire...


I have no experience in fashion but want to pursue a fashion career in the future. Things inspire me the most are: flowers/animals. In recent years, I am really drawn into vintage style and will work hard on building up my own brand using eco-friendly fabrics.

Victoria H.

Marc Jacobs is AMAZIN'. He gives so much of his personal experience and in depth examples of how he relates and creates. The individual experiences are clear and concrete. He explains how his personal passions have inspired his collections. I am so thrilled to have experienced HIM sharing who he is as an artist. Love this class! I signed up for Master Class for the writing category but this is icing on the cake.

Sunflower J.

Brilliant! I have watched this lesson at least 4 times . Can’t wait to continue this masterclass

RJane @.

Marc, thank you for sharing about the visual concept and punk rock music. It’s all about visual presentation. @RJanesRealm

RJane @.

I genuinely love photography and videography and still exploring them. @RJanesRealm

RJane @.

Trending fashion can become a clutter and a waste of money. Do we really need to buy it every season or every month? @RJanesRealm

RJane @.

The blank white paper will never change until you use it as a tool for your creativity. Inspiration comes from within. @RJanesRealm


thank you! I continue again With the class in case I can do Something with fashion that is Civic minded to non profit fashion designs to organization. Also,. I am thinking per advice To teacher of knitting classes As way of learning to thread with Needle even if it's just to understand the process first When it's design- thank you! Milca Almodovar