Design & Style, Business

Finding Inspiration

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 17:03 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.

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

Topics include: The Importance of Inspiration • Inspiration Helps Narrow Your Infinite Choices • Be Inspired By Life • Explore Your Genuine Interests • Pursue What Seduces You Visually • Revisit the Past to Create Something New • Inspiration is an Evolving Process


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...

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.

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Marc Jacobs

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

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