Design & Style, Business

The Creative Process of Design

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 16:00 min

Every designer approaches the creative process differently. Marc shares what his creative process entails, including how he uses mood boards and thinks about trends.

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

Topics include: Design Is a Series of Choices • Use Mood Boards to Organize Your Ideas • Think Beyond the Trends • Design for Who You Want • Be Decisive and Focused With Your Choices • There Are No Rules


My process is, again, it's to react to an impulse. And/or a thought and to explore it. And to put it into some kind of three dimensional form that represents that idea. And then to continue to work on refining it. And that really is consistently my process, no matter what we're talking about-- a shoe, a bag, a sweater, a dress, a fragrance, cosmetics, anything. Anything that involves creative choices, a series of creative choices. That's my process. It is thought, an idea, a discussion, and a collecting of materials creating of something that represents that idea so that we can visualize it and see it. And then it's the refining and the correcting. And the tweaking. And the constant modification or exaggeration of that idea, depending on what it is. That's how we arrive at a finished product. My creative process has not changed during the years. I my creative process, really, I think is very consistent. I think I've said before, it always feels harder than it was the time before. Or it always feels more challenging or more difficult. I think I say that consistently. So therefore, it's the same. I don't know how anybody else's creative process works. I know this is how I work, and this is what works for me or what has worked for me for so many years. Somewhere in my imagination, I'd like to believe that there's this genius somewhere who just decides something and it's done. And it comes back, and it's perfect. But I don't really believe that. I think that, again, my creative process is a series of choices that are looked at, refined, and modified. And done over and over and over again until the end. But until there's this sense of satisfaction that we've created something that expresses this idea in three dimensional form. And that its stitching, its color, its touch, its visual look, appeal, details, everything, tells some part of that story we're trying to tell in a given season. [MUSIC PLAYING] I mean, every time there's a thought or a feeling and we've collected some images, we try to put them into some kind of context. So a mood board, I guess. And yeah, I know. It's a collage of visual references that inspire or that stimulate. Or that I guess help one visualize a story or the images that inspire a story or the things you want to say. We have boards that are structures that-- sometimes there's just references for, again, jewelry or for accessories. Sometimes there's references to makeup, cosmetics, the look. Then usually there's images of street style or non-fashion photographs. We tend to have many different boards for different things. Sometimes it's just for a spirit. Sometimes they're textures. Sometimes they're paintings because of colors. But I tend to separate things. So I don't tend to lump everything into one board, all these different things. But I'd rather kind of put d...

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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