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Design & Style

The Creative Process of Design

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 15:59 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.

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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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...

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.

It was a great experience for which I am grateful and thankful!

It was a nice experience for me and I enjoyed and learned fashion designer lifestyle from Marc Jacobs.

I'm a jewelry designer, but love Marc Jacobs. His design process is similar to mine, and I wanted to hear all about it.

This is amazing. I am very happy to learn fashion design. As I love knitting and sewing. The course makes me inspired.


Madison H.

I love how he said that we should not be afraid to take risks and speak our voice in our designs because it can be terrifying to that in the fashion world.

Erika Von Finck

Exactly! There are no rules, right or wrong, that´s boring! It´s just limit your energy flow of your creativity, of your passion, of your expression. Always Always Always follow you heart and your instincts of what makes you inspired to do.

A fellow student

I really love your sketches class. Feel like not that hard. Love the way you teach. " There is no trend, you can create the trend", amazing. That's what I always believe in.

Cristelle S.

Dear MasterClass, Hello. My name is Cristelle. After the lesson "The Creative Process of Design" from the "Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design" class, I thought about a few ideas for mood boards. One idea is related to making small mood boards. Thank you. Sincerely, Cristelle Nicole

Tauna S.

"Refining is the essence of writing, called by the dirty word 'editing' I like the idea of using this term for writing, and when I do a sketch and turn it into a more defined painting and I am still not happy...I will in the future refine it more, not consider the steps along the way mistakes, just steps on refining until a level of satisfaction.. So in the future will I think of writing. That goes for costumes as well. Thank you Marc Jacob for giving me a new focus to keep me on task and a new perspective in all creative endeavors. Refining any piece of art shouldn't be a chore, but another creative step in the process of creation."


Thank you for that golden rule Marc. That are no rules indeed. @_pedro_salles

RJane @.

I’m true to my vision and still honing my vision with RJane Style. Thanks for the advice, Marc. @RJanesRealm

RJane @.

Marc, there’s a new search engine (DuckDuckGo) that is trying to compete with the Google search engine. @RJanesRealm

RJane @.

I like simple and sophisticated clothes, such as Marc’s outfit. @RJanesRealm


Dear Marc Jacobs, I've been always inspired by your creativity and style. Speaking of this class, I consider is one the most important one just because only by creating something unique we can make the final design loud. The mood boards have been always my inspiration of my designs, always with several drops of extra-imagination. But sometimes, mood boards can brings me difficulties on my sketches, so I would like to ask you a question "Do you always follow mood boards to create your final design?"