Design, Photography, & Fashion

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.

Very Excited to see what will come of these classes.

Love the juxtapositioning ideas. Would like to see how fabric was actually draped on the model or mannequin to achieve the design.

The Marc Jacobs class has helped me to pursue what I love and never be afraid to ask questions.

Marc Jacobs words was very encouraging. I hope throughout this lesson it would help me to find my way back into my journey in fashion as i lost track.


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?"

Lourdes M.

Dear Mr. Jacobs - Your grunge collection from back in the day was right on trend. Perhaps they did you a favor by letting you go as they clearly didn’t see (or appreciate) your creative vision. Plus, grunge is back. I’d love to see you explode the colors (neons) in that collection, for inspiration watch Justin Bieber’s Sorry video. Not every fashionista girl wants to wear haute haute haute all the time. Grunge also captures the minimalist fashion persona which is key. Thanks for your insights and sharing your creative process!

Vickie R.

Funny about your statement on "Friends." Since all my pals got married and started families I've been shut out of their lives forever. So I decided to call this funny website called RENT A FRIEND!!!!! True story. But whoever I pick must be VERIFIED or i might wind up with a gigolo like Richard Gere's role in that great film? Can't recall name of film now. I think RENT A FRIEND is a great idea too for people like me who travel out of the country alone and might want a companion to come along with me. Going T shirt shopping again today. I want to start my own T shirt stores and I can draw some of my cartoons which I drew as a kid. I did a great photo of the late ROnald Reagan but someone stole it. I also did a Ghaddafi picture and someone stole that too

Freddy L R.

Love this lesson especially because it confirms what I've been doing prior to watching his video. It's great knowing that you don't have to be trendy or follow trends when it comes to fashion. I draw inspiration from flowers and old school styles and materials that sort of faded out..but still have great potential. I've started doing this with athletic wear and have already designed a sports wear top that a kids basketball team will wear. Screenwriting is exciting and acting is reacting, but fashion is my passion. Absolutely love it! Thanks Marc!

Ania P.

Thank you for the classes, I love this creative process, especially the mood boards idea. I tried to do this ( the small part of the process). I have chosen colours I would like to work with.