Marc Jacobs, one of the most luxurious brands out there, has undergone some changes during the past few years. In 2014 Jacobs announced his decade-plus tenure at the helm of Louis Vuitton – the world’s most valuable luxury brand – had come to an end.
Also, early in 2015, the company folded its lower-priced offshoot, Marc by Marc Jacobs, into the regular collection. Therefore, the brand’s future seemed to be largely dependent on handbags. But we’re now at the beginning of 2017 and some more changes have taken place in the meantime at Marc Jacobs. Let’s see where the brand stands today.
About Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs has made quite a name for itself as one of the most appreciated American fashion designers. The head designer of his own fashion label – Marc Jacobs – he’s also designing for his secondary line called Marc by Marc Jacobs. This diffusion line boasts more than 200 retail stores in 80 countries. From 1997 to 2014, Jacobs was also the Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, the popular French design house.
Marc Jacobs International Company was launched in the fall of 1993 as Marc Jacobs’ own licensing and design firm. Jacobs produced his first full collection of menswear in 1994, but he also partnered with many popular artists for his Louis Vuitton collections. Some of his popular collaborators include Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse, and – most recently – rapper Kanye West and American artist Richard Prince.
Marc by Marc Jacobs was introduced as a secondary line in the spring of 2001. Four years later, Marc by Marc Jacobs’ “Look” was the ready-to-wear license holder in Japan. Its retail value was over €50 million. In 2006, Jacobs launched a new line of body-splash fragrances which were distributed by Coby in affordable huge ten-ounce bottles. Even though they were first sold only in perfume boutiques, Marc Jacobs perfumes soon became more and more popular.
Marc Jacobs Handbags: Affordable Luxury
When Marc Jacobs announced that the Marc by Marc Jacobs diffusion line was going to be absorbed by his main label at a variety of price points, the customers were curious to see what would that mean in practice. Traditionally, very few brands venture into a wider price range. However, when the first new MJ bags arrived in stores and we got some more info from the brand, the news was quite marvelous for price-conscious shoppers.
True to their word, Marc Jacobs did indeed encompass products at a wider range of price points. That quelled any lingering fears from Marc by Marc Jacobs fans that the designer house would abandon contemporary-priced bags. In fact, reports showed that a majority of Jacobs’ accessories will be priced below the $500 mark.
According to CEO Sebastian Suhl, the brand has high hopes for the accessory line; it is expected to constitute 70 percent of the Marc Jacobs total business. Therefore, customers were pleased to see that the bags from the newly consolidated line (available at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom) demonstrate the wide price range.
On the lower end of the collection, simple shoulder bags and quality leather totes will set you back around $400-$650. At the higher end, the brand’s exotic, heavily embroidered runway handbags are evidently much more expensive. Some will even tip the scales at $5,500. You can also purchase some pieces in the middle, those sporting moderate embellishment and plain leather.
In the meantime, what’s satisfying about Marc Jacobs is that the brand does a good job at demonstrating their most expensive price tags. According to the brand’s CEO, the high-end bags cost that much because they’re made of the finest materials and covered in time-consuming details.
Of course, customers will need more to justify paying $5,000 for a handbag. Consumers shopping at that price point can choose from a lot of accessories options. What’s more, they are traditionally uncomfortable with spending their money in the same place as customers who buy much less exclusive merchandise under the same brand umbrella.
Louis Vuitton knows this first hand. The luxury brand is still trying to lure in ultra-high-end consumers, because they started shopping elsewhere when LV became known for its lower-end, inexpensive pieces. It was Marc Jacobs was, of course, who came in and saved the day when Louis Vuitton was losing shopper interest. Under his creative leadership, LV went through more than a dozen years of explosive growth.
With the 2014 handbag collection, however, it seems Marc Jacobs is taking a second shot at getting the balance right. This time, he hopes it will be successful on the long term. We’ve compiled a list of samples from the currently available bags; browse and choose whatever suits your taste and wallet.
1. Marc Jacobs Big Trouble Leather Bag
It’s one of those Marc Jacobs handbags that cause trouble from the second you lay your eyes on them. Of course, it’s not bad thing when it comes to the Trouble Leather Shoulder Bag – it’s bad just for your wallet, because you won’t be able to stop imagining what a lovely addition this would be to anyone’s bag collection. There’s something about the simple beige leather and the crisp silver hardware that really works for a lot of MJ’s fans. It’s versatile, practical, and you just know you would want to wear it on every occasion.
2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Heart to Heart Quilted Bag
Stealing a woman’s heart can be as easy as gifting her something designed by Marc Jacobs. And when that something is this Heart to Heart bag, you might just hit jackpot. Anyone who loves heart-shaped product will naturally love this Marc by Marc Jacobs quilted bag. Yes, it would be even better if the bag had been pink, but no-one turns down a timeless black purse. Its dainty silhouette and textured finish make it the perfect complement to any dress, any time of year.
3. Marc Jacobs Shutter Camera Bag
The season’s essential camera bag has found a unique remake in MJ’s collection. This dome-shaped version comes in rich leather, a crossbody body that simply reinvigorates your off-duty wardrobe. It features a detachable adjustable strap, lined interior and two zip compartments. Whichever color you choose, you will be amazed by the absolutely gorgeous nuances. The zippers are gold toned, complementing the bag really well. The leather strap is comfy, while the logo detail of the double J that forms a circle (the symbol for camera) is clever.
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Blizznezz Bag
It’s not just the fun-to-say name that will make you want to buy this Marc Jacobs bag ASAP. With its light frame, slim gold-bar-weighted closure, and durable exterior, the Marc by Marc Jacobs Blizznezz shoulder bag is a strong option if you’re looking for a simple bag to fit your essentials into. It’s the right size for carrying the minimal necessities on nights when you’re heading out on a date or meeting up for drinks— your cards, phone, lipstick, and a tiny compact to refresh your look perhaps?
5. Marc Jacobs Canvas Chipped Studs Tote
This MJ bag is not just spacious enough for your days at the office, but it also has an edgy look that keeps you in style. Whatever color you choose – teal, black, or rubino – you will simply enjoy the well-made exterior with its gorgeous stud embellishment an asymmetrical zip pocket. The price is justified by the fact that the stud hardware accents are hand-placed. It fits everything you need in the large interior wall pocket. Your phone and essentials can go into the exterior logo zip pocket.
6. Recruit Chipped Studs Zip Phone Wristlet
Do you want to carry your essentials in such a way that you don’t have to worry about forgetting them somewhere? This Marc Jacobs wristlet is ideal and it also makes a very fashionable statement. It fits your ID, credit cards, and your phone – all attached to a handy leather strap. Just like our previous recommendation, this item also comes with hand-place exterior stud embellishment and the brand name embossed on the front of the wristlet. The lined interior has a phone slot compatible for iPhone.
7. Marc Jacobs Aged Python Shoulder Bag
Now, for something more unique – and thus more expensive – we present to you this MJ shoulder bag made out of aged python. With its stylish embroidered patches, the bag is a work of art worthy of a runway. It’s handcrafted from Indonesian python skin, then hand painted, buffed and embroidered with patches original from France. This gem also features suede lining, a mirror case and one zip pocket. The flap top closure is designed to include the interlocking “Js” hardware.