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Peter Marino on Marc Jacobs

The leather-loving architect tells us why his partner in crime is always on the pulse

 “I guess I’m sort of to architecture what Marc is to fashion,” explains Peter Marino of his long-term relationship with Marc Jacobs. Over the last twenty years the duo have explored the intersections between art, fashion and architecture – a trait that has come to unite the two New York natives. During Marc Jacobs's tenure at Louis Vuitton, his collaborations with artists like Richard Prince, Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami quadrupled the brands profits and cemented its status as a global fashion powerhouse. Meanwhile, Marino mirrored by including vast art installations, such as Akhob by James Turrell in his progressive stores for the brand. Here, in anticipation of their conversation at the Tate Modern this evening, Marino divulges his thoughts on their long-standing creative partnership.

“We are both New York kids – it’s just in our bones. What we have in common is a quick and lively intelligence for a mixture of fashion, art and architecture – let’s just say the zeitgeist of the times that we live in. Marc is really quick, probably better than me, at defining trends. I told him, ‘I hope I’m going to be able to get a word in.’ He’s very articulate, he’s a Gemini. I’m a bit slower in plotting.

I’ve known him for almost twenty years, long before he went to Louis Vuitton. I actually remember having lunch in Manhattan and Bernard Arnault [chairman of LVMH] asked me about him. Looking back, it’s quite interesting now because I was like, ‘Well, I know that Marc does a lot of American sportswear and is that really going to work for Vuitton?’ I shrugged my shoulders and told him, ‘You will have to ask Marc.’ In the end, he really made Louis Vuitton into a fashion company – god bless him.

I think we both share very similar New York experiences. He grew up on the upper west side and I’m on east 57th street where four generations of Marino’s have lived. I guess I’m sort of to architecture what Marc is to fashion. I bring artists in all the time and he brings them in too. For us that’s just normal, but others feel it’s really out there!”

Peter Marino will be in conversation with Marc Jacobs for the John Edwards lecture hosted by The Architecture Foundation on Thursday 5th December at the Tate Modern.