It’s official: the line is no more – we remember what made it so great
After the rumours that Marc by Marc Jacobs was to close were confirmed on Monday, the industry was perplexed, to say the least. Since taking over for AW14, Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley had become fashion’s most exciting double act, delivering a shot of adrenaline to the line with their vision of girls who aren’t afraid to stomp around, go raving or jump on a motorbike and hit the road. As we wait excitedly for the next big reveal (Jacobs is planning to unify the two labels, and we’re sure he’ll invite Bartley and Hillier along for the ride), here are five reasons we loved the past three seasons of MBMJ.
IT CELEBRATED WOMEN
“We didn’t go into it to try and put out some sort of feminist manifesto. It’s just in us,” explained Luella Bartley in our autumn/winter 2014 issue of the way the designers crafted their particular brand of girl power. “We wanted to create something that girls can feel strong in.” Their AW15 collection featured “charming vigilantes”, with the word ‘suffragette’ emblazoned across garments. “It’s about harnessing the energy and the positivity of youth and that feeling that when you’re young, you can change the world,” the designers said backstage.
IT STARTED AN INSTAGRAM REVOLUTION
With their groundbreaking first #CastMeMarc campaign attracting a massive 70,000 entries, the duo threw the traditional structure of modelling agents and castings out the window to find models on Instagram and get inspired by the youth at the heart of the brand. Models came from the USA, Russia, Korea and Australia, and were all shot by David Sims for the final images. And although the brand is closing, there’s still a chance to be involved in one final shoot (you just have to bring your mates this time).
IT HAD SURPRISING INSPIRATIONS
Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, Power Rangers, ravers, anime, biker girls, William Morris, the New York Guardian Angels, skaters: all these elements featured in the duo’s collections, but far from seeming overwhelming, they worked in a wonderfully weird harmony. “There were a lot of quite random things on our board! But everything had a reason,” said Bartley last year. And of course, it all tied in to their vision for the MBMJ girl. “The motocross references were about our girl not being the girlfriend of the person who owned the bike, but she rode the bike.”
IT COLLABORATED WITH THE BEST
Whether teaming up with Judy Blame (who made the accessories for AW14) or graphic designer Fergus Purcell (whom the designers met at a tap dancing recital), Marc by Marc was not afraid of a collaboration. Their relationship with Purcell would prove the most fruitful, carving out a distinct graphic identity for each collection. Think t-shirts that called for revolution, motocross-inspired logos and samurai warriors. The man behind the iconic Palace skate logo intentionally ‘mistranslated’ existing codes to create something fresh for the brand – and it was brilliant.
IT USED GREAT SHOW MUSIC
Listening to a “mad feminist rapper with blue hair” (Sharaya J) in the studio and soundtracking shows with the theme tune to Alice in Wonderland and the likes of T-Rex, MIA and Public Enemy, Marc by Marc championed the way art, music and fashion intersected. Hardly surprising, for women who grew up obsessing over Madonna and hitting the raves after school.
Take a look through Marc by Marc Jacobs’ final AW15 show gallery below: