Pin It
Marc Jacobs AW23
Courtesy of Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs brought new meaning to fast fashion with a 3-minute runway show

The designer’s latest show began at 7:30 pm and wrapped at 7:33 pm

This morning, Marc Jacobs returned to the glorious marbled lobby of the New York Public Library for the third consecutive year. In typical Jacobs fashion, he opted for an off-schedule, intimate gathering of the New York fashion cognoscenti, who assembled faithfully on the grand library steps in anticipation of another unorthodox production from the iconoclast. 

Just as he did earlier this year, the designer eschewed the customary ostentation that tends to encompass events like this in favour of a grittier, old-school New York perspective. There was no media circus, no gaggle of influencers, and no late starts. After all, Jacobs has never been one to follow the rules of the industry. And even though it was hopeless to predict what the designer would exhibit, one thing was for sure: this show would be steeped in the New York native’s trademark irreverence. It was all that and more, with a sprinkling of ChatGPT. 

Here’s everything you need to know.


If you can reliably find anything in New York, it’s a slew of historic buildings with iconic staircases. It makes choosing the New York Public Library as a backdrop for this collection a no-brainer. However, it seemed that Jacobs also sought to honour one of the city’s other dependable charms: the people. 

Amongst the 100 handpicked guests stood New York legend CT Heddon, the internationally renowned nightlife drag performer; Mickey Boardman, Paper Magazine's former editorial director responsible for the "Break The Internet Kim Kardashian” shoot; and June Ambrose, the Bronx-based Puma creative director who worked with Jay-Z. Then there were Jacobs’ longtime friends and supporters like Anna Sui and his husband Char Defrancesco. 

Inside, Nicky Hilton-Rothschild had arrived in a high-society meets preppy elegance monochrome floral two-piece complete with a black St Marc handbag and a matching black bow in her hair. Bling Empire’s Tina Leung glided through the cavernous lobby in an artfully draped, boxy denim dress while a handful of influencers, including Jessica Wang and Mary Sleet, fervently posed for photos. Writers and journalists like Vanessa Friedman, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Chioma Nnadi, Lynn Yaeger, and Elisa Lipsky-Karasz mingled briefly. Just five minutes after opening the doors show runners quickly escorted everyone to their seats. The show was set to promptly start at 7:30 pm and Jacobs had long given up his penchant for being fashionably late. 


Everyone’s most feared/lauded AI chatbot was tasked with writing the show notes, though you could feel the designer wryly winking back through the page. Was he trolling us? Probably. “The Marc Jacobs fashion show mesmerized its audience with an awe-inspiring fusion of masculine tailoring and feminine elegance… The captivating collection reminded us of the transformative power of fashion and showcased Marc Jacobs’ mastery in creating striking ensembles that celebrate individuality and timeless style,” ChatGPT concluded even before the show had started.

The walls of the library echoed as Steve Reich’s “Different Trains” blared through the cavernous room. As 29 models ripped through the long hallway at a feverish speed, we were treated to a dizzying blur of black and white. Elements of the 80s with a downtown flair defined the show – red latex skirts, emerald green satin, artfully draped gold lurex dresses, big-shouldered coats and boxy silhouettes – all tied together with a ballet edge, with models fashioned in pointed flats, thick white socks, and sheer black tights. A Black Swan acid trip with impeccable tailoring.  

The first look, a little black dress with swirling, romantic draping was punctuated with a cherry red chiffon scarf, its model wearing a crimson pout and a cutting glare as she stomped through the hall leading the pack behind her. Micro hems gave way to flashes of underwear, some models wore short black leather gloves, while others donned iterations in white. To quote ChatGPT, “Jacobs proved that black and white are far from basic, they are the epitome of style and sophistication.” 

All that was missing from the collection was a lit cigarette and the LES grit that it so perfectly embodied. As the models turned to race backstage, attendees gasped and chuckled, asking if Jacobs was about to set a world record. Blink and you’d miss the exquisite men’s tailoring on the cropped grey checkered suit with unexpected details like a paper bag waist and exposed black bra or the Beetlejuice-like suit, that reimagined clownish details with lofty shoulders and a cinched waist. 

It was exquisite in its simplicity, versatile in a characteristically Jacobs way, and imbued with a cheeky grin that we’ve come to expect from the designer. And it was all over before we knew it...


The show started at 7:30 pm sharp and ended [by my watch] at around 7:33 pm. That included Jacobs’ final bow, for which he barely stepped into the room before retreating backstage where a roar of applause marked the end of the show, even though many of us remained seated wondering if there’d be more. 


By the time everyone had accepted that the troop of models were not returning it was only 7:39pm at most. Outside, a group of anti-fur protestors had gathered at the bottom of the steps chanting “fur is not fashion,” directly calling out Jacobs himself. There was no fur used in the show.