Marc Jacobs is without a doubt one of the most iconic of all American designers, his name synonymous with a quintessentially stateside, New York vibe that translates from haute couture to handbags. His career has seen him flourish and fall and since stepping down as Creative Director of Louis Vuitton in 2014 to focus on his eponymous label, Marc has recently seen a massive revival in popularity with Bella Hadid, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa all sporting his designs.
Fragrance has has been his one mainstay – and as he reveals – one of his greatest pleasures and passions. “Scent is very much a part of a romantic ritual life. And it is part of my daily ritual. It’s something that I feel gives me pleasure and gives others pleasure sometimes”.
To mark the launch of Marc’s new perfume, Perfect Intense – which is inspired by his personal mantra and symbolised by a tattoo of the word ‘Perfect’ on his wrist – the designer speaks to GLAMOUR in the latest episode of My Glamifesto for Life. From mental health to mantras and meditation, Marc reveals what he’s learnt from the past year (he loves Zoom!) to who he can’t live without and what makes him passionate. Over to you Mr Jacobs…
WATCH Marc Jacobs’ Glamifesto For Life:
My instant mood booster is…
My instant mood booster is to walk outside to the garden and just take a deep breath in the sunshine.
Well, first thing in the morning, after getting showered and dressed – a huge part of my mental health is self care – so after getting dressed and putting my earrings, on my pearl necklace, doing my hair, my eyebrows, I feel like I’ve taken care of myself. I say my prayers in the morning. This is all part of self care. And then I’m ready to start my day. And I always say that when I take care of myself, I’m able to be there for others. I also see a psychiatrist a couple of times a week, and I saw him just before this and talked about my fears. It’s an expression that I’ve always loved: ‘we’re only as sick as our secrets’. So I try to be very open and very honest with another human being or a couple of other human beings to let them know what I’m feeling, and I think that’s part of mental health is to be very transparent about what we’re feeling and whether we’re feeling good or whether we’re feeling afraid or whatever the feelings are, it’s very important to acknowledge them, to sit with them, and to share them.
What have you learnt from the past year?
I think I’m in the process now of understanding what I’ve learned, because I don’t have a clear answer. I don’t like the word normal in any shape or form, so when people say, “Oh, I’m waiting to go back to normal life.” It’s like, I don’t know what normal life is…Some of the things that have come as a result of this pandemic, I don’t want to let go of. I mean, I like Zoommeetings and I like Zoom conversations. And I’ll tell you the reason why is because I get to do them from my office with my dogs at my feet, and I like being at home and looking outside and seeing the garden. So I don’t want to always be in an office…I definitely miss certain social contact, but not all social contact. I want to be around the people I love. I just don’t want to be around all people.
What is your mantra? I understand it’s something to do with your tattoo on your wrist?
I practice transcendental meditation, so I have a mantra which I’m not supposed to share. So I won’t share that one with you. But the mantra you’re referring to is ‘perfect’. And I have it tattooed on my wrist as a reminder that I’m perfect as I am, and in greater detail: “I’m a perfect being in a perfect world where everything that happens benefits me completely” which is from the I Ching.
‘Perfect’ is the name of your fragrance too…why is fragrance so important to you?
Fragranceis part of my of my daily ritual. Scent is huge, it is so romantic and so beautiful and so rife with memories and triggers. So I’ve always been a perfume person and I’ve always worn a fragrance. I remember people by the fragrance they’ve been wearing and I associate certain scents with a time of the year when certain flowers are in bloom. Or just cookies baking in a kitchen. I mean, it all sounds so cliche, but what I’m trying to get at is that scent is very much a part of a romantic ritual life.
What makes you feel passionate?
I can feel passionate about many things. I can feel passionate about art that someone has made that moves me, or a movie that someone has made that moves me. But what I truly am passionate about is what I get to create with others. Because I’m part of a creative team, but I really love making things, and that is my passion in life is to make things and it could be a perfume, it could be cosmetics, it could be clothing, it could be putting on a show.
Who or what could you not live without?
I could not live without my husband and my dogs.
How do you deal with failure?
Not well. I mean, I live with failure. I think failure is a very tricky question because I have very high expectations of me, my team, and what we put out in the world, and I’m the type of person who no matter how good things are or how well-received they are, there’s always something wrong. There’s always a mistake. It’s never perfect. Now on a good day, I have come to accept that everything is perfect as it is. So the fact that it’s done and that we’ve put it out there means that it is a perfect thing. But there’s always something more I feel we can do. So while I feel that we enjoy many successes, it shifts as to how accepting I am of that success and whether it’s a complete success or a partial success or a lasting success, and therefore, to the contrary, is it a failure, a big failure, a minor failure.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
There’s not a who, and there are many whos, and many whats are my great inspiration. I’ve always loved fashion and I think my great inspiration comes from the work of brilliant designers who’ve come before me or who are contemporaries, and I think it’s clothing that has inspired me most.
What is the quirkiest thing you do in the name of wellness?
Oh, the quirkiest thing I do in the name of wellness is post outfits on Instagram. It’s partially the post and it’s partially the reaction to the post, but I have to be in a really good mood to dress up and want to record it and want to share it. So, it’s a symbol of where I’m at in terms of wellness. I mean, if I record an image of myself, then you know I’m in a good place.
What do you want your legacy to be, Marc?
I never think about my legacy. It’s a weird thing. I think what is important is what is now. Legacy to me sounds like, “Well, when you’re gone, what would you like to have left behind?” And honestly, I’m just concerned with what I’m doing, not what I’m leaving behind. And whether I’m remembered or whether anything we’ve created matters or whether it influences or inspires.