Sometimes, in the cold months of the year, when everyone on Broadway seems impossibly skinny and bedecked in black, it's easy to get a bit down on New York City. In those moments, however, there's a solution. Take a deep breath and remember how inspiring fashion in this fair city can be...and then watch Fern Mallis interview Marc Jacobs at the 92nd Street Y.
Marc Jacobs makes many people feel many things — rabid adoration, eye-rolling exasperation, respect, and anxiety (his stampede-like shows are enough to give one heart palpitations). One thing that is undeniable, however, is his character: over the top, boyish, smoky-voiced, and totally, utterly New York.
In his nearly two-hour conversation with Mallis last night, Jacobs did an awful lot of storytelling (a testament to interviewer Fern Mallis). Gone was the pedestal of the hyperbolic, heel-wearing, headline-making rabble rouser, and in its place was Marc Jacobs, the New York-born-and-raised designer. The stories Mallis teased out — from how his grandmother used to tell the butcher that Jacobs was the next Calvin Klein or his near-stalkerish relationship to Perry Ellis or even his "inseparable" relationship with fellow Parsons grad Tracy Reese — served as a reminder that Marc Jacobs isn't just a great designer but a powerful figure in shaping the New York fashion environment.
A couple of Jacobs-worthy highlights: How a young, newly installed Anna Wintour was like "one of the...one people" that really loved his Perry Ellis grunge collection; "The French don't really like...anything," he says about his appointment as Louis Vuitton's creative director; his favorite tattoo is of a Jean-Michel Frank sofa that's on his hip; he met Victoria Beckham when she accidentally was spotted with a counterfeit LV bag...the quips are endless.
Photo: Courtesy of 92 Street Y