As you would expect, just about everyone turned up to see Marc Jacobs' Fall 2012 show yesterday. Front row goers included good friend Rachel Zoe who sat next to the designer's former partner Lorenzo Martone, along with editors like Suzy Menkes, Glenda Bailey, Anna Dello Russo and Amy Astley. Celebrity-wise, all eyes were 'Oh Lola!' face Dakota Fanning and Maria Sharapova.
New York fashion week is in full swing bu the topic on everyone's lips is still whether or not Marc Jacobs will definitely take the reigns at Dior since Galliano's departure. Despite Anna Dello Russo saying that Jacobs already has the job in the bag, recent reports today allege that the designer and partner, Robert Duffy, are still only in the negotiation stage with LVMH.
In light of the responsibility that comes with the position at Dior, Jacobs' people are requesting a sizable package, leaving them with a salary in the “low eight digits” meaning around the $10 million mark. Although that does sound like a big amount, the Dior job isn't an easy one. Aside from the two RTW collections, there's also the two pre-season collections and couture to contend with too.
While some analysts expect that the power of the brand will serve it stead regardless of who gets the job, as demonstrated with their less than successful Fall 2011 collection, a Dior without the perfect grand conductor doesn't go down well at all.
As if Marc Jacobs wasn't already at the centre of rumours and speculation at the moment, last week Robert Duffy hinted that a possible move to Dior is not the only thing on the horizon for the American designer.
In an interview in WSJ magazine he hinted that Jacobs could follow in the footsteps of Giambattista Valli. "He's definitely learned his craft and become an amazing technician," he said. "He could do a couture line."Although a couture collection by Jacobs would make us smile, this sounds more like a way to drum up more attention in the run up to his show than any real suggestion of an expansion into couture.
Changes with New York Fashion Week keep on coming. Today Marc Jacobs has announced that his runway show will take place on Thursday, September 25th rather than on his usual Monday 8pm slot.
The move comes as a result of Hurricane Irene. Although his studio was unaffected, employees were sent home and could not work over the weekend making the designer want to push the show back to make sure that everything is ready. “We lost the weekend with the hurricane,” Marc Jacobs CEO Robert Duffy told WWD. “That lost time is impossible to make up without pushing the show back. Our entire sample room – most of the people live outside the city and they couldn’t get in here this weekend, nor would we have wanted them to.”
Just when you thought that the legal case against Marc Jacobs International initiated by former employee Patrice Lataliade was slowing down, the issue has resurfaced. Back in March Lataliade alleged that Robert Duffy encouraged employees to pole dance but LVMH bosses have now responded to the allegations saying that the reports are false.
According to the group, Latailade was actually dismissed for mismanaging the company's finances so admist the allegations they have decided to counterclaim for the financial misconduct. "The counterclaim alleged Lataillade was fired because figures he provided to MJI’s board and LVMH were “overstated by several million dollars to give the appearance that budget and bonus targets had been met,” WWD reports. Whether the counterclaim will succeed has been doubted as many question why LVMH have only decided to sue him now considering that the issue dates as far back as 2008. However, the group has rebutted criticisms explaining that they have only gathered the necessary evidence to move forward now.
Robert Duffy has legal trouble ahead of him. He's being sued by Patrice Lataillade, former Marc Jacobs COO, who began working at the brand in May 1996. Lataillade says he was fired after raising concern over some suspect office happenings that occurred on Duffy's watch, including (allegedly) the hanging of images of gay porn and nude workers around the office, and Duffy forcing employees to watch porn and pole dance. According to the suit: "Duffy has behaved as if he has no obligation to follow [Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey's] rules of conduct or the law. He uses company funds for personal expenses and does not censor what he does."
A Marc Jacobs spokesperson says Lataillade was let go for "serious matters" unrelated to the allegations. But the suit also claims that other employees previously complained about the issues, which resulted in a female worker being told she needed to have "thicker skin" and one male employee getting the instruction to "go home early and have a drink."
Just in case you aren't aware, the official Marc Jacobs twitter (@MarcJacobsIntl) got very interesting on Friday night. In the process of looking for an employee dedicated to managing the brand's Twitter account replacing CEO Robert Duffy, an intern was asked to take over in the interim and went to town with it.
The first post came at mignight, reading: 'You guys and gals have no idea how difficult Robert is. I am only an intern. My last day is tomorrow. I wouldn't be tweeting this if not!' Another said: 'Good luck! I pray for you all. If you get the job! I'm out of here. See ya! Don't want to be ya! Roberts a tyrant! Seriously! He is tough!' another read. But it didn't end there. 'I can call him out! I'm out! Won't work in this town again! I know that! Learned a lot. But, I don't have the energy for what is expected!' it continued. 'Signing off, he added: 'Yea, walk in my MJ shoes! Don't judge me! I'm alone in this office having to try and entertain you all. This isn't easy. I have tried. Done!' As you would expect, the tweets were deleted shortly afterwards.
So what do you think? Was this as bad as it seems or merely a PR stunt?
We have always worked together, for 27 years, and I don't think we'll ever go our separate ways. We've both done projects separately, of course, when we've been really broke or when we've been fired, but we just know each other so well now.
If you're looking for stability, then Louis Vuitton might be the place to find it. Robert Duffy and the man behind the brand, Marc Jacobs, are both staying put at the label and apparently are eager to finalize their contract renewals. "[Negotiations are] just starting but, I mean, we both want to stay," Duffy said. "I don't think that's any secret. When two people want to renew their vows they do it usually."
Louis Vuitton experienced "huge, huge" growth in 2010, including the launch of a new store concept (Bookmarc), and in 2011, a host of store openings are expected. With any luck, Jacobs and Duffy will continue their fashion domination for more than a couple of years to come.
As more and more brands begin to embrace the online world, we've seen a growth in brands launching online shops and this week Marc Jacobs followed suit launching his first e-commerce site on Tuesday.
Currently the website features only a small collection of pieces from the designer's main and sister line chosen by Jacobs and Robert Duffy as well as runway videos, illustrations and photography. "It's going back to the roots of the Marc Jacobs brand, which is to be fun, entertaining, engaging and cool," said James Gardner, founder and CEO of Createthe Group, the online design firm that worked on the site.