Marc Jacobs reinvigorated the New York fashion industry with his return to the catwalk, the old-fashioned way. Showing off his fall 2021 collection Tuesday night, well outside of any American Fashion Week schedule, Jacobs returned on his own terms, on his own time, to the New York Public Library building on Fifth Avenue.
The show was poignant because Jacobs hasn’t held a parade for a year and a half. Unlike other fashion houses, Jacobs hasn’t embraced the digital replacement of Fashion Week, posting content after content to collect “likes” and stay relevant. Instead, the brand took the time to reflect and put itself back together, while behind the scenes we learned about the ups, downs and wisdoms of its iconic founder on Instagram, as he embarked on a new trajectory both personally and professionally.
If we needed a refresher, Jacobs repeated it in his show notes: “Our decision to take a break allowed us to slow down, think, ruminate, reassess, cry and take a full inventory. what works, what doesn’t, what we love, what we are willing to give up and what has value, importance and meaning.
The collection will be exclusively available at Bergdorf Goodman
Rather than adopting a see-now-buy-now business model to accommodate a new exhibition niche, Jacobs has strategically adjusted lower prices to some of its lines and will sell the runway collection exclusively in the department store. Bergdorf Goodman of Manhattan. It’s a smart move because wholesaling during the pandemic, without the street shoppers and the time to release collections on a sales schedule, would have lost some of the presentation magic in the moment.
On a scorching night in New York City, Jacobs showed off a collection that reflected all the emotional effects of Covid-19: the cocooning of oversized hoodies and padded tracksuits; the elongated silhouette of wide pants, high collars and puffed sleeves; chunky wedge heels, utility knits (floor length) and overall increased volumes to comfort the wearer. Even the cutaway suits suggested more skin tightening than showing flesh.
Jacobs typically closes Fashion Week in New York City, but this show rather marked the start of something, especially in America where Fashion Week lacked relevance and inspiration. Jacobs has always operated on his own terms, but it may have taken a pandemic to return to his.