I pride myself on doing diligent research before posting an article. The bulk of my writing is built upon experience and interviews and first hand conversations between artists and thinkers from whom which I establish a shared interest or recognize a unique talent or up-and-coming product. However, and this is a first, I’m doing something different.
While staying in on a Friday night to work, I decided to take a creative surf break and peruse the net for a new summer shirt. Destination #1: Barneys. Destination: Failed. Destination #2: Marc Jacobs: The always reliable and never forgiving, always gratifying purchases of anything MJ. As a 7-year Marc veteran, (at the dawn of my fashion sense) I began my Marc meandering through the overpriced products at 20, when I’d ditch class to hit Fillmore street in San Francisco’s Pac Heights district to catch a good cup of joe, pet some well groomed dogs, sport my best purse and what else? purchase whatever Marc Jacob’s was selling under $50 (usually a key chain, or a beanie or some kind of leather wrist band or engraved flask…).
I’m back. With a slightly bigger wad and a better sense of style, ready for my patterned blouse and awkward shades. But upon my click to women’s wear I discover the small emaciated children from the 90s (recalling those Delia*s and Alloy girls) … Suddenly I wasn’t seeing clothes anymore. Knowing Jacobs I thought this must be some sort of campaign stint or a poorly executed United Colors of Benetton attempt. But no. Suddenly the summer Marc top, which was probably a size xxs was drowning the model and all I could see for sale were frail, abandoned limbs.
How could this high brow label resort back to the 90s waif – from which the fashion/media industry tried and failed for over 20 years to move on – and for a brand that actually played a pivotal role in moving fashion onward from the days of unhealthy (early 2000s)? The damaging images of skeletal women, how could MJ resurface those looks? The ones that got Ralph Lauren in trouble, to put it lightly. How disappointing to find these models on such a highly regarded fashion site. As an occasional fashion blogger, I pay close attention to models and how they wear clothing, how they carry and embellish cut and fit. Slender is necessary, even very thin, and geometric form essential. Both are a given when fitting models and showcasing product. But the standard was raised and applauded. So why, why Marc did your label fail, and stoop to this level of irrelevance, inaccuracy, and social incompetence after your years of clout and well, Marc? Did your team over-photoshop? Or even use photoshop? They should have, to hide the poor choice of imported starving children from Eastern Europe… or where exactly do you find them? I may suggest Texas, California, or some well fed Americans for your American line.
My reaction began by double-fist-messaging the MJ Facebook page, until I realized that was pretty lame and not enough. So I posted my message on my own FB page, and then realized moments after that in fact, that was still lame and not enough, at which point I composed and published this. So, Marc Jacobs, WTF? Let’s be honest, it’s disgusting. Elevating these figures, employing women who couldn’t be further from a woman, and empowering what appears to be blatant self-destruction is not exactly luxurious, nor desirable. It’s disrespectful to men and women, the progressive fashion community at every level, and to your own hard work as an accomplished and talented designer behind this brand.