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Jil Sander Blew Hot & Cold about Patrizio Bertelli!

By Fashion Academy
Jil Sander: The Queen of “Less”!

“Q&A With Rodolfo Paglialunga, the New Designer of Jil Sander…” & “Rodolfo Paglialunga, who made his début Saturday as creative director at Jil Sander…” The News headlines in September, 2014 screamed!

So, at last, Jil Sander, which was like an orphan in the fashion world, got a seasoned lead designer who got some stuff. I’m sure those who are in the fashion world business feel relieved after hearing this news.
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Joel Isaak: Fashion designer with a different fabric – fish skin!

By Branding Strategy, Fashion Academy
[Not to be confused with Dr. Joel Isaak, lecturer in the History of Modern Political Thought, Cambridge, UK.]

Here we have a paradigm of why Branding is important to promote whatever we do. Joel Isaak is a multi-talented personality at a relatively young age. He is this and he is that and he is everything when it comes to art and fashion.


Before going any further, here is a list of words that we should be familiar with. (I know most of you are familiar with them, but I just mention them here for those who have not had any chance or need for knowing them until now.)
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Patrizio Bertelli Man Behind Prada

Patrizio Bertelli: The Guardian Angel of Prada!

By Branding, Fashion Academy

You may have already read my article on one of the most reputed fashion designer brands ‘Prada’. We all know Miuccia Prada, the female fashion designer, that has been shown and talked about a million times now; however, there is another equally great personality behind the great success of Prada, and it is Patrizio Bertelli, the CEO and husband of Miuccia Prada!

Though little is mentioned in the regular media, he has been there behind the scenes at every level of Prada’s progress as a multi-billion fashion brand. In fact, from what I have learned so far, I can declare that it’s been his business acumen and knowledge in juggling numbers that made Prada what it is now.

A Skilful Cobbler with a Business Mind:

In the early 1970s, he was doing his engineering course at the university of Bologna, the university of the largest city in the Emilia-romagna Region of Italy, when a great idea struck him: the possibility of producing the much sought after wide leather belts at a much lower price than that of what retailers priced in those days.

Being urged by the businessman in him, Bertelli dropped out of his course at the university to start a modest leather accessories company, a leather factory named ‘(Mr) Sir Robert‘ in Arezzo, and another one named ‘Granello‘. (It is the first and only business venture that Patrizio Bertelli operates independently from Prada, in his own capacity.)

The Confluence: Creative Force Meeting Branding Architect:

He met Miuccia Prada, a budding fashion designer, managing her family business, at a trade fair in Milan, and things started taking shape. He became Prada’s leather goods supplier, and the business association developed into a romantic relationship. They were together.

When Miuccia Prada took-over her family business in 1978, Patrizio became the business manager, besides being her husband. Miuccia did not change her maiden name ‘Prada’ in order not to upset the growing popularity of the Prada Brand. In 1996, Bertilli merged his business with Miuccia’s to form a new holding company called Prapar BV, and though he had been managing her business since the moment they met at the trade fair in 1997, he officially became the CEO of Prada. While Mrs Prada looked after the fashion side and production, Bertelli looked after the accounts and the very important aspect of their business – the outlets. He made tie-ups with popular department stores, and by 1980 he expanded Prada Brand with many of its own outlets world over.

Very few people know that it was Patrizio Bertelli who made Miuccia design women’s ready-to-wear apparel and it was he who convinced Miuccia to take up menswear designing in 1990s. As a sign of her gratitude to him, Miuccia is known to confess openly that Bertelli was far more of provocateur than she was.

A Man Who Could See the Future:

Lauren Goldstein Corwe, the fashion design writer for 20 years, wrote in one of her reviews in Fortune (1999) about a business move that highlighted the business tactics Bertelli had and how when Bertelli spent about $ 260 million to buy 9.5% of Gucci, a much larger company than Prada, other companies laughed at his ‘thoughtless’ move, but Bertelli had the last laugh when he made a gross profit of $ 140 million by selling that share the next year to another company which had been trying to buy out Gucci! And she went on to say that Prada was known for its cutting-edge design, and Prada wouldn’t be Prada without Bertelli and she even expressed her suspicion that if you took Bertelli’s attention away from Prada, you took the spirit away from Prada, and I’m sure, those who have been reading about Bertelli won’t hesitate to agree with her.

Whether Bertelli could see the future or not, he certainly saw where the money was and how to get it…legally.

He was the one who made Prada own shares in several other huge fashion designing brands. He moved chess-mates to acquire shares in Helmut Lang, De Rigo Group, Church & Co, Jil Sander and some other top class design brands that made Prada a Super Brand. (In recent years, some of those brands have bought their shares back from Prada.)

A Generous Paymaster and Hard Taskmaster:

Patrizio Bertelli, grey-haired Italian with a large aquiline nose, is known to be a generous paymaster. He is a gourmet and likes to cook good food, and he invites his best or the most efficient employees to dine with him, serving them the dishes he cooked.

On the other hand, according to some employees who left Prada’s employment, Berelli is a bully… a nightmare. They say he often shouts at anyone who ignores his instructions, or even at those who happened to be around him at a wrong time. Some say he has a very short temper – he broke a glass window because it was not set properly and he broke mirrors because he believed they showed people fatter than they actually were. In my opinion, he’s right in being hard on his employees. He is not a pastor in a church preaching his congregation; he’s dealing with about 11,000 employees from different back grounds and at different places around the world. When the difference of a couple of centimetres on the length of the heel of an ace shoe makes a difference in millions, how can we expect him to be lax with details? He is often referred to as the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar who led an army of numerous legions of soldiers under his disciplinarian iron fist, and incidentally, Bertelli also has that trade-mark Caesar’s aquiline nose, and he’s the Emperor of Prada, and he has his wife’s permission to say so!

About those whining employees who left Prada, he says they leave the company because they can’t take the pressure-cooker environment in the fashion industry. His own wife, Mrs Prada, says, often fondly, that working with him is exhausting; nevertheless, she admits that she admires and respects him.

Patrizio, a man worth $ 5.2 billion in the current market, likes to stick to business ethics and principles, come what may. In his view, if there is a key to Prada’s success, it’s cast from the principles they have had all along this long struggle, and he advises start-up entrepreneurs to stick those principles which are universal and can successfully be applied by anyone.

A Keen Sailor with a Competitive Spirit:

Patrizio, a six-footer, likes sailing and is known to compete in international sailing competitions in 1970s. He bought a 75-foot sailboat in 1997. In 2004, he launched the Prada “Luna Rossa”, a sailing team, in partnership with the Telecom Italia Group, and entered the America’s Cup, the world’s most important sailing race, and came in second place. In 2012, he invested $ 52 million of the company money to enter the race in 2013 which was their fourth time, but lost.

The Pradas and the Long hand of the Law:

Patrizio Bertelli is such a juggler with numbers that he escaped inquiries by the Tax Authority of the Italian Government doubting Mrs Miuccia Prada and Mr Patrizio Bertelli’s tax returns. However, he countered that they both paid 470 million Euros in the month of January this year (2014) in taxes in accordance with an agreement with the government for bringing Prada Brand’s legal headquarters back to Italy and for resolving any previous tax payments.

Such is the power of Patrio Bertelli, the mastermind behind Prada Brand, and his knowledge of finance!

Folorunsho Alakija Billionnaire Designer

Folorunsho Alakija: The Richest African Female Fashion Designer

By Branding, Fashion Academy

Folorunsho Alakija: The Richest African Female Fashion Designer… and there is more to add!

The news item that an African woman dethroning Oprah Winfrey, the richest female Afro-American media Empress, from her ‘the richest black woman’ position is something exciting. It’s not a simple achievement to reach the level of Oprah Winfrey, and reaching even a higher level above her is something to get more excited. (not that I’ve anything against Oprah Winfrey; I like her shows and I like her other activities, too). Julee Wilson wondered in her article for The Huffington Post that we (people) hadn’t thought it was possible… to takeover Oprah Winfrey’s No.1 position, but it did happen.

And the woman who dared to challenge the richest coloured woman is another coloured woman from Nigeria, Folorunsho Alakija. There is no other simple way to introduce this 63 year-old business magnet than saying: “Please, meet Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, a former business secretary, banker, fashion icon, corporate promoter, digital clothes printer, real estate owner, oil baroness, writer and the 69th most powerful woman in the world.” (And you’ll see that there are more titles coming.)

The list of distinguished guests at her 60th birthday and 35th wedding anniversary, both on the same day, in 2011 makes us realise what it’s to a billionaire: the First Lady of Lagos State, Deputy governor of Lagos State, a senator, and so many other wealthy and prominent personalities in Nigeria whose names we are not familiar with and can’t get our tongues around, either, were there more to show their presence there than to actually greet them — you can’t miss such a grand occasion, can you?

Folorunsho Alakija Meeting

Folorunsho Alakija once declared that hers was not a rags to riches story as she has come from a rich family. She was born in Ikorodu, Lagos in 1951 to the first wife of Chief LA Ogbara, the head of a Muslim family noted for their financial supremacy. He had eight wives and 52 children. Folorunsho got a chance of her life when her father decided to send a daughter of his favored wife to be educated in Wales, and to keep her company, he chose Folorunsho, who was 7 at that time, to accompany her. After having her primary education in Wales along with her step-sister, she returned to Nigeria to complete her schooling.

And later went to London to do her secretarial course at Pitman’s Central College. After that she worked as a secretary for Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, and then for about 12 years she stayed in the banking sector holding different positions starting from an executive secretary at the First National Bank of Chicago (the present Finbank PLC, an International Merchant Bank of Nigeria) in Nigeria, to an office assistant at the Treasury Department. Meanwhile she got married to Mr. Modupe Alakija, a lawyer by profession, in 1976.

Folorunsho Alakija Walk With Kings

However, when the bank was closed down some time in late 1970s, she went back to London to study fashion design at the American College and Central School of Fashion, London, and after completion, returned to Nigeria and launched her first fashion brand label, Supreme Stitches, in 1985, which in 1996 was renamed The Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. As she started producing T-shirts in large numbers in 2001, she changed the name to The Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions. Nobody knows how or why she had switched her career from banking to fashioning, but a sensible guess could be that she got the passion for designing from her mother who had been a noted textile merchant in her own heydays.

And within one year of establishing her career in fashion, she was awarded The Best Fashion Designer of The Year 1986, and that attracted clients like the former first lady Maryam Babandiga, which in turn, attracted the other high-end elite of the society. She wears so many of her own designs that you might prompted to say that ‘she IS fashion‘!

A Delicate Woman with Strong Business traits:

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”22″ align=”left”]I had passion and a burning desire to succeed
– Folorunsho Alakija[/mk_blockquote]

top_logo Good fortune smiled on her when Folorunsho got her application for oil drilling license in 1993 under Famfa Oil Limited (the area is now called OPL 216) granted. As she had no knowledge in oil drilling business, she entered into a joint venture with experienced companies, selling some shares of her holdings. She has become the executive vice-chairperson of the company who, along with her husband and four sons, holds 63% of the share. Her business acumen showed brighter than her clothing designs when she fought with the government which tried to take possession of her oil company and won back her rights to own it for herself. With that victory, according to some news items, her wealth was estimated at $ 7.3 billion!

Branding Notes:

Looking at the Famfa Oil company’s branding, I am shocked at the poor quality logo design and the really dated looking website. I wonder how a billion dollar oil company would not be keen to invest in a proper brand identity and website design to match their profile on the world stage.

The Famfa Oil logo design is a classic cliched oil company logo design with an almost clipart like oil drop design and a very unemphatic logotype.

This brings to mind a recent Nigerian logo design and branding project that we completed for a client and you can see what I mean by paying attending to the right kind of branding and website.

Folorunsho Alakija Forbes Richest Black Woman

During the time she was doing the legal battle with the government over the oil company issue, she continued with the printing industry and became the first woman in the print sector with the set up of Digital Reality Print Limited in 2006, which printed billboards, building wraps, indoor roll-up banners, vehicle wraps, floor graphics, stickers. Her company is still the only female-owned company in the print industry in Nigeria.

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 11.50.04 In addition, she is the Executive Vice-Chairperson of Dayspring Property Development Company Limited, a real estate company, mostly overseen by her four sons, with business deals in different parts of the world. She and her sons are known to invest $4 million a week in and around London property purchases. She recently stunned the other realtors in London by buying four apartments in One Hyde Park, the so-called super-exclusive development in Kinghtsbridge area.

She, being a wife of 40 years, established her deft hand in writing when she launched her two-volume book under the title “University of Marriage” in 2011 – an autobiography and a family relationship guide (Marriage Book and An Autobiography).

Garlands of Praise for a Glorious Woman:

It’s no wonder such a woman as Folorunsho Alakija getting a number of awards, titles and honorary positions:

She’s one of the ‘Poineers of Nigerian Fashion‘.

The Best Designer of 1986, only a year after setting up her fashion career.

The lifelong Trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.

Vice-chairperson of Nigeria’s National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts.

Honored at the United Nations by Fashion 4 Development, a global organisation to develop fashion and arts.

The Shrewdest Entrepreneur with the Kindest Heart:

Rose Of Sharon Foundation

Also called ‘Mama’ by her dear, near and beneficiaries, Folorunsho has been involved in several charitable activities:

Through her Rose of Sharon Foundation (established in 2008), she has helped thousands of orphans and widows, especially providing them scholarships and business grants to stand proud by themselves.

Through her companies and business partners, Mrs Alakija, has helped about 10,000 medical and engineering students in Nigeria. Her companies have also donated about one chest clinic in each of the 21 states, for the treatment of the deadly disease TB. And there have been some 21 laboratories set up in different states with the direct help from Folorunsho Alakija.

Folorunsho diverted all the profits on the sale of her books to her Rose of Sharon Foundation.

Branding Notes:

Rose Of Sharon Foundation Logo Design However, I must admit, with all the wealth and the power that Folorunsho has, not only is her own personal branding quite lacking but also the branding of Rose Of Sharon Foundation is quite appalling. The Rose Of Sharon logo design is quite awful to say the least. Even one man charities and organisations are paying attention to their logos and branding.

Even the organization website is quite rudimentary and looks quite dated. Some of the links do not work and the site does not seem to be updated often.

Doing Justice to Her Name:

The word Folorunsho means ‘I hand over to God for His protection’!

Folorunsho Alakija Childhood

Her father so busy with so many wives, children and financial dealings still had a good presence of mind when he named this daughter ‘Folorunsho’, and she, in her own capacity, to do justice to her name sought God’s protection for her and the people around her in every of her activities. He gives all the credit to the Almighty for every of her success.

In her speech to the Students at the University of Lagos at the ceremony to mark the 2014 International Youths Day, she wanted the students to seek God’s blessings and protection in their present and future endeavors, and wanted them to be privileged for having a chance to do their university. She cautioned those students that ‘nothing is ever dropped on anybody’s lap and that one has to go out there and get it’.


At some point during her speech, she emotionally challenged the students by asking what was stopping them from doing something great when she was able to do something out of ordinary at 63 without a university degree, and being a loving wife of 40 years and  a caring mother of four sons while still managing several businesses and charities, with the humble satisfaction of doing them all not so badly at all!

Some of Folorunsho’s fans strongly believe that she’s a pure evangelist under that impure business cloak.

Appreciating her motto “whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well“, I wish this wonderful woman a long and healthy life!

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Rohit Bal - India’s Master of fabric and fantasy

Rohit Bal – India’s Master of fabric and fantasy

By Branding, Fashion Academy
Rohit Bal — the Indian designer who crossed borders to fly his fashion flag in the international arena!

It’s hard for a fashion designer to be an international band, and it’s even harder for an Indian to reach the international level because…

India is a country with n number of diversities under the slogan: “Unity in Diversity.” However, the slogan is limited for chanting in political campaigns only. There is a lot of difference in everything between one state and the next of the 29 states and 7 Union territories.

Nothing is common between the people of one state and the other — food, clothing, religious practice, language, ethnicity, skin colour or facial features — and there are differences within each state!
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Giorgio Armani - Charming Clothier Turned Hotelier

Giorgio Armani – Charming Clothier Turned Hotelier

By Branding, Fashion Academy
Giorgio Armani – Charming clothier turned hotelier who actually wanted to be a physician and aspires to be an architect!

“Yes, they have told Giorgio Armani’s story a million times before, but it still bears repeating!”

It was a grand gala ceremony when, on April 27, 2010, Armani Hotel Dubai in the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, Dubai was opened. Though Giorgio Armani had already owned several restaurants and cafes, Armani Hotel Dubai is his first luxury hotel, completely designed by him and built in partnership with Emaar Properties, a Dubai-based international developer. In fact were  had visited this venue when we were working on the brand identity of a Dubai Fashion brand.
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Miuccian Prada

Miuccia Prada: From Politician To Fashion Designer!

By Branding, Fashion Academy

Prada: Who wears Prada?:

Everybody does!

Miuccia Prada Bianchi is one of the most popular world class female fashion designers with no formal schooling or training in fashioning!

You hardly find a fashion magazine or watch a TV fashion program without the mention of Prada, the Italian fashion brand.

‘Prada’ is everywhere! Prada is in news:


When Prada’s Fall 2014 Collection came out, Sunday Times ‘Style’ section wrote that the runaway hit was the ‘scarves’: people who were mesmerised by the sleek scarves immediately tweeted on Twitter: “This is how you’ll be tying your scarf next season. Long skinny and to the side.”


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There is Kerry Washington, the Scandal star who made her appearance at the Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Las Angeles in orange Prada dress; Lupita Nyong’o, the Oscar Award winning actress and film and music video director, wore a Prada gown on the Vogue cover page; Michelle Dockery, the Downton Abbey star auctioned the Prada gown she wore at Emmy Awards to help Syrian refugees in Jordon; and there is Prada in non-fashion low-end commoner news: there is this Moore County woman who’s lucky enough to win a Prada handbag in a Dare to be Different H-4 group’s raffle draw and there is this Newport Beach bank robber who wore Prada sunglasses, to name a few.


A family owned Italian leather goods shop was started in 1913, run by the two brothers, Mario Prada and Martino Prada, under the name ‘Fratelli Prada’ which means ‘Prada Brothers’. After Mario Prada’s demise, it passed into the hands of Luisa Prada, Mario Prada’s daughter who had headed and held the reins for about 20 years until, in 1970, her daughter Miuccia Prada joined the family business and took it over from her mother in 1978.


Miuccia, later known in fashion circles as Mrs Prada, and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, who had already been in the leather goods business, shaped this Italian family business in Milan, Italy into a multi-billion international fashion brand, with about 250 fully owned outlets around the world, selling stylish high-end apparel, leather goods, handbags, sunglasses, fragrances, cosmetics, and accessories for men and women under the brand names Prada and Miu Miu, the nickname/pet name of Miuccia, with the other lines Granello, Prada Uomo and Prada Donna, and marketing luxury footwear under Car Shoe and Church’s.

Over the years, Miuccia Prada, a Ph.D. in Political Science, has shown her political knowledge in acquiring Jil Sander, the German Fashion House brand;  Helmut Lang, the Fashion Brand created by an Austrian fashion designer, Helmut Lang, and the shoemakers Church & Co., the English classic footwear manufacturers.

Prada designs are known to have a touch of 1970’s fashion. However, the woman that makes her decisions basing on her intuition rather than on logic says that “it’s not about recreating past trends of bygone era; it’s about taking classic and familiar products and injecting a touch of haute awkwardness and making undesirable clothes desirable.” How true!

This shrewd designer is not bound by rules or seasons, nor does she value reasons. She’s shown models wearing coats with sandals or with barefoot. However, critics accept the fact that, Prada being an international brand, sells its products simultaneously in the regions with entirely different climatic conditions, and it hardly matters whether Mrs Prada sticks to the ethics of seasonal wear or not.

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Her reputation is such that even the very critical fashion market experts agree that Miuccia Prada is good at making ‘bad’ trends look good again.

It’s not just the fashion lovers and Prada fans that admire the grandness of Prada products. Charles Kolb, President, French-American Foundation, and Former President of Committee for Economic Development, wrote in one of his articles, ‘American Postsecondary Education: A Prada Handbag or an Irish Potato?’ that Prada, Bentley and a house in Hampton are ‘Veblen goods’, keeping Prada in par with Bentley and a house in Hampton, which means that the more expensive the Prada products are, the more status and craze they garner in the market!


Prada Brand wields so much influence in the fashion world that Harrods, an English international business house with Harrods chain of department stores being its flagship, showed much enthusiasm in having Prada on their premises. The two brands organised an exhibition, a joint venture on April 30, 2014, displaying Prada’s products from the collections of the past 100 years. The word ‘eagerly’ has been found repeatedly in all the news items and ads, which shows that Harrods, a world class enterprise by itself, is overwhelmed by Prada’s presence.

We see the grand reputation of Prada in another incident. There has been some misunderstanding between Prada and Barneys. Barneys New York is a high-end American chain of department stores which sells the best and most expensive international fashion products. It had stocked all the Prada products until February 2011. However, because of some disagreement over prices and lease of space, Harrods stopped stocking Prada products, except men’s wear and footwear. However, Barney’s CEO is believed to have said: “You don’t need me to tell you that Prada is the best. Prada is without doubt the most important designers in the world!”


In her younger days, she was more of a politician than an artist. She did her PhD in Political Science; not in Fashion designing. She worked for the Italian Communist Party. She was a political activist and feminist. And after graduation, she went for yet another quite different occupation — the theatre. She joined the most famous ‘Piccolo Teatro’ theatre in Milan and trained herself to be a mime! Considering all these unrelated activities, one might conclude that Miuccia Prada is certainly an unlikely choice to be on the family business table, but ironically, she’s proved herself to be the most likely choice with her ‘dare-devil’ attitude and her ‘flair for fashion’!


After a bit of lull in her new career, she came into the forefront when her 1985 nylon handbags and backpacks made their way into the hearts of the Milanese elite. Nevertheless, she waited for four years and then introduced her first ready-to-wear women’s clothes that made a big hit with the consumers and the critics, and she never looked back.

With her business talents and classy designs, she, with her husband’s enormous support and help, has brought the family business from the brink of collapse — with the last one shop remaining when she took over — to an international Brand.

As some critics put it, she understands curves, in the bodies of her models in a subtle way and in the lines on the sales charts in a broader way, and she’s determined to reach higher.


If it’s a great achievement for a woman to just compete in the fashion world dominated by men with chauvinistic attitude, it’s certainly a grand achievement for a woman to get to the top rank.

Let’s wait to see when The Angel wears Prada!

Photo Credit, Bags Photo Credit

Marc Jacobs Fashion Designer

Marc, the designer that has made a Mark!

By Branding

While talking about successful fashion brands, we need to talk about the designers that fashion those brands. They are the ones that ‘create’ fashion… traditional or radical.

And one of them is Marc Jacobs who’s been ruling the roost for quite some time now. He has passion, creativity and vision. Though he’s erratic, he’s energetic.

His motto: Let’s do what we love; and do a lot of it! That’s it: ‘do what we love’ and ‘do a lot of it’.

Bearing in mind that there is always something left out when we discuss this type of legends, let’s dig into some of the achievements and failures of this great creative designer.

For Marc, getting awards is not a big deal. ‘The Boy Wonder’, as he was called then, received his first award for designing while still at college, and the shower of awards never stopped; only marked with some brief pauses. He has won Council of Fashion Designers of America, CFDA, award seven times… for the best of this and the best of that and the best of the year awards.

This American Fashion Lord, along with his life-time collaborator, friend, colleague and partner, Robert Duffy, has an empire of 200 retail fashion outlets in about 80 countries with over a billion dollar sales.

His CV is not a simple one, either. He has worked for such establishments as Charivari; Parsons; Reuben Thomas Inc; Onward Kashiyama, USA; Perry Ellis; Look , a model agency in Japan; Diet Coke; and of course, Louis Vuitton & Sephora, a cosmetic company owned by Louis Vuitton’s mother ship LVMH, which are the world class establishments in Fashion World, and wherever he worked or with whomever he partnered, he left his distinct Mark. He’s wielded such strong influence that he is one of a very few designers who are allowed to continue designing and marketing their own products while still employed or contracted by standard companies.

Marc Jacobs Fashion Show

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The simple letters ‘Marc by Marc Jacobs’ and ‘Marc & Duffy’ are what is needed on any fashion articles for them to be taken away like hot cakes by the fashion lovers and Marc’s personal fans world over.

His fashion shows are a sensation. Media, starlets, models and fashion companies folk to his shows hoping to dip their fingers in the yummy pie, for no one is disappointed with him: he has crafted several top class models from mediocre figures; boosted starlets to stardom; sent some small fashion businesses to the national or international level; and given media some succulent ‘scoops’ that boosted its own ratings!

Marc is also known for establishing the ‘street wise aethetics’, a mix of preppie, grunge and couture that appealed to many young people. His budget friendly ‘Don’t Miss Marc’ collection, at $ 200 apiece, is for those who couldn’t afford MJ’s high-end market clothing items, yet would like to sport an MJ.

marc jacobs perfume

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The height of Brand Image:

We all know that ‘book reading’ show-causes culture… reading a best seller is a hobby, discussing it is classy and carrying it around is trendy. This fashion wizard, however, has made ‘buying books’ a fashion. How?

Here we have a classic example of what a band name can do! When many bookstores around the world, including the top book selling chains Boarders and Barnes & Nobel, are closing down by the hundreds, the “Bookmarc” stores are opening at several places.

Bookmarc, as the name suggests is a book store with student budget friendly stationery items that bear the name Marc on them. Though this venture is the brain child of Robert Duffy, the ‘inseparable’ business partner of Marc, it’s the brand name ‘Marc’ that’s made it possible for the outlets to get the attention of the masses and the media. Marc, the fashion wizard, with a wave of his fashion staff, made book buying a fashion.

The Bookmarc trendy-looking outlets boast a variety of rare and classic collections… of books, along with several attractive stationery items and of course, the inevitable MJ brand fashion items, including a more essential item: MJ condom.

Bookmarc Stores

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Marc Jacobs Cow

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Business twined with Books:

A man’s business acumen is hard to hide…it shows up even when he’s dealing with literature. As a first step into publishing arena, Bookmarc is going to bring out a book, The Men + Women of Marc Jacobs, to stock up the Bookmarc shelves with copies of controversial Brain Bowen Smith’s photos showing pictures of Marc Jacobs’ sales associates. Why is it controversial, you might want to know? In Bowen Smith’s photos, the girls are naked and the boys are clothed! (Sorry, Duffy said the stark naked photos would be edited!)

The Fashion Mogul with a naked heart:

It’s surprising to learn that Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy have such a humane shade to their care-free and glamorous lifestyle that they are involved in 60 charities around the world.

His ongoing project ‘Protect the Skin You’re In’ for those unfortunate melanoma patients, those suffering from a kind of dangerous skin disease, he had top class models Kate Upton, Heidi Klum, Eva Mendes, Miles Cyrus, Victoria Beckham, Hilary Swank and the likes (including Marc and Robert themselves) pose naked for a T-shirt series whose sales go to the melanoma research facility at NYU Langone Medical Center.

This two-pack-a-day smoker is so concern about cancer that the sales of Bookmarc publishing venture, The Men + Women of Marc Jacobs, go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Marc Jacobs Bad Boy

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The ‘Bad Boy’ Marc?:

Any living soul with such a hectic lifestyle as Marc’s is bound to be eccentric and wild. Being in the limelight for so long, surrounded by girls that are modelled to make men lose their heads and money that cascades in like the water of the Niagara Falls, Marc finds it hard to keep himself upright, if not righteous!

There is a talk taking rounds that this 32 tattoo-sporting celebrity spends as much time on psychiatrists’ couches as he does at his fashion studios. He has been to rehabs twice for drug addiction and excessive drinking, and, though he claims to be gay, even getting divorced from his husband recently, there are allegations of seducing his models. Angela Barta, a Hungarian model and ‘close’ friend of Marc, accused him of terrorising her and stealing her ideas and using them in his collections without giving credits to her. Rumours? Could be!

When it comes to his work, there are several accusations, too. He was fired by Perry Ellis, the first company that gave Marc and Robert a place at the stands, for the ‘grunge’ culture he introduced in one of their shows. In 2008, he was charged with plagiarising a scarf design created by the 1950’s Swedish designer Gosta Olofsson, and rumour had it that Marc settled the matter by paying a large sum to Olofsson’s son. There was some loud noise from some critics that a Marc’s coat design ‘closely’ resembled that of a coat by de la Renta designed some thirty years ago. Then in 2013, the New York Daily let the cat out by reporting that the ‘faux fur’, fake or artificial fur, used in Marc’s designs was actually the real fur of the racoon dogs farmed in China.

Well… as long as you believe the king has clothes, he has clothes. And very fashionable clothes at that. So, why dispute that?

He’s been making a Mark in the fashion world and showing strong passion for his job and subtle compassion for fellow humans. Furthermore, he and his buddy, Robert Duffy, make thousands fashionable with their collections!

So, it hardly matters if he’s a ‘bad boy’ or a ‘wonder boy’ so long as he makes boys and girls happy with his fashions!

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