(Marty) #1


week I met him in a suite at New York’s Crosby Street Hotel, he had
just launched The Marc Jacobs, a collection of iconic pieces from his
line over the years, recast and prefaced with “The” to underscore
their singularity (The Jogger, The Victorian Blouse, and so on). The
launch was accompanied by a pop-up store in SoHo (Jacobs himself
worked the register one afternoon, much to the delight of social
media chroniclers) that had the frenzied energy reminiscent of his
early-aughts diffusion stores that were once scattered across the West
Village’s Bleecker Street. It was a time when customers scrambled to
get a piece — any piece! — emblazoned with his name. Proof,
perhaps, that despite the setbacks his behemoth brand has experi-
enced in recent years, our collective enthusiasm for the magic he
conjures has not dulled. Perhaps one day, Marc Jacobs Beauty prod-
ucts will, like those chosen few fashion items, be elevated to icon
statuswitha simplepreface. Youthquake? It’s The Moisturiser.

Jacobs was also an early adopter of genderless branding. “I want
to enjoy whatever I want to enjoy,” he says, adding that as a
cis-gender male, he’s never felt stymied in his own fashion choices
by whether the runway designated something for men or women.
Same goes for beauty. “It’s not women’s nail polish or men’s nail
polish, or women’s eyeliner or men’s eyeliner,” he adds. “It’s just
makeup — it doesn’t have a gender. I would encourage anyone who
enjoys it to use it.” For Jacobs, makeup has long been a vital means
of self-expression; ergo, his longstanding (and sometimes publicly
exhibited) fascination with drag, which may very well be the ulti-
mate articulation of that expression. This a feeling shared by a great
many nowadays thanks to the power of Instagram and YouTube
(and the makeup artists adept at transformation who disperse their
wisdom therein) and, of course, the runaway success of RuPaul’s
Drag Race. “That show has certainly changed people’s perception,”
Jacobs says. “Drag is no longer just a gay community thing or exclu-
sively about boys dressing up or female-impersonating; it’s gone so
far beyond that discussion. I love what RuPaul always says: ‘We’re all
born naked and the rest is drag.’ Makeup is something you should
use as you like, to say what you want. That’s freeing.”
Marc Jacobs Beauty, from the formulas to the
packaging, has in its six years been a vehicle for the
prolific designer to do just that. For Jacobs, the chal-
lenge from the start was figuring out how to cast his
very specific and often divergent vision —“I’m a very
nonlinear thinker ... I don’t know how to work any
other way” — through the lens of beauty. The refer-
ences on his moodboard included his beloved black
lacquered coffee table, an Ellsworth Kelly painting
and velvet ribbons reminiscent of the ones he used to
watch his mum carefully sliver into faux lashes.
To look at his packaging is to see all those visual
touchstones come through. While looks matter, of
course, even more crucial to Jacobs was the line’s
point of view: that it be first and foremost about
celebrating individuality. “It’s always been impor-
tant to me, with our formulas and the feeling of the
brand, that the person wearing it comes through,”
he says. “These products should be something you
use to create your beauty look, but they should
never be a mask or something you hide behind.”
Jacobs’s beauty dogma was informed early on by
observing his mother’s and grandmother’s relation-
ships with it. From his mum, he gained an appreci-
ation for the ritual of makeup application. “She was
always going out on dates [Jacobs’s dad died when
he was young] and she’d spend quite a lot of time in
the bathroom putting on makeup for them,” he recalls. “I would sit
on the toilet fascinated as she blended colours and painted her face
and put her eyelashes on. I was mesmerised by all of it.” While with
his grandmother, the beauty ritual was more about acquisition.
“She was very specific about where she bought her products,” Jacobs
says, laughing. “She would have days of the week when she visited
each speciality store.” The joy those rituals brought his mother and
grandmother is something that stuck with Jacobs. It’s why he can
relate to the idea that skincare has now become synonymous with a
certain kind of self-care. “I think each of our beauty rituals, what-
ever they are, set the tone for your attitude towards the day,” he
says. “The time you give yourself to feel good about your skin or
putting on your makeup — all of that helps your perspective.”
Throughout a long career in fashion, Jacobs’s particular knack has
always been reimagining something familiar in an entirely different
light and, thereby, imbuing it with a new senseofdesirability.The

is simplebutspecific.Whilehe
was living in Paris, he would
see the famed Joëlle Ciocco
for facials. “I used to go to her
four times a year when I lived
there, and now I see her
maybe twice a year,” he says.
Ciocco’s cleanser and toner
are in his daily rotation, then a
dollop of Youthquake, and his
Lip Lock balm. “I usually carry
two or three in my bag at all
times,” he says. Finally, to
keep his hair slicked back and
out of his eyes, Jacobs combs
in some Oribe Rock Hard Gel.

From top: Lizzo (far
left) with Jacobs at the
Met Gala in May; iconic
BAZAAR editor Diana
Vreeland; Bette Midler
in the Marc Jacobs S/S
2016 campaign. Left:
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Youthquake Hydra-Full
Retexturizing Gel
Crème, $78.

181 HARPERSBAZAAR.COM.AU^ September 2019

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