Happy Birthday, Marc Jacobs: 51 Facts You Need to Know About the Designer

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This week, one of the world’s foremost designers, Marc Jacobs, celebrates his 51st birthday, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him. The incredibly fit designer has a few secrets when it comes to fitness, and our packed list of 51 facts you need to know about Marc Jacobs will let you in on a few. While some might be a little more obvious, like the 16 years he spent helming Louis Vuitton, there are many that will surprise you, from his eating habits to his stint as Creative Director of Diet Coke. You’ll also find out what’s on his bucket list and who’s in his inner circle, and you’ll even learn about his sweet dog, Neville. Something tells us that we’ll still be uncovering unknown tidbits about his life for decades to come, as he continues to blaze a trail through the fashion industry. Here’s to one of the world’s most provocative, interesting, and talented designers. Happy Birthday, Marc Jacobs!

  1. Marc Jacobs was born and raised in New York City.
  2. He lost his father at the young age of 7 to cancer.
  3. As a design student at Parson’s, Jacobs was the recipient of the school’s highest honors, including the Design Student of the Year award.
  4. He was raised by his grandmother, who also helped him knit his first sweaters for his graduation collection while studying at Parsons.
  5. His grandmother’s death in 1987 was a major loss for the designer, affecting him greatly creatively.
  6. At age 15, Marc Jacobs worked as a stockboy at an avant-garde boutique in New York City.
  7. In 1986, Jacobs designed his first collection for the Marc Jacobs label.
  8. The following year, he received the distinct honor of being the youngest designer ever to be awarded the fashion industry’s highest tribute, the CFDA Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent.
  9. Marc Jacobs used to design for Perry Ellis and consult for Iceberg and a Japanese retail firm.
  10. In 1992, the CFDA once again awarded Jacobs, this time as the Women’s Designer of the Year for his ‘Grunge’ collection.
  11. Marc Jacobs joined Louis Vuitton in 1997 as Artistic Director. He spent 16 years at the creative helm of Louis Vuitton.
  12. Jacobs, along with business partner Robert Duffy, have been involved with over 100 charities worldwide.
  13. His ‘Protect the Skin You’re In’ T-shirts were some of his most popular charity pieces, and helped raise awareness about melanoma. They saw fashion icons the likes of Victoria Beckham, Chloë Sevigny, and Cara Delevingne bare all for the cameras.
  14. Marc Jacobs used to deal with stress by eating McDonald’s, KFC, and junk food.
  15. Losing weight was a turning point – and it was then that the designer started wearing kilts.
  16. Marc Jacobs wore a lace dress at the 2012 ‘Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations’ Costume Institute Gala.
  17. In 2007, he dyed his hair blue during the Takashi Murakami Gala at The Museum of Contemporary Art.
  18. He works out for two hours a day, without fail.
  19. Marc Jacobs has 33 tattoos and has no regrets about any of them.
  20. Jacobs has a ‘Perfect’ tattoo on his right wrist, which serves as a reminder to him that, in his words, “I am a perfect being in a perfect world where everything that happens benefits me completely.”
  21. Scott Campbell is Marc Jacob’s go-to tattoo artist.
  22. His bucket list includes eating more food, going to the gym more often, producing more collections, having a manicure, buying more art, and seeing more art.
  23. Marc Jacobs doesn’t like mediocrity. He’s very “black or white” and says, “I either love things or I reject them altogether. I prefer that from just thinking of things as ‘okay’.”
  24. Jacobs does not conform to normal social standards. He likes to believe that “one doesn’t have to do the same thing everyone else does to have success”.
  25. Marc Jacobs thinks he hasn’t “made it” yet, figuratively speaking.
  26. He still finds it weird every time the receptionist says his name when she answers the office phone.
  27. Jacobs still gets thrilled when he sees people wearing his designs.
  28. Designing is the only thing he wants to do for the rest of his life.
  29. He doesn’t know how to cook.
  30. He has a bull terrier named Neville who has an Instagram account with over 35,000 followers.
  31. The best-selling Marc Jacobs perfume, Daisy, was named after the literary character Daisy Buchanan.
  32. He is a big fan of Tom Ford’s work.
  33. The designer is open about his rehab stint, and says he’s “mostly sober”.
  34. Cigarettes are one of his vices. He consumes two packs of cigarettes a day.
  35. For the first time in a long time – 16 years, to be exact – Jacobs did not work with fashion photographer Juergen Teller, who shot most of the Marc Jacobs campaigns, for his current advertising campaign featuring Miley Cyrus, and decided to work with David Sims instead (when Teller reportedly refused to shoot Cyrus).
  36. He hated the name Marc by Marc for his diffusion line, but settled with it anyway due to trademark complexities.
  37. He never shared the name he wanted to use instead, because of superstition, until the Fall 2014 show when it was announced that the line’s name would be changed to MBMJ.
  38. Every year, Jacobs dresses up in costumes for the company Christmas party, and has dressed as a polar bear, a pigeon, a ketchup bottle, and a camel toe.
  39. Marc Jacobs said he would never appear on Project Runway, but the designer has already made a few TV appearances on reality shows, including The Rachel Zoe Project, The Hills, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
  40. In May 2009, Jacobs co-hosted the Met Gala and appeared on the red carpet with longtime friend Kate Moss, who wore a gold metallic dress.
  41. In 2010, he was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
  42. In 2011, Jacobs became a member of the CFDA board of directors.
  43. He was named Creative Director of Diet Coke in early 2013.
  44. Notable friends of Jacobs include Sofia Coppola, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, and Christy Turlington.
  45. Marc Jacobs is on Twitter with over 751,000 followers, but claims he is not really “into” social media.
  46. The Simpsons, South Park, and SpongeBob SquarePants have all starred a cartoon version of Jacobs.
  47. His South Park character, Muscle Man Marc, was made into a doll and can be purchased at MarcJacobs.com.
  48. Marc Jacobs loved the attention he was getting from the tabloids, until “Kim and Kanye took [his] thunder”.
  49. It took 10 or 15 years for Jacobs to get more than a “That’ll do” response from his boss Bernard Arnault, chief executive officer at LVMH.
  50. Jacobs admires the works of Miuccia Prada and will often be seen sitting front row at the Miu Miu show in Paris.
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