Marc Jacobs at crossroads…

In a candid interview to the New York Times, Marc Jacobs, now 52, talks about his life and the future of his brand ahead of its IPO, later this year, which means the designer famous for changing his mind with the seasons may soon be bound by expectations not for newness but for quarterly earnings.

In 2013 he left Louis Vuitton after 16 years at the helm as Creative Director, to focus on his own label, which is majority owned French giant LVMH (also parent company of Louis Vuitton).

This past February, Marc entered his fourth decade on the runway with a fall collection of after-eight wear in every available shade of “deep,” littered with minks and sequins and inspired by Diana Vreeland’s memos. To industry observers, the show was both a dramaturgic triumph and a commercial departure from his on-trend yet offbeat sensibility: an announcement that “Marc Jacobs” means serious business.

”Last week, I’d had one of my nightmares. It’s a recurring theme: I’m up against something uncomfortable or difficult, and just as I feel like I’m making some progress, there’s an end to the dream that says no, you’re not getting anywhere, you have to start over. This time, the nightmare was so bad that it felt like I was awake thinking about it, rather than asleep and dreaming” said Jacobs, adding: “If I think about the future,” he says, “I just become afraid.” he added.

His fear is at odds with his reputation for effortlessly setting trends, yet his reputation belies his real talent: setting a trend on its head. In 1992 he showed his infamous “grunge collection” for Perry Ellis, perennially cited as the reason he was fired four months later and, since being fired made him sound like a rebel, as a groundbreaking moment in fashion.

From 1998 to 2013, the clothes at Marc Jacobs could be delightfully unpredictable, and the ideas behind them occasionally unclear, but the branding was crystal. Juergen shot the print ads, which starred Sofia, Harmony, Chloë, Posh, Dakota, Winona and so on.

Today, Marc is not only the head designer of Marc Jacobs, which he and Robert (founding business partner) say will absorb the range of items and price points formerly available at Marc by Marc Jacobs, but also the creative director of Marc Jacobs International as a whole. He has never had more control over himself, his body, the way he lives or — ostensibly — his brand. Several Marc by Marc Jacobs stores have already been shut down and more are to close by the end of this year.

In 2014, Sebastian Suhl, credited for the revival of Givenchy in recent years, joined Marc Jacobs International as new CEO. Suhl is one of the most admired top executives in luxury retail, having spent most of his career as the no. 2  (Chief Operating Officer) at Prada, working closely with Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada.

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Marc Jacobs (photo NYTimes)