The New York Times recently published an in-depth feature exploring the rise and fall of the famed American designer Marc Jacobs.
Writer Steven Kurutz described how Jacobs, who founded his namesake brand and was formerly creative director of Louis Vuitton for 16 years, was once regarded as “the most exciting and talented American designer of his generation.”
Jacobs has been nominated for the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s women’s wear designer of the year award every year since 2013, and he won it in 2016, Kurutz wrote.
But in the past few years, the brand started to take a turn, closing stores, laying off staff, and hiring and then almost immediately firing new designers. Jacobs even said in an interview in 2017 that he felt out of touch with what consumers want.
Luca Solca, head of luxury goods research at Exane BNP Paribas, estimated that the fashion brand has been losing more than $61 million annually for the past few years, according to the Times. A spokesperson from Marc Jacobs did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
Today, the brand’s messaging has become confusing for consumers, and it’s now perceived to be more accessible.
According to research compiled by Edited, a retail technology company, and reported by the Times, the price of new Marc Jacobs products online has dropped from an average of almost $700 in 2015 to around $350 in 2017.
In April, during a visit to a TJ Maxx store in Philadelphia, Business Insider spotted a Marc Jacobs handbag being sold for $99.99.
After Jacobs dropped his lower-priced Marc by Marc Jacobs line, which was reportedly a big profit driver for the company, many of those products have made their way into off-price stores. Even H&M’s new off-price concept, Afound, will reportedly stock these items.