Take a walk a long a clothe line street or shopping malls and you are bound to encounter numerous of super-cute and fashionable clothes. But have you ever imagined the people behind these admirable products? Its fashion designers brilliance that makes the products you see on the clothing lines. Other than clothes, they design other things like shoes, caps, swimsuits, jewelry and a whole range of designer products. Although different designers have different styles, it must be acknowledged that the passion behind such creativity is the same for all.
In fact, fashion designers are not merely artists, but creators who toil with good and crude ideas everyday, to come up with fresh products (Jones 21). For them to keep up with expectations of the market and maintain sustainable and fresh ideas, they look for inspiration (Miron 3). Such inspirations can come from their backgrounds (e.g. culture, politics, education, affinity with the past artworks, and their socio-economic level). Notably, fashion is a cycle, i.e. trends that were so popular in the past years often come back with redesigned style (Miron 23). This indicates how designers highly depend on past designs to come up with what becomes a fashion hit in the contemporary world. This paper analyzes two contemporary designers: one international designer, Marc Jacobs and the renowned Canadian designer, Judy Cornish. The analyses involve how their backgrounds influenced their success in the design industry.
Early Life and Schooling
Marc Jacobs is an internationally acclaimed American fashion designer, recognized for his scintillating design works at Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, where he is the lead designer (The Vogue 1). He is also the Creative director of Louis Vuitton, a giant and internationally acclaimed French-based design house (The Vogue 1). Born in 1963 in New York, Marc went to the prestigious school of arts, The New York High School and later went on to join The University of Art and Design, Parsons, to further his career in design (The Vogue 2). Marcs environment at young age influenced his passion for art and design in a big way. His early life was spent in a humble background at Teaneck, New Jersey, together with his mother and two younger siblings. Marc got employed at a tender age of 15 as a stock boy in a clothing boutique in the City of New York, where his passion for fashion design developed (Trebay 2). The desire to pursue fashion design as a career was boosted when he was admitted at The New School and later at Parsons, The University of Art and Design, where he later won numerous awards as a budding professional designer. That is, in 1984, he was awarded Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, and Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award as well as Design Student of the Year (Trebay 3).
His life at Parsons continued to bear more fruits when as a student, he designed a hand-knit sweater, which was later reproduced in mass by the institutions design department, earning him good income after they were sold out in large numbers (New York Times 2). Continuous excellence in practical design at Parsons saw him get recruited at Perry Ellis, to become the main designer after the death of the founder (New York Times 3).
Post School Design Period
After successful and highly promising school life, Marc involved himself in a series of design activities with several prestigious design houses. His post school journey to successful design life began in 1986, when he broke into limelight after becoming the youngest fashion designer to be awarded the Council of Fashion Design of America (CFDA) of the years at a New York Fashion Talent Show (Jones 76). His ability to diversify his fashion design products ranging from womenswear and menswear, as well as accessories made many people to compare him with Miuccacia Prada of Italy (The New York Times 1). The New York Times described him as the bellwether label, the mercurial designer who stuns, delights, scares the fashion world (New York Times 1).
Marc started to venture into design of women clothing category, when he together with Duff, a fellow designer joined Tristan Russo in 1989 (The Vogue 3). Marc was appointed Vice President, deputizing Duffy, who was the President (The Vogue 3). Marcs successful design of womens clothing became apparent in 1992 when he won The Womens Designer of the Year Award, an annual award organized and supported by Council of Fashion Designers of America (New York Times 5). This honor came after Marc supervised the design of several womens licensees between 1990 and 1992, which are believed to have been associated with his skillful and persistent work towards improving design work (New York Times 6). After successful design of womenswear, Marc decided to compile his first ever complete collection of menswear in 1994, after producing a variety of clothes including caps, trousers, blazers and many more (Trebay 17).
Marc Jacobs and the Use of Old Designs
As stated earlier, fashion designers have the tendency to use the past design works to inspire their new innovation, and sometimes goes as far as reinventing design of the past century to attract the present ideas. Marc has not been left out in this category of designers as almost all his artworks can be traced back to past decades of the last century. Some of his critics have alluded to this trend and accused him of being a mere copyist of the past fashion designs, without any originality (New York Times 5). However, most of his supporters belief that contrary to most of the brand name fashion designers who hide their inspirational pasts design works, Marc designs and acknowledges that he got inspired by some historical design works and just improve on it through modern skills and creativity (Jones 29). On his part, Marc believes in his design category when he says that even if some people feel hedonistic, what I adore most is when they fail to look at the products keenly (Jones 30). He goes further to explain his category when he says that he is not interested in sexy-clothing but single case of the female and male sexes (Jones 30). His reputation expanded even more when in 2009, he hosted the Model and Mouse, an event that was organized at Institute Gala (The Vogue 4).