Marc Jacobs caught a lot of heat for the very late start to his spring 2019 presentation on Wednesday (September 12, 2018), the final day of New York Fashion Week. Planned for a 6:00 PM EST start time, models hit the runway 90 minutes later.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Jacobs today apologized “to anyone and everyone who was inconvenienced by my lateness.” He explained he began to suspect the show would run late at 3:30 on the day of the show. Jacobs added, “It was my wishful thinking that we could accomplish all that needed to be done for this show with the circumstances we faced. I was wrong. Not because everyone didn’t make every effort or give it their all and more, life is just that way sometimes. I’ve always been told that, ‘if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.’”
While once known for very late start times, Jacobs cleaned up his act after a show in 2007 when some influential editors walked out on a show that started two hours late. Most fashion shows start 30 minutes late and adding an hour wouldn’t be that big of a deal given Jacobs stature, but rumors began to circulate after the event that he had intentionally started the show late to disrupt editor attendance at Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show. There was some talk he was upset because her show had taken the NYFW finale spot, which traditionally has belonged to Jacobs.
At the same time, Rihanna’s show, slated to start at 7:30, also started late (at 8:21 PM to be precise) and we spotted at least one Vogue editor in the audience and the magazine also provided backstage coverage so even if Jacobs’ intent was to sabotage, he failed.
More than likely the late start is connected to bigger issues at the label, which Jacobs implied when he wrote, “After years of being beyond punctual and once again, with every intention of remaining so, the fact is, more is always expected from us with fewer and fewer resources.” While he said the cut back wasn’t unique to his label, the truth is Marc Jacobs’ parent company LVMH isn’t happy with the label and hasn’t been for quite some time.
Once slated for an I.P.O., Marc Jacobs is now viewed by LVMH as a problem child and a money loser. Following the 2015 departure of Jacobs’ longtime business partner, Robert Duffy, virtually every adjustment at the label has been themed on downsizing, including store closings, staff layoffs and merchandise price reductions.
Given all the challenges Jacobs is currently facing, the bigger issue is not when the show is scheduled but rather holding on to a seasonal presentation slot at all.
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I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone who was inconvenienced by my lateness at our Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show. For anyone interested, below is not a list of excuses but rather a list of facts. I fully understand people have plans, lives, commitments, flights, families to return to, etc and that I fully RESPECT. I’ve heard, read and reflected on your frustration, anger and outrage. If you choose to read the below, I hope that you can find your own place of understanding. 1. The night before the show at midnight, I believed that we would absolutely be starting at 6pm, as planned and it was my intention to do so. 2. At 3:30pm on the day of the show, I became aware that we would most likely be an hour late. In good faith and hope it was communicated that the show would start at 630pm and that was a mistake. 3. After years of being beyond punctual and once again, with every intention of remaining so, the fact is, more is always expected from us with fewer and fewer resources. That is not unique to me personally or us as a company. I have learned that I need to adjust to our realities. 4. It was my wishful thinking that we could accomplish all that needed to be done for this show with the circumstances we faced. I was wrong. Not because everyone didn’t make every effort or give it their all and more, life is just that way sometimes. I’ve always been told that, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” With our shows, I always strive to present 7-10 minutes of live fashion theatre that hopefully makes some kind of statement or touch the audience in some way both aesthetically and emotionally. I think we all have to be a little more sensitive and flexible to the fragile state of the live experience. I hope anyone reading this will reflect on my thoughts as I have on yours. Sincerely and respectfully, Marc