The Need-to-Know About Changes at Marc Jacobs

Story by Cassie Kaye

The fashion industry has been gossiping about Marc Jacob's more affordable line, Marc by Marc Jacobs (MBMJ), disappearing into the ether, and now we know all the rumors are true — well, almost. While Marc without  the Jacobs will be closing its doors, the changes aren't necessarily all that depressing for those of us who can't always afford luxury goods at a high-end level. Here's what you need to know about what's in store for the brand:

The MBMJ items aren't really going away. 

The sister line we've all come to love isn't completely disappearing, it's just being folded into the main Marc Jacobs line. These changes come as a response to the changing landscape of the industry as a whole and the current high-low trend that's rocking the fashion world. As Jacobs told Women's Wear Daily, "[Robert Duffy and I] believed that fashion could exist at lots of different prices...I'm sitting here in a $2,000 cashmere sweatshirt hoodie that we've made for 15 years, and Adidas track pants and a cotton shirt from American Apparel. I have a Prada fur coat upstairs...I love that mix of things, that high and low, that rich and poor, all of those contrasts, the everyday and the extraordinary."

Along those lines, Marc Jacobs will be offering pieces at a wider range of prices.

CEO Sebastian Suhl told WWD that the brand will still be producing items at both the luxury and lower price points, with more selections being developed somewhere in-between (think around the $500-plus range). Jacobs is combining the two lines in order for his brand to better reflect the overall mix of high and low (not that a $400 bag typically enters my definition of "low" fashion, but it certainly beats a $2,000 one), and to provide customers with a better retail experience at all price points. Essentially, the brand will now be a one-stop-shop for the pieces you dream of one day owning, the ones you have to budget for and the ones you can actually put in your virtual shopping cart — but we aren't quite sure how that's going to affect our productivity.

The fate of MBMJ storefronts is still unclear.

Between Marc Jacobs and the MBMJ line, the brand has over 200 stores worldwide. Some of these stores will likely turn into full-fledged Marc Jacobs sites, while others may be repurposed for some of the brand's other projects, like the Bookmarc collection, as many of the current Marc Jacobs and MBMJ stores are right down the street from each other. Some stores in lesser-supported markets will probably close their doors, or they may even be changed to house other LVMH brands like Donna Karan, Bvlgari or Louis Vuitton (although this last bit is purely speculation on my part).

The same can be said of MBMJ's Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley.

The line's creative director and womenswear design director, respectively, were appointed to their positions only three seasons ago, and their fun fashion week shows have certainly brought more press to the MBMJ line — from their girl-power-fueled debut in February 2014 to the military march on this February's Fall 2015, golf course-inspired runway. Some are speculating that a position at the larger Marc Jacobs is in store for Hillier, but Bartley's future with the company is uncertain.