Marc Jacobs is experimenting with his identity again, and this time it’s resulting in some exceptional accessories. The designer is now managing only one brand, but is still showcasing looks at different price points, so looking fabulous doesn’t have to come at such high a cost. We’re now being presented with edgy Marc Jacobs handbags, with most being sold for under $500. Sebastian Suhl, CEO for the Marc Jacobs label, believes the leather goods alone will be able to reach up to 70 percent of overall sales for the brand once this transition into featuring more accessories has been set in stone.
“Accessories are our biggest category without question – they are a top priority from a business perspective,” said Sebastian Suhl, CEO for Marc Jacobs, in an interview with WWD. Up until now, 60 percent has been the accessory sale ratio for the label, but Suhl seems confident that everything will increase soon.
And if he is correct, those figures would actually surpass that of Michael Kors’ accessory sales, which rang in for 2015 at 68.4 percent. This heavy focus on accessories is a new endeavor for the brand, but there’s a chance this might also be the first step toward an initial public offering, which might have us see Jacobs alongside Kors on the stock market.
Despite what lies in the brand’s future, in the present we have the stylishly innovative designs coming from Marc Jacobs. The first collection featuring the condensed labeling and restructured prices was released to stores just last week, and everything was polished off with a fresh new logo to rejuvenate everything the brand is about. Suhl disclosed that out of all spring accessories this season, 70 percent of them can be found for under $500, which is the target low-point trend of the restructured brand, and other more intricate and exotic pieces can be found for upwards of $5,000. The different products aren’t separated by price within the Marc Jacobs stores, which helps promote the new structure based around unity.
In stores as part of the newest Marc Jacobs accessory collection are leather satchels, camera bags, and shoulder bags ranging from $295 to $550, or for those looking to treat themselves, there is a particular aged python shoulder bag that is being sold for $5,500. The new logo features two “J”-s connected in a loop, which is now the branding movement for “J Marc,” the label’s new identifier. “It doesn’t look like a logo per se; it’s an interesting, simple embellishment,” explained Suhl.
Jacobs took the time to explain some of the designs as well. “We approached everything – shoes, bags – in the same way. They needed to have an authenticity and integrity of what they should be. Everything is very considered. From the sole of a shoe to the stitching on the sole of a shoe, and it doesn’t matter whether it was a shoe made in China or a shoe embroidered in France and made in Italy. There was the same amount of attention to detail in every single thing.”
In this way, the brand is able to easily delegate what pieces are valued at a higher price than others. It’s not that a $5,000 bag will look like a more expensive version of a $300 bag, but as with anything, you get what you pay for. Suhl brought about a succinct analogy for the accessories in this structure, saying they are like the car industry. “…you have one [model] for $200,000 with one next to it priced at $30,000. If you do it right, it should be obvious why one is more expensive than the other.”
One thing the CEO wanted to make clear was that “this is not what other brands are doing.” The brand has set a demographic that tends to flock to Marc Jacobs, and it is simply tailoring to their needs and standards, while not giving up the brand’s personal image. This new business venture might prove to be more successful than Marc by Marc Jacobs was, perhaps because of its increased unity, so maybe J Marc will be here to stay.
Photo courtesy of Vogue