Marc Jacobs 2019 Met Gala
Jacobs poses at the 2019 Met Gala alongside the always-chic Kate Moss and Rita Ora. Courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/GettyImages for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Happy Birthday Marc Jacobs, from one of your biggest fans. As you turn 61, I want to pay tribute to you as one of the biggest forces in fashion and for the major influence, you've had on my life and on my wardrobe. You've packed so much into the last four decades, from industry-defining moments to iconic shows and collabs to countless awards, always giving fashion your own original spin. And I've been along with you for the ride. I'm 31 now, but I've been a Marc Jacobs fashion obsessive since I was a child.

I grew up lusting after your mouse flats, collecting all of your delicious fragrances, and scooping up everything I could from the Marc by Marc Jacobs line. I remember seeing a Daisy perfume ad in Teen Vogue magazine (the 2007 cover featuring Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port of The Hills from memory) and immediately falling in love with the carefree vibe of the campaign. I, too, dreamt of dancing around a field of daisies in a flowy white cotton dress. I bought the perfume when I was in college studying fashion, and 10 years later, it still sits on the dresser of my Queens apartment, as my beloved signature scent.

As a high school student, Marc by Marc became my gateway into luxury fashion. It was around 2010, while working at Marshall's in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that I saved up my $7.50/hour retail salary for a month to buy the coveted nylon tote bag with a purple, red, and blue floral print. Among a sea of Vera Bradley bags and L.L. Bean backpacks, I was the only one in my suburban school who owned a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, and I wore it proudly. It was my first "it' bag and my first-ever luxury fashion purchase (unless you count 7 for All Mankind jeans). While I went for the floral print, I loved how this bag collection was also a showcase for some of my favorite Marc by Marc and Marc Jacobs runway looks. For young women like me who may not have been able to afford your RTW pieces, we could buy bags that nodded to the now-iconic runway bird print, worn by Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl. I mean, who didn't want to dress like Leighton Meester's high school queen bee alter ego in 2008?

In college, I graduated to the backpack version of the tote and lugged it all over my Philadelphia campus, and trudged to class through the rainy streets of Rome, Italy while studying abroad. It's also taken me through countless travels, from quick Amtraks from New York City to Pennsylvania to music festivals in Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas. It's been sturdy, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing, garnering many compliments along the way.

Zendaya Checkered look
Zendaya makes a chic statement in a Louis Vuitton SS13 checkered mini dress. Courtesy of Kristy Sparow/GettyImages

A major part of the Marc Jacobs ethos that resonates with many, including myself, is a sense of playful rebellion. From the 1993 grunge collection that got you fired at Perry Ellis (which thankfully propelled you to launch your eponymous line), to the 2013 checkered heaven collection you created at Louis Vuitton (shoutout to Zendaya for reminding us of this era), Marc Jacobs always evokes that fresh and identifiable spirit. The MJ girl loves to stand out, and never worries about what people think of her. Thank you for giving me the confidence to define my own personal style.

Marc Jacobs Kiki Boot
The designer's famous Kiki boots walk the Spring/Summer 23 runway. Spotlight

You've also become a master at taking twee concepts like double-breasted jackets and Peter Pan collars and making them cartoonish rather than fussy. And the Kiki boot, with its mega platform and Victorian-inspired buckles is pure genius. No one does playful punk quite like you do.

Marc Jacobs Lace Dress
Jacobs makes a fashion history at the 2012 Met Gala in a sheer black lace shirtdress. Courtesy of Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/GettyImages

You also have my admiration for the way you have broken boundaries within the genderless fashion space. I will never forget the black lace shirt dress you wore to the 2012 Met Gala, talk about a major statement. The Y2K-inspired Marc Jacobs Heaven line is also genius in its power to appeal to all genders with fun youthful pieces (like those cheeky graphic tees). Then there's your culture-defining creative campaigns. Only you would have conceived sitting iconic actors like Sopranos Michael Imperioli next to newer faces like Iris Apatow and Dean Kissick.

Marc, you've achieved the kind of success, adoration, and staying power that few fashion designers can identify with, especially in today's revolving fashion door. And you've done it with originality, and whimsy, by being firmly plugged into the cultural zeitgeist. Your endless energy, creativity, and rebellious attitude mean you have not only just pivoted with the times, but you've stayed one step ahead of it.

You may have discontinued the Marc by Marc line years ago, but I forgive you. It had a great run and defined a major era, helping me indulge my love of fashion on my student budget during my formative years and even igniting my ambition to have a career in fashion.

In my eyes, there will never be another Marc Jacobs. Happy Birthday, and thank you for being the GOAT.


A Marc Jacobs-obsessed writer

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