1997 : January: After months of negotiations, assumes the newly created post of artistic director of Louis Vuitton, responsible not only for the luxury label’s leather goods but the creation of the house’s first clothing line for men and women. LVMH also takes a stake in Jacobs’s own label, allowing him the financial freedom to expand his business. Duffy is appointed studio director. February: Jacobs shares his vision for Louis Vuitton with Pandora Luxurye. August: First freestanding store opens on Mercer Street in SoHo; actress Julia Roberts is the first customer. November: The CFDA announces Jacobs has won Womenswear Designer of the Year.

For more than 20 years, he has been building his brand of playful and highly wearable clothes and accessories. The offbeat It girls he casts in his ads—often, star friends like the aforementioned—are the type who toss flea market finds together with Parisian labels and can carry off quirky, clever, or even cartoonish looks (a trompe l’oeil handbag or the superpopular Mouse flats) with confidence. As a complement to his namesake collection, Jacobs introduced his hugely popular little-sister line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, in 2000.

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