Fresh off launching The Marc Jacobs, a sister line to his eponymous brand, Marc Jacobs is back with a release of a different kind—a partnership with New York magazine to celebrate their mutual love of, well, New York. Which is a great concept.
Parsons-alum Jacobs was born-and-raised in New York and became a great source of city pride when he began to dominate the 1990s. New York, founded in ’68 to compete with The New Yorker, is known to uplift the city’s creatives. It should’ve been a match made in heaven, but something feels off.
For the capsule, the New York logo is emblazoned onto shoes, sweatsuits, and earrings, but one can’t help but notice Jacobs’ vaguely appropriative choices. Styles that have become synonymous with Black and Latinx communities—large name-plate hoop earrings, ostentatious gold chains, stiletto mules—sold for under $8 at beauty supply stores in often underdeveloped neighborhoods, are on sale with the Jacobs x New York branding for 10 times that. It also seems misguided when the recent trend of privileged white women embracing such intrinsic aesthetic elements of these cultures (‘door knocker’ hoop earrings, etc.), particularly in the age of black-fishing, has raised flags.
This is not the first time Jacobs has exhibited an apparent lack of racial awareness. For Spring 2017, he famously sent a number of white models, including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, down the runway in dreadlocks. He later acknowledged the move to be “insensitive,” but only after angrily taking to social media to disparage critics.
“All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race of skin color wearing their hair in a particular style or manner—funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair,” he wrote on Instagram, before adding: “I don’t see color or race, I see people.”
See the full collection, here.