On Jacobs Jackets and Jokes

Let me first preface by saying that I know almost next to nothing about fashion. Yes, I can pick the right clothes that work well for me and so on, but I don’t know anything about designers, models, seasons and all that jazz.

Last week I posted a photo on Twitter and Facebook of what appeared to be a “Konglish” Marc Jacobs jacket.  After getting an array of comments on the photo describing said jacket’s hilarity, I just wrote it off as some ridiculous Konglish that a kid wore and had no idea what it meant.

The jacket read: “Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs. In collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs.”

I figured that Marc Jacobs’ name was written just for fun. Oh how I was wrong.

My sister, Chrissy, pointed out that she had a tote bag just like it.  I did some research and discovered that indeed, the same logo has been used -redundancy intact- on a fairly-inexpensive real Marc Jacobs  canvas bag.

Oh, I thought, maybe they just ripped off the logo like so many shirt printers do in Thailand with Threadless  t-shirts (check out a great photo here.)

It turns out that Marc Jacobs has a wry sense of humor when it comes to his diffusion line name. The synthesis from all the blogs I’ve seen point to the fact that he is being ironic and essentially making fun of the people who buy his stuff for his name only. “Want my name on my stuff? Have it a million times!”

The best example, as seen in Racked NY, a New York fashion blog, is a fairly cheap-looking Marc Jacobs wallet that squeezes that entire logo onto a small wallet. Some of the text is almost unintelligible. This isn’t a knock-off, but an actual Marc by Marc Jacobs Accessories store product.  One commenter noted, “Essentially, he’s knocked off himself. And he’s making fun of the people who are buying it, while taking their money. Genius!”


Now, this is where it comes down to hypothesizing the jacket’s origin. The jacket the kid was wearing was pretty flimsy-looking. I’ve seen knock-off Dodgers jackets of the same caliber at my school. So it boils down to these possibilities:

1. An Actual Marc Jacobs Jacket: This kid is wearing an actual Marc Jacobs jacket and the designer continues to be ironic. However, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else online.

2. Knock-off Unaware of Irony: Knock-offs in Korea are not as prevalent as in China or Thailand, but they do exist. They don’t necessarily purport to be copies, but rather products as a result of “inspiration.” Essentially, this jacket is a knock-off of something that is supposed to be like a knock-off, but is really not.

Why does any of this matter? I’m not sure. I have a bit of time to kill this afternoon.

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