Martone calls Jacobs “Babybear,” and Jacobs calls him “Papabear.” “I’m bigger,” Martone explains. However, he does think that Jacobs “could gain a little weight.”
What does Jacobs like about him? “Strength, I think. I’m not wishy-washy. Like, a menu, for example. Should I have this or that? I look and know what I want.” Is Jacobs decisive? “No!” he exclaims. “He thinks a lot about things before decisions are taken.”
What’s their biggest difference? “Communication. If we have a fight, I go to the guest room and I will probably only see him in two days. And he’s someone who needs to solve everything now.”
One thing they bicker about is Jacobs’s habit of wearing skirts (which, by the way, are all from Comme des Garçons, and he owns about a dozen of them). “I think it was funny in the beginning and cute, but it’s not my taste,” Martone says. Would he ever wear one? “No. Never.” Because real men wear pants? “We had that discussion,” he says of him and Jacobs. “He told me, ‘You are such a forward guy, so open-minded.’ He said, ‘How in the world you’re in the mentality that “Oh, skirts are for girls and not for me?” That’s the old way of thinking.’ I just thought [the skirts were] a little gimmicky. Then he came at me with so many culture references. Between the Japanese culture, kilts … I went to Burma a couple of years ago and the men wear the long, sarong-y, whatever it’s called.”
In addition to the smoking and the skirts, the biggest issue in their relationship is Jacobs’s intense focus on his work. They got in a fight after Jacobs ignored him backstage at one of his shows. (Guest-bedroom time!) Now they try to pay more attention to each other. “That’s become sort of a priority,” Martone says, “like, ‘Oh, you want this relationship to work, with our crazy schedules?,’ so sometimes it’s like, you know, we have options for going to dinner with groups and we say, ‘No, let’s go the two of us, because we need this time for us.’ The mornings are fun. He wakes me with little kisses.”
“I get bored so quickly,” says Martone, who’s lived in São Paulo, Madrid, Paris, and now New York. “I always felt like, ‘Oh, I already know everyone.’ ”
Does Jacobs still not drink? “Socially sometimes, very little. He went through some trouble in the past, as you know, and fixed it.” He reminds me he’s never known Jacobs to be messy. “I’m attracted to people that are happy, optimistic, chatty. I’m not attracted to darkness and weirdo behaviors and wacky personalities. That’s not who I am.”
And speaking of who he’s not, yes, he said they would have a prenup before they would legally be married.
On the day Jacobs is to return from Paris, where he was decorated with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Martone invites me over for the welcome-home party. He goes into perfect, if somewhat nervous, hostess mode, assembling a salad of greens, chicken, dill, blueberries, and pine nuts tossed in Borsari salt, black pepper, and a lemon-soy tahini, plus a tray of endive with tsatsiki. He warms up mini-quiches and sets out cheeses and arranges it all on a table along with a French news story he’s printed out about Jacobs’s having won the medal.
Some friends come over: Gossip Girl’s Amanda Setton; boyfriends Brian Wolk and Claude Morais (who design the Ruffian clothes line); artist couple John Currin and Rachel Feinstein and their 8-month-old daughter, Flora. Martone cracks open some Champagne and turns on the stereo (Ladyhawke). I ask Feinstein about how Jacobs has changed. “Marc’s happy,” she says, simply. “When I met him, everything was great except his love for himself and his love for someone else. He didn’t seem happy in his own skin. He had to find his own confidence first.”
As Martone gives regular updates from his BlackBerry about Jacobs—he just landed at JFK! He’s stuck in traffic! He’s in Manhattan!—everyone’s on the floor drinking Champagne, eating, playing with Flora. Then we hear a key in the door. It’s Marc! He comes in, wearing a fitted white shirt, tartan kilt, and combat boots, followed by a man carrying his Vuitton luggage. He kisses everyone. Chatter and excitement fill the room. In a moment, he’s flashing his medal. At the ceremony, “I said I wish my father and my grandfather were here to see this,” Jacobs says. His father died when he was 7. “My family’s never really mattered that much to me.”
Martone pours Jacobs a drink and frets that the quiches have been in the oven too long. “Honey, did you burn the roast?” Jacobs jokes. Finally, the family Currin leaves and, after a smoke with one of the Ruffians on the terrace, Jacobs settles on the big man-couch.