Yesterday evening, Marc Jacobs wore a red-and-black plaid kilt with black combat boots for a discussion with T magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, part of the TimesTalks series. Though it was the day before the Met ball (happening tonight! in the rain!), Jacobs was confident, relaxed, and tan, as usual. For more than an hour, he answered questions about Facebook (he doesn't have a profile and he canceled his MySpace account, thankyouverymuch), diversity on the runways, and the significance to him of a red-carpet moment (not much). Highlights:
He's not afraid to ask the hard questions.
"I don’t feel like I make red-carpet clothes. Once in a while, someone will choose to wear something, but it’s just not my thing. I’ve never pursued it. I feel like it’s Andy Warhol’s future, where everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame. There are twenty channels reporting on what Paris Hilton wore on the red carpet. Who gives a rat’s ass? What is Paris Hilton famous for?"
When it comes to diversity on the runways ...
"I’m not trying to seat the U.N. I’m casting a show. But I love a variety of girls. I’m not trying to do a Benetton campaign, but I have for years done one look per girl, so if I have 54 looks, I have 54 girls. But they do all have in common being slim and tall. That doesn’t mean that the clothes don’t exist in larger sizes, or that larger sizes shouldn’t wear them, but that’s how we choose to show them."
Despite his eighties-tastic fall 2009 collection, he doesn't remember that decade.
"I don’t remember a thing! It’s like what they say about the sixties, if you remember it, you weren’t having enough fun."
"I went to clubs. I was there, but I wasn’t part of the cliques. I’m a bit socially uncomfortable, but I’m a very good spectator. I was very much a sponge for where there was energy. I remember going to the Roxy and seeing Madonna dancing. Half the people didn’t know who she was. "
His French sucks. (He's just like us!)
"If you have five minutes free in New York, you’re a failure. If you have five minutes free in Paris, you’re a success. I have a nice quiet life there. My French sucks. I’m so ashamed. It’s been eleven years and I still can’t conjugate verbs."
His job is simple, really.
"I do get surprised and delighted still at my ripe old age of 46. [Designing clothes is] still what I want to do. It’s a joy. But you journalists embody us with these brilliant thoughts. We just want to make some clothes."
He will not make dishes for JCPenney.
"When I got into this business, licensing was a big thing. I don’t think that it’s about that anymore. One doesn’t have to sign themselves up for this lifestyle their mugs in their kitchen will reflect. I remember when Halston did that thing with JCPenney, it was very bad for his couture business."
He hogs the bathroom and he's not ashamed of it.
"My doctor said I had to find the time every day to laugh, to rest, to eat well, to exercise and sweat. And then I found I liked spending two hours a day in the bathroom and telling people which skin-care products worked and choosing which skirt to wear."
He wants babies with his fiancé, Lorenzo Martone!!
"I don’t want to get all political, but I don’t ever want to be told who to love or how to love. Marriage is not just a heterosexual institution. Lorenzo and I are getting married. We’re buying a house together, we want to have children.* There needs to be some protection in place in case something should happen to one of us. It’s not all rice throwing and a bouquet."
Related: TimesTalks on Twitter [Cutblog/Twitter]
*Babies have never been our thing, but we are in fits over how cute this sounds. Can you imagine what that child's wardrobe will look like? All Little Marc, all the time. Suri Cruise's days are numbered.