Back-to-School Kitsch Overshadows Books at Marc Jacobs’s Bookmarc


Marc Jacobs expanded his West Village empire last week with Bookmarc, which takes over the storefront of former fixture Biography Books. Though the majority of the floor space is devoted to books — most covering art, design, fashion, and music — the MJ-emblazoned desk supplies and totes seem to be the main draw. When we popped by earlier this week, a small crowd of tourists hailing from Japan, the Netherlands, and Washington, D.C., largely ignored the coffee-table tomes in favor of sketchbooks, tote bags, key rings, and miniature pencil sets lining the store's perimeter. Blank notebooks are printed with cheeky titles — "As I Lay Tanning," "The History of Sexuality: Extended Version," "The Gay Gatsby" — and postcards share the shelves with condoms.

Though most of the Bookmarc merch is of the back-to-school variety, there are also some carryovers from the recently shuttered Marc by Marc Jacobs Accessories shop down the street, like key chains, mirror-shaped compacts, beaded change purses, and plastic water bottles. If you're hunting for a gift that's not splashed with the Jacobs name, limited-edition boxes behind the counter are hand-embroidered to resemble classics like The Catcher in the Rye and A Streetcar Named Desire. Then again, each case runs upwards of $1,200 — might want to reconsider those Marc Jacobs Sharpies. Click ahead for a look at what's in store.

Bookmarc, 400 Bleecker St., at W. 11th St.; 212-620-4021