Introducing Mark Jacobes: Will 2018 See Bootleggers and Designers Coming Together?

 

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Months after Alessandro Michele teamed up with Instagram’s fashion copyright police diet_prada for Gucci’s Spring 2018 runway show, Marc Jacobs is jumping on the bootlegger train and aligning himself with one of the most popular designer logo artists on Instagram. Ava Nirui, now the digital editor at Helmut Lang, is famous for taking the monikers of Christian Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, among others, and reinterpreting them in her own way—decorating an inhaler with Dior costume jewelry or printing “LV” onto a porcelain teacup and saucer being just two examples. On Monday, Marc Jacobs is releasing a white hoodie that he’s designed in conjunction with Nirui. It’s printed with “Mark Jacobes est. 1985” in scratchy font. “A real bootleg,” is how Nirui described the sweatshirt on her Instagram this evening. She also added, “I was making fake Marc Jacobs a year ago . . . life is crazy!”

Indeed, and the fashion world is getting crazier, it seems. Between Michele’s embrace of diet_prada—which, mind you, was one of the first outlets to raise concern about the Dapper Dan jacket look-alike on the Gucci runway—and now Jacobs’s faux hoodie, the fake-chic trend seems to be gaining steam. So, will the designer-approved bootleg item become a big thing in 2018? If Jacobs and Michele have anything to say about it, the answer seems to be yes. And hey, if it helps luxury labels and digital disruptors work together to create something new and cool, then there’s no harm in sleeping with the enemy.

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