Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Once again, Marc Jacobs has begun the slow release of what promises to be an epic campaign featuring an eclectic range of men and women. On Tuesday, the designer Instagrammed the first images of his fall 2016 advertisements, starring Missy Elliott, the artist Genesis P-Orridge (in the look Lady Gaga wore on the runway), Sissy Spacek, and a host of models including Grace Bol, Ally Ertel, and Binx Walton.
Given that Jacobs issued images from his spring 2016 campaign over the course of a few weeks, we’d assume he’s going to tease this one for just as long. And as he did with spring’s photo series, Jacobs has written detailed bios for each of his campaign models, explaining why they inspire him.
“The individuals in these photographs represent a collective embodiment of love, honesty, integrity, courage, strength, curiosity and inspiration,” Jacobs writes. “Together, as one story, this collection is a reminder to question and challenge normal and to continue exploring and pushing boundaries.”
Right now, that message couldn't be more on point.
Update: June 28, 2016, 1:02pm. There is more to love, including 69-year-old megababe Susan Sarandon.
SUSAN, Seduction Like so many teenagers, I spent countless Friday and Saturday nights at midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the 8th Street Playhouse (which is still standing!) and the Festival Theatre on 57th Street (which has long since closed). TRHPS was a coming of age and right of passage. It became an invitation (or excuse) to dress up and express oneself fearlessly. The cult classic made it cool for boys to wear sequins, satin and fishnets. I fell in love with Susan Sarandon’s onscreen portrayal of Janet during her “loss of innocence” scene by way of a crossdressing alien and her giddy, ecstatic rendition of, “touch-a, touch-a, touch me…” There was a subtle rebellious quality that I found in Susan with how she chose to play Janet and perhaps (as I now look back on it) her decision as a young actor to take a role in a film that challenged the notion of gender roles. In the hyper-stylized, gothic film, The Hunger, Susan’s portrayal as the lesbian love interest of vampire Catherine Deneuve was yet another progressive challenging of normal and a testament to Susan’s artistic exploration of boundaries. It was in my early days at Perry Ellis when I first had the privilege of meeting Susan. Her intelligence, courage, strength, conviction and ballsiness has always been so admirable to me. There’s an inherent seductive quality in Susan as a woman who always speaks her mind and an artist who takes risks. Her talent as an actress is one of extraordinary range, talent and power. The stunning Susan Sarandon by David Sims for our Fall ’16 ad campaign.
Adwoa Aboah and Tyg Davison
ADWOA & TYG, Duo Fashion is undoubtedly about outward, external beauty. As the late Bill Cunningham once said, “fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” But in its most pure and honest form, true beauty comes from within. The kind hearted, soft spoken, upbeat and down to earth Tyg Davison opened our Fall ’16 show. For me, Tyg represents another young woman who brings a certain positive energy to fittings on the late nights and early mornings before a fashion show (paying homage to her namesake, Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh!). It takes a certain desire and willingness to push through the unrelenting hours day after day. One of the over arching themes behind the fashion in this Fall ’16 ad campaign is the inherent love that exists within each individual portrayed in the world we worked to create. Being able to love and accept oneself is a key to finding genuine love and acceptance for others. Beyond her extraordinary beauty, Adwoa Aboah embodies a certain courage and strength that is beyond her years. By publicly and openly sharing her experience with addiction via @gurlstalk, as a woman, a daughter, a working professional, and a human being, Adwoa is providing a great service to others. Her personal story is one that I strongly identify with having struggled most of my life with my own addictions. I am humbled by her bravery, openness and service. Adwoa and Tyg by David Sims for Fall ’16.
KEIJI, Sound Keiji Haino is known for his use of the Japanese concept of Ma, which is typically translated as pause or space. Keiji’s music came to my attention a week before our Fall 2016 fashion show through a friend who was sharing with me about different meditative music and alternative “sound.” The music selection for each show is as important as the set, the clothes and the models. It’s an integral part of creating the intended experience, expression and point of view of a collection. After hearing one of Keiji’s musical pieces, which felt hypnotically simple, strange and oddly appropriate, Katie Grand, Steve Mackey and I became hypnotized by the methodic bells and cymbals and their lasting shadows and impressions. We further stripped down the idea of the set so the clothes and shadows were all that was seen and Keiji’s chilling composition juxtaposed with the heavy hammer of the boots was all that was heard leaving behind, “the haunted spaces between the notes.” Keiji’s music is incredibly transcendent and meditative while also extraordinarily unique. There is a level of dedication and emotion that is ever present in his work that I greatly admire. The discipline of his craft and the intelligence in his approach is unparalleled. I am so greatly honored to share this photograph by David Sims for our Fall ’16 ad campaign that so powerfully captures the enigma-like qualities of the other worldly, Keiji Haino.
Update: June 22, 2016, 8:11am. Marc Jacobs has added a host of new faces to his campaign roster.
MANSON, Brains and Beauty Ironically, I met Marilyn Manson on Halloween in Los Angeles shortly after the release of his album, Antichrist Superstar in 1996. It was after meeting him that I started listening to his music- in large part because I was intrigued by his persona and curious about his perverse and incredible intellect. The Beautiful People and its accompanying music video with all its gorgeous grotesqueries is what sweet dreams are NOT made of… The incredibly powerful and frenetic pace of the video with the attenuated and elongated Manson pulled, disfigured and contorted by means of surgical devices, dental apparatuses and other contraptions is absolutely nightmare inducing and an outrageously captivating attraction of repulsion. For our Fall 2011 fashion show, there was no better song to send the girls marching down our boudoir comme insane-asylum runway than, The Beautiful People. It was the perfectly twisted companion for that collection which played at a volume that nearly shook the walls down. In direct contrast to the outward hideous beauty of Manson’s stage persona is his instinctive, inherent intelligence and understanding of what matters. These days more so than ever I am reminded of Manson’s interview in the documentary film, Bowling for Columbine and his response to a question asking what he would say to the kids and Columbine community in the wake of the tragedy that took place in 1999. His response was, “I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.” Sometimes knowing when to listen is more important than being heard, and in one sentence Manson left a stronger impression on me than his music ever had previously. Marilyn Manson photographed by David Sims for our Fall 2016 ad campaign.
COURTNEY, R(evolution) With my abundance of respect for Courtney Love’s musical contributions to grunge/rock culture and her status as this sort of, Grunge Goddess, it was her mesmerizing and extraordinarily moving portrayal of Althea in the film, The People vs Larry Flynt that simultaneously broke my heart and won my love. While I hadn’t yet met Courtney during my time as Creative Director at Perry Ellis, it was her then style that had a great influence on that now infamous “grunge collection” show in 1992. Courtney and I (and a then 2 or 3 year old Frances Bean) first met at dinner with Anna Sui in 1994 at Bar Six in NYC. I remember being quite taken by her deep, thorough knowledge of and voracious appetite for fashion and music. There has always been a genuine allure about Courtney that I continue to admire. The way she’d scream her lyrics from that gash of a red mouth to the hard rocking, wailing sounds of Hole. She was then and remains now, for me, the ultimate divine mess in a dress. Gone but no where near forgotten is the girl-woman Goddess of Grunge in her too small tattered dresses, the little girl barrette in her messy, scattered hair and beaten up brocade 1960’s evening shoes. It’s a long distance from the now iconic kinder-whore Courtney photographed by Juergen Teller for I-D magazine in 1994 to the movie star glamour of the powerfully aloof and infinitely present Courtney, photographed here by David Sims for our Fall ’16 campaign.
JUNO, Family Many, many years ago my dear friend Paul Fortune would often tell me about his then 10 year old Goddaughter, Juno Temple. Thereafter, every 6 months or so he would request a pair of our most outrageous or tallest platform shoes to gift his Goddaughter as she would not wear any other shoes but ours to school. A decade ago while Paul and I were having tea at Claridges in London, he presented me with some of her design sketches (and they were good!) as it was her dream, at that time, to come work with me. Fast-forwarding to this past January I was invited (again by Anna Sui) to the HBO premiere of VINYL in New York City. On my way out of the Ziegfeld Theatre, this larger than life, wildly enthusiastic and incredibly jovial, adorable woman approached me. Not a second before I recognized her as the up-and-coming A&R girl from the series, she exclaimed, "I am Paul's Goddaughter!” It was then when I fell head over high heels in love with Juno. Juno’s soaring spirit, sparkle and effervescent charm is impossible to resist. Her cheeky character is captured perfectly here by David Sims for our Fall 2016 campaign.
KENDALL, Supermodel I will always remember the first time I met Kendall during castings for our Fall 2014 fashion show. Katie Grand invited her to come by the studio for a brief introduction before she was photographed for the model boards. At the time, I knew very little about Kendall… As history now has it, her very first fashion show was for Marc Jacobs Fall 2014. Kendall has since been a part of every show along with being featured in our Spring ’15 ad campaign (also shot by David Sims). It goes without saying that Kendall has gone on to establish an incredible career for herself and every bit of it is a testament to her hard work, passion and desire. During castings for Fall ’16, due to the enormous height of the boots we designed, we had to make certain that each girl was able to walk (and walk safely). Kendall slid those boots on and walked around the studio as if she was in a pair of running shoes: statuesque, confident and just as enthusiastic and excited to be doing the show as if it was her first one. For me, it is the ability of a model to effortlessly transform into a look and character that makes her so appealing and inspiring. Photographed by David Sims for our Fall ’16 ad as a Goth Goddess is the sweet, kind and ultimate professional, Kendall Jenner.
Update: June 17, 2016, 6:13pm. Marc Jacobs posted a shot from the campaign of St. Vincent musician Annie Clark this afternoon and then followed that up two hours later with a post featuring Clark’s girlfriend, supermodel Cara Delevingne. Jacobs has incredibly nice and thoughtful things to say about Cara and Annie in each of his captions.
CARA, Womanchild Every once in a blue moon I am fortunate enough to meet a model with a personality so huge it almost overshadows even the strongest of looks– the most dramatic fashion. When I met Cara through Katie Grand a few years ago, she was the girl in the animal onesie with boundless energy, great humor and in perpetual motion. Watching Cara’s growth and evolution into a dynamic, outspoken, independent woman is a true joy, just as she is herself. Her generosity and care in wanting to get a job done right (even if it means missing a flight!) is a testament to her professionalism and true character. Photographed sitting still and just as full of life as always, the unstoppable Cara Delevingne by David Sims for our Fall ’16 ad campaign.
ANNIE, Other The idea to ask musician Annie Clark (more commonly known by her stage name, St. Vincent) to be a part of our ad campaign had been discussed long before the Fall 2016 season began. It was Katie Grand who originally brought Annie to my attention and suggested we consider extending an invitation to join this campaign. I was really taken by comments Annie made in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine where she described queerness as a transcendence of sexuality and as a “banner” for being “other.” It was thoughtful, relevant and poignant. There’s a certain maturity that’s inherent in Annie that transcends her age and while her music is a direct reflection of her intellectual curiosities and musical prowess, it was when I had the privilege of meeting Annie in person that I experienced her magnetism. She operates with such genuine grace, poise and sincerity. I am in complete awe of the beauty of this photograph by David Sims for our Fall 2016 ad campaign. It so perfectly captures the inherent contemplativeness of Annie, her humility and mystery.
KEMBRA, Femininity While I had been aware of Kembra Pfahler's unique voice and vision during the East Village scene in the 1980’s, it was when her band, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black (that name alone!) released their album, The Anti Naturalist, in 1995 when I found myself completely enamored with and curiously drawn to Kembra. Those curiosities lead me to my first TVHOKB performance. Not knowing what to anticipate, Kembra took the stage (set with giant ladybug-like cutouts) in her bow-festooned raven black, teased-to-there hair, naked-painted-red body dressed in nothing but black panties and dominatrix like stiletto boots rocking out with a magnificently raw and punk energy to songs like Spelling Bee, Gotta Get My Eyes Done and my all time favorite, Honky Tonk Biscuit Queen. Making the best use of what's available or AVAILABILISM as Kembra refers to it, has always been her approach to performing art. This low-tech performance/concert was the most brilliantly raw, twisted punk-rock-of-a-school-play I have ever witnessed and Kembra, a deconstruction of cliché femininity was rooted in such purity and innocence. Portrayed here as a Fetish High Priestess by David Sims for our Fall 2016 campaign, the intensely stunning and provocative Kembra Pfahler.
In a continuing series of portraits for our Fall 2016 ad campaign, the individuals in these photographs represent a collective embodiment of love, honesty, integrity, courage, strength, curiosity and inspiration. Together, as one story, this collection is a reminder to question and challenge normal and to continue exploring and pushing boundaries. To quote Lana Wachowski, “I am suspicious of everything connected to that word [normal]. It is, to my thinking, a politically correct euphemism for obedience and conformity.” GENESIS P-ORRIDGE, Unconditional Love Through music, poetry and art, Genesis continues to explore, shape shift and define what it means to give love, be loved and live love. For me, Genesis is a sort of come-to-life definition of realness and authenticity and how being lost in an experience or new idea can result in growth and evolution. @pandrogyne Photographed by David Sims and styled by Katie Grand.
John and Carlos
John and Carlos, Youth After randomly reading a direct message via Instagram from a Jarlos420, I was immediately reminded of when John was cast for a Marc by Marc men’s fashion show some years ago. Given the timing of the message and the upcoming ad shoot, it felt instinctively right to ask if they (the, then couple) would consider being a part of our Fall ’16 ad campaign. John and Carlos agreed to be photographed together – here dressed in our Women’s Collection. This hauntingly beautiful image by David Sims and styled by Katie Grand was inspired in part by Jean Genet’s, Querelle de Brest and a nod to late legendary artists, Lou Reed and Robert Mapplethorpe.
All the models
The Girls, Beauty Each season Anita Bitton and Katie Grand see hundreds of models during the casting process for the fashion show. And with each season, there is always a group of young women who seem to effortlessly breathe a unique quality of life into the clothes, as if born from the original sketch on paper. These women literally inspire us to dress them and tell the story of the season as it carries from the fashion show to the studio. The seductiveness, arresting beauty and poignancy in this photograph by David Sims and styled by Katie Grand is forever a reminder of all that came to life during the creation of the Fall ’16 collection.
SISSY, Gentle Heroine I was thirteen years old when I first saw Sissy Spacek’s hauntingly disturbing portrayal of the pale, fragile, strawberry girl, Carrie White, in the film, Carrie. I was all-consumed and mesmerized by her ability to bring a character to life in such a way that, for me, was very profound. Sissy’s character (that type of girl) is a reoccurring artistic reference in my work. The life she brings to all the characters she has portrayed as an artist is ever expanding, evolving and inspiring. I am so pleased to share this stunning portrait of Sissy by David Sims for our Fall '16 ad campaign.
MISSY, Supa Dupa Fly From the moment I heard, The Rain, back in 1997, I was entranced by the genius rhythms and brilliant rhymes of Missy Elliott. Missy’s music has kept me and my design team happily energized through countless weekdays, weeknights and weekends during those long hours of sketching, fitting, styling and doing looks. In addition to the boundless energy of her music are the visually pulsating and wildly cartoon-like music videos she made in collaboration with the talented and visionary, Hype Williams. I am in continued awe of Missy’s ability to push the boundaries of the style of music both to the eye and to the ear. It was a dream of mine to work with her and I'm happy to share this portrait by David Sims for our Fall '16 campaign.