Fashion Designer Mark Jacobs To Leave Louis Vuitton

After 16 years at Louis Vuitton, Mark Jacobs is expected to focus on an eventual IPO for his own brand, which could come within three years. Investors are interested, partly because the designer Michael Kors had a public offering in 2011, and since then shares have tripled in value.

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And in other business news, Marc Jacobs is packing his bags. The fashion designer is leaving Louis Vuitton after 16 years. He is expected to focus on an eventual IPO for his own Marc Jacobs brand.

NPR's Margot Adler reports.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: There was a sense of foreboding at Marc Jacob's spring fashion show in Paris. First, the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ADLER: Very funereal. Then black was the dominant color on the models on the runway. The New York Times reports there was even a clue in the program notes with Jacobs bidding farewell and saying, all my love always to LVMH, the luxury goods group that merged Moet Hennessy with Louis Vuitton.

Jacobs is now so successful, his annual sales approach a billion dollars. There had been speculation that Jacobs might make this kind of a move, since his contract was set to expire at the end of this year. He told "Interview Magazine," a little over a year ago, there's always something to do.

MARC JACOBS: I mean I keep on adding tattoos and piercings and who knows what I will do in the future, but I'd like to think I'm not done.

ADLER: At Louis Vuitton Jacobs had the reputation of staging some of the most exciting runway shows in Paris, and LVMH officials said with proper investment and support, a Marc Jacobs brand could be fabulously successful. Investors are interested, partly because the designer, Michael Kors had a public offering in 2011, and since then shares have tripled in value. Jacobs is expected to return to his native New York.

Margot Adler, NPR News, New York.

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