Jacobs soon got me through my job interview with Anna Wintour at Vogue. "Who is your favorite designer?" she asked. "Marc Jacobs," I replied. After she slowly scanned me from head to toe, she smiled and said, "I can see that." I got the job that same day.
But the most memorable fashion show I've ever attended was Jacobs' Spring 2002 collection, displayed on the evening of September 10, 2001. It was staged at a pier along the Hudson River.
As the last model exited the runway and Jacobs appeared for his customary modest bow and wave, the flower-encrusted stage backdrop parted to reveal a flower-laden, jasmine-scented hall (Jacobs was also celebrating the launch of his debut fragrance), with rustic dining tables overflowing with platters of figs, nuts, fresh fruit and rare cheeses.
The Champagne was flowing, the crowd -- including luminaries like Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Swank -- was beautiful, and fire boats on the river sprayed jets of colored water.
Night quickly turned to morning -- the morning of September 11. A night of frivolity and celebration, decadence and glamour, followed by a morning of horror. The remainder of fashion week was promptly canceled.
Suddenly, all this fashion stuff seemed painfully trivial. It was difficult to celebrate art and commerce when there were infinitely more important events going on around us. Like everyone in those terrible hours, days, and months, I wrestled with the larger questions.
Now, five years later, the fashion crowd eagerly awaits the start of the Marc Jacobs show. But that doesn't mean we've forgotten what happened back then. We will not be celebrating fashion tonight or this week or in years to come, simply for the sake of celebrating, but rather, because as Americans, we still have the freedom to celebrate.