John Targon is out at Marc Jacobs. His dismissal comes just over two months after Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was brought on as creative director of the contemporary division of the luxury label.
Targon’s role wasn’t clearly defined from the get-go. He was ostensibly brought on to build out the Marc Jacob’s contemporary-priced merchandise, even though LMVH decided to fold the Marc by Marc Jacobs contemporary collection into the main line in 2015 — a move that confounded many fashion insiders, as it was understood that Marc by Marc’s sunglasses, bags, and small leather goods were a cash cow for the label.
Insiders report to Page Six that Targon isn’t the only one getting the axe. Targon’s entire team has been wiped out as well as most of the designer’s shoe-design staff. According to the source, it was Jacobs’ recent engagement to longtime love Charly Defrancesco that spurred the restructure. Jacobs is “on a kick after getting engaged and is superpositive. He was having issues and wasn’t super-involved… Now he is getting back into gear and taking the reins,” the insider says.
Another source tells the paper that when it came to Targon, it was a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen situation. “It was a difference in vision. It seemed like it came down to a control thing with Marc, and there wasn’t space for another star. It’s been hard for everyone.”
When it came to the shoe design wipeout, it was more a data-driven decision. “He met with them last week… He sold an underwhelming amount of shoes last year,” the insider says.
According to a report from Business of Fashion this past February, the LVMH-backed brand has been underperforming with revenue down from “around $650 million to about $300 million” over the past “three to four years,” not counting its fragrance line. Last April, the Marc Jacobs Bleecker street store shuttered, further fueling rumors questioning the health of the brand.
In a statement to Women’s Wear Daily, Marc Jacobs International said of Targon’s departure: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.”
John Targon has yet to issue comment but it’s expected he will continue working on his Baja East line with co-designer Scott Studenberg.
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