Redux Grunge: Why Marc Jacobs picked the right time to resurrect his collection
November 15th will be an important day for Marc Jacobs. Twenty-six years later, the controversial Spring/Summer 1993 grunge collection, initially done for Perry Ellis, will be re-launched with twenty-six looks under the Marc Jacobs name. Now, we all know that it has lately been a trend for important fashion brands such as Gucci or Versace to go back to their archives to get some new inspiration, so it is pretty obvious that fashion has been going through a 90’s nostalgia in some way. On the other hand, when it comes to Marc Jacobs, nostalgia will probably be the last feeling we all get tomorrow. Grunge style resembles everything but nostalgia and so there a few reasons why Marc Jacobs couldn’t have timed this revival any better.
Back in the 90’s, grunge culture became one of the most relevant movements of all time. It was not only fueled by music, but it was also fueled by the attitude of society in that decade to go against the grain. The interesting thing about this era is that after it was over, we all thought that grunge would never come back, and yet, grunge in fashion became one of the influences for streetwear’s relevance now. If you think about luxury brands, they are all starting to capitalize on streetwear, and it’s not because they add the quality or craftsmanship that describes what luxury means into it but they do it because they are following their gut and because the youngest generation wants it. Moreover, what happens in fashion is always a reflection of what is exactly going on in the minds of usually young people. What is happening now in this generation is that everybody wants to go against the flow. This is the generation without labels and the one that questions every single rule and with that in mind, it was clear that grunge had to make a comeback and that Marc Jacobs (one of the biggest rebels in the industry ahead of his time) had to be the one initiating it.
There are a few reasons that covered on why Marc Jacobs decided to revive his grunge collection from 1992. There have been sources that said that lately, the Marc Jacobs brand has been a little bit too confusing for consumers to identify what the brand represents and that there isn’t a clear idea of its own identity. The reason for this is that Marc Jacobs is one of the few brands that keeps changing all the time and that can be attributed to Marc’s personality. There are clearly brands that have an identifiable brand image mostly coming from its history, but what is happening now in the consumer’s mindset is that they no longer care about the story of the brand as much as they care about a new storytelling to keep them on track thinking about the future. Marc Jacobs has proven to be great at getting everyone’s attention whether it is during Fashion Week (especially during those epic times when he was late) or by every single campaign he launches. More than that, he’s one of the few designers who actually stays in touch about what people are saying in fashion, he listens and then takes a risk.
A lot of people have also questioned why grunge should get a revival if we are living in a post-grunge world where grunge music is dead. In reality, grunge has also a lot to do with the choices we make in fashion. During the 90s especially, everybody learned how to do layering and learned to have a DIY approach to dress giving them the freedom to choose, create personal ensembles and promote self-expression. This was the effortless way of dressing but with an edge. Does this sound familiar now that we’re on 2018? It sure does. We no longer slave to one look or one brand to feel confident, but instead, the future trend in fashion will all be about personalization, because people don’t feel like conforming to only one style anymore, and this is how a grunge style could help in this picture. More importantly, if we move beyond styling benefits, grunge has also a political component. The truth is, young generations are more aware of what is happening in politics more than ever and so there is this need for self-expression happening constantly and it’s exactly how it happened during the 90s. There was this common feeling for people inside the grunge culture that was depressed about the future, they just didn’t care, and as such, fashion (Marc Jacobs) took that opportunity to represent it in a chic and edgy way that astounded everyone. As of now, we might be using grunge again as a fashion statement because there is this need for treating certain situations with amusement and cynicism. We are constantly looking ahead for whatever the next thing is and it’s inevitable that we’re going to start bringing this grunge-edgy-chic look back again into our lives. Marc Jacobs saw it first.