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Monday, March 23, 2009

Made in Brazil

For his first trip to Brazil, Marc Jacobs swooped into São Paulo last week to celebrate his newest boutique, in partnership with Natalie Klein of NK Store. Of course, that wasn't all on his agenda. Newly engaged to Brazilian boy toy and ad exec Lorenzo Martone, Marc also met with his future mother-in-law over dinner at the swanky Fasano Hotel. This was followed by a day of gallery-hopping (while showing off matching left-hand rings) and another party Saturday night at a secret bar where Madonna and Michael Stipe threw parties recently, but which actually has no name. The night before, Marc and Lorenzo, along with Marc's business partner Robert Duffy, headed to cruisy gay club Cantho in an area known for its, shall we say, colorful transvestites. They stayed for about an hour and a half, sipped caipirinha and mugged for an endless parade of paparazzi, but left the Brazilian fashion flock to dance all night with go-go boys. At one point Marc told Folha magazine that he met Lorenzo in a darkroom, but we're not buying it—Marc's deadpan surely got lost in translation. Surely!

An emotional moment happened at a VIP lunch when Lorenzo's former boss, Cris Bicalho (seen here), gave a speech that ended with: "Life is short," sending Marc into tears. Aaaawww. After São Paulo, the clearly happy couple will spend a month in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. “Not to work, just for pleasure,” Marc said at a press conference, where, to a room of excitable Brazilian journos, he also talked about having good calves and ignoring the global economic crisis. When he wasn't mesmerized by Marc's calves, our ANDRE DO VAL took notes...

Do you get annoyed with the media frenzy about your relationship?
Marc Jacobs: No! I love attention! I'm an attention whore. I love it.
Are you fond of Brazilian people?
The Brazilians I have met and had the opportunity to work with, like Raquel Zimmermann, Gisele Bündchen, Daiane Conterato, Aline Weber and all the model girls I know, they have warmth, energy and a kind of innate sex appeal that I find desirable. It really rubs off. When I'm around them, I just feel the flirtation and sexuality. I wouldn’t generalize by saying all Brazilians are like this, but this has been my experience.
You are a North American superstar!
Yes, a worldwide superstar! How do you do it?
I don’t know. I guess through hard work. We work very hard. And we’re not like the new kids on the block. We’ve been around for many, many years. We had our own company, worked for Perry Ellis, now Louis Vuitton. Our place in the world of fashion, North American or any other kind, is an evolution that we built. It's something acquired.
Why this crush on kilts right now?
Because I have good calves and I want to show them off.
What comes to your mind when you think of Brazil?
(Laughs.) I'd rather not to say it. Never mind.
Are you in touch with any Brazilian fashion designers?
Not a specific designer. I think there’s a swimwear designer, Rosa Chá? They worked with my friend Naomi Campbell. And then Alexandre Herchcovitch, whose work I don't know very well, but I know him through a photographer friend. That’s it.
Do you have special products for each regional market?
We work very hard making collections we believe in. Whether it's the Marc Jacobs collection or Marc by Marc Jacobs, it's for the world. We do one collection and what each market buys is up to them. They can edit as they please.
Was the reduction of your show in New York a response to global economic crisis?
Robert Duffy: It was a necessity. But we're continuing to expand and hiring more employees. Our responsibility is with the people we work with and that is where I wanted the financial resources to go.
MJ: Creatively I try to ignore the crisis. I have the job of making beautiful things that I believe our costumers will enjoy and love. That’s my responsibility.
Why come to São Paulo?
RD: Well, Brazil has the strongest economy in South America. I’ve been to most countries in South America, and I like coming to Brazil. I feel the energy of it, I think it's the right time. Marc is on his first trip, but I think he is going to like it, too.

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