In short film A New York Story, Marc Jacobs himself plays every single role

By Marissa Lee.

It’s become abundantly clear what Marc Jacobs has been up to since announcing his brand was to sit out SS21: today the designer released his own short film, A New York Story. In the cinematic masterpiece, which clocks in at just over twenty-four minutes, Jacobs portrays nearly every on screen character (save for one or two) and had a hand in nearly every off-screen credit. Now let’s not forget: this is the same brain behind a project that was legitimately titled ‘Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs in collaboration for Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs,’ so it was somewhat to be expected.

The film is part tongue-in-cheek lens into the life of the fashion giant in lockdown, and part sobering account of truly being alone in one’s own world. Nearly everything in the film works with a duality of tone – part mockumentary tropes, part sophisticated thought piece. Take, for example, the shot-by-shot accounts of Jacobs’ mundane days; as we watch the designer applying makeup, lounging in bed watching trashy television, we never see him interact with another soul, except once via FaceTime. He and the other characters (all played by himself) step lightly around each other, never really interacting and constantly avoiding the other – reminiscent of a heady Charlie Kaufman interpretation of “missed him by that much.” It’s funny because it’s a comic representation of life in lockdown, but sobering because it’s so relatable.


The film is pretty metaphorical – while my lockdown may not have featured a luxury New York apartment and a toss-up between Fashion Week or exerting my creative expressions, it definitely felt, at times, like I was trapped alone at home playing every role in the story. By assuming every character in the film, Jacobs unassumingly becomes everyman – an overarching representation of what we’re all going through. It’s not often that we may directly relate to the peripheral figures we both admire and rely on, but on occasions like this, the veil is lifted, and in them we can see ourselves.