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Marc Jacobs 92nd Street Y Conversation

Marc Jacobs on How His Psychiatrist Helped Him Make the Dior Decision

In a wide-ranging conversation with Fern Mallis on stage at the 92nd Street Y this week, Marc Jacobs said he discussed not taking over for John Galliano in sessions with his psychiatrist.

"It was actually my psychiatrist who said, 'How is this going to improve the quality of your life?' and I said, 'It's not.' I mean, two more shows — and after Galliano, what he has done — when am I going to live my life?" Jacobs asked.

The designer also talked about growing up in New York City, studying at Parsons, and being treated for substance abuse. A few highlights from the conversation below.

On going to college: "Every day was like a fashion parade. There was a little troop of us. It was me, a girl named Susan Martin, Chris Iles, and Tracy Reese. The four of us were inseparable. We were the overachievers. We would do five times what was required just because we really enjoyed it."

On the critics: "There are very few, and I don't mean this in a bitchy way, journalists who I respect. I don't think a lot of them know what they're looking at. . . . I'm fine with constructive criticism but I'm not so good with stupidity. It's one thing to say 'I like or I don't like' but to misread or mislabel something or to be out of sorts because it was raining, or a late show, or you were hungry. That just all feels not valid."

On his sobriety: "I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent sober. What I'm saying is perfection is not my deal. Yeah, maybe I have had a glass of wine or a couple of whiskeys. Maybe I've smoked a joint or something like that. Or other things, but I'm mostly sober."

On what he tells aspiring designers: "What's worked for me is not quitting, being more passionate about what I do, and not giving up. And when I don't believe in myself, turning to other people who believe in me."

Photo by Joyce Culver, courtesy of 92nd Street Y.

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