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Marc Jacobs for Diet Coke

By Gillian Brett

Joining fellow visionaries Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld on the Diet Coke line-up, Marc Jacobs has designed three unique bottles to celebrate the past three decades of fashion's favourite fizzy drink. Explaining his motivation behind the collaboration, Jacobs told ELLE, 'Andy Warhol once said: ‘The great thing about Coke is that Nancy Reagan's Coke tastes the same as yours'. Everybody's Coke tastes the same. I don't like that ivory tower of fashion, that snobbery. Things should be honest.’ For more of Jacobs' honesty, read our chat with the designer.

Tell us about the diet coke bottles you designed?

The bottles are a celebration of Diet Coke's 30th birthday, so each one represents a different decade. The eighties bottle is very much this androgynous power woman. Our ninties girl is very glamorous; she’s got the big shoes, the big dress and the big hat. The noughties represents this eclectic, anything-goes attitude, so it’s very graphic, there’s lots of mixing patterns and it’s about expressing yourself in any way you want.

How has fashion changed the past three decades?

It’s become far more accessible through the internet and in line with that, the appetite for fashion has grown and grown. With so much more input from so many different people fashion has taken on many different aspects and new personas. It’s an outdated notion that fashion needs to be exclusive. At Marc Jacobs, we do flip flops and key rings that are accessible to everyone and that’s how fashion should be: all-inclusive, fun and expressive.

At your Louis Vuitton exhibition last year you said ‘For some life has no meaning without fashion, for me fashion has no meaning without life’. What did you mean by this?

I’m interested in clothes that someone has worn, that have been through experiences. Without someone to wear them, clothes are just inanimate objects, they have no life. A dress is a great dress because it’s had a great night out with somebody; otherwise it’s just a pretty piece of cloth.

Do you still get a thrill out of seeing someone in your designs?

Oh absolutely, there’s so much choice out there nowadays that it’s the ultimate compliment to see someone wearing something that you and your team have put so much passion and hard work into. To see them get so much pleasure from your designs is the ultimate reward.

What do you love about British style?

I feel like there’s a big connection between New York and London. The music scene and pop culture in both cities is so free and inventive and I really connect to that.

How do you keeping finding new inspirations every season?

Things inspire me sometimes without me even realizing it. I like to drown myself in culture; music, art, movies, theatre. I’d never pick up a fashion magazine to find inspiration, I think the greatest muses can be found outside the fashion world. My life experiences and the experiences of my team are what fuel our designs.

Every season your catwalk shows for Louis Vuitton become more and more extravagant, will you ever shock us with a plain white background instead?

Every season I decide that I’m going to strip it back; stand the models in front of a white canvas but then I think ‘Nah, that just is me’ and I go even bigger than the previous season. You’ve got to entertain people, take them on a journey. It’s part of my job as a creative person to provide escapism.

You’re set to make your movie screen debut in Disconnect that is released next month. Are we going to see Marc Jacobs the actor as well as the designer in the future?

Oh no definitely not! This was just a one-off, Acting is an extremely tough job and I think you’ve got to have real passion to do it. My passion lies with designing.

Diet Coke culturally iconic and you are iconic in the fashion industry. But who are your biggest icons?

Kate Moss is a huge icon for me. Sophia Coppola has also been very iconic in my life, her voice has been very inspiring to me. My grandmother was also a huge influence on me growing up.

Is there anything that scares you?

The moment just before each show when the first model is about to go out is a scary moment but I channel that fear as excitement. It feels like stepping forward into darkness and not knowing whether your foot is going to touch the ground or you’re going to fall flat on your face. It’s the scariest but most exhilarating feeling in the world.

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