As artistic director of Louis Vuitton since 1997, Jacobs has quadrupled the sales of the venerable French brand. He has also been largely responsible for the increasingly cozy relationship between art and fashion by overseeing Louis Vuitton projects designed by Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince. Meanwhile, Jacobs has built a substantial business with his eponymous brands, Marc Jacobs Collections and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Like his peers in the luxury industry, Jacobs is focused on emerging markets, with new boutiques in China, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

In 1987, when he was just 24, Marc Jacobs became the youngest designer ever to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s prestigious Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. Twenty-one years later, he has lived up to that early promise. Few would dispute Jacobs’ status as the world’s most influential designer.