As far as marketing goes, Heaven by Marc Jacobs is peaking. Heaven, the affordable Marc Jacobs sub-label headed up by Ava Nirui, has cast an insane selection of talent for its Spring 2023 campaign, with big gets in all aspects of culture.
Particularly notable gets include ultra-viral pop star Ice Spice, reclusive rapper Lil Uzi Vert, demonic doll M3GAN, hugely popular singer Ethel Cain, and artist Michèle Lamy, best known as Rick Owens’ partner and herself a champion of burgeoning brands.
Of course, Heaven isn’t really an indie label — it’s operated by Marc Jacobs International, LLC, itself part of the LVMH conglomerate — but it’s looking to wear the veneer of subversion and thus the Lamy connection fits.
It doesn’t feel like hyperbole to suggest that Heaven is positioning itself to be Supreme for Gen-Z, even more than Supreme New York itself could hope to be in this particular phase of its ongoing history.
Heaven’s clothes tap the Y2K vibes that the kids like, what with the shredded sweaters, babydoll T-shirts, and flared pants, but it amps up the appeal by collaborating with tastemakers like Kiko Kostadinov and Stray Rats designer Julian Consuegra, who’s again joining Heaven for its Spring 2023 collection alongside LA-based brand Come Tees and longrunning Japanese label Hysteric Glamour.
But its the bevy of surprising famous faces in its lookbooks that’ve given Heaven a not insignificant boost in appeal.
Previous Heaven collections have starred household names like Pamela Anderson and Nicki Minaj, demonstrating a real knack for bringing in famous faces who’re a little left-of-center but still immediately recognizable to Heaven’s young, TikTok-savvy audience.
Of course, it must be acknowledged that not every member of that audience is entirely on board.
For one, some Instagram commenters have pointed out Lil Uzi Vert’s assault charges from 2022, to which the rapper plead no contest and avoided jailtime.
Over on TikTok, where Heaven curiously doesn’t have a presence, some would-be and former fans have taken a firm stance in opposition to Heaven’s early-aughts aesthetic and grab-bag of cultural references.
Not that that’s hurt Heaven’s fortunes, mind you.
A legion of devotees, who comment by the hundreds on Heaven’s Instagram page (usually sans capital letters, just like the brand itself), are buying up enough Heaven to apparently keep the brand in the black, so much so that it’s only just opened up a new store in London’s shop-dense Soho neighborhood.
Heaven is riding a knife’s edge.
On one hand, it’s gotta deliver big celebrity moments and covetable product to keep its young fans interested. On the other, any brand that courts sub-cultural style but aims too mass will lose some of that edgy appeal.
It’s a fine tightrope for any brand to walk, let alone one that’s only a couple years old. But it’s been working pretty well for Heaven thus far.