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October 26, 2020

Marc Jacobs quarantining at the Mercer Hotel in NYC for 70 days

From the New York Times:

"I was so prepared when it [the pandemic] happened," Mr. Newbold said. "I was ready to bug out. Marc could tell you. It's like, 'Well, Nick's ready to go anywhere.' I was like, 'I have passports, we have cash, I have a car. I know where to go.'"

The furthest they got was the Mercer Hotel, where Mr. Jacobs spent 70 days as one of three residents at the hotel. (Mr. Newbold maintains his own apartment downtown.)

At the suggestion of Sofia Coppola, one of Mr. Jacobs's close friends and collaborators, Mr. Newbold took out his Sony a7ii hand-held camera and began chronicling the surreal experience of one man living in an all-but-deserted hotel with a staff of four.

"I couldn't believe how long Marc was staying at the Mercer and that it was just a few of them there," Ms. Coppola said. "I was like, 'I hope you're filming this.'"

A 28-minute film titled "A New York Story" resulted, falling somewhere between documentary and humorously bizarre art house piece, beginning with Mr. Jacobs checking in and ending with him checking out and driving off with his husband when the lockdown is lifted.

Mr. Jacobs plays every character in the film: the concierge greeting himself at the front desk, the bouncer at the hotel's club the Submercer, where he goes for a drink (Diet Coke) on Saturday night, the maintenance person he summons to the room to change a light bulb in one of the film's more subtly funny moments.

It's one thing to know that Mr. Jacobs is a mere mortal, but it's another to imagine him ordering Seamless, making his bed, operating an espresso machine, or changing a light bulb.

"That's the one thing Marc won't do," Mr. Newbold said.

The narrative is the last man in the city at a vacant hotel, "going in with one mind-set and coming out with another," Mr. Newbold said.

Mr. Jacobs left his room only to shoot the scenes for the film.

There's also a strand of pearls that the designer wears in every scene.

Make what you will of it.

Ms. Coppola gave editing notes.

Bill Sherman, the composer known for his work with Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well for being the musical director of "Sesame Street," did an original score.

The film can be seen on Mr. Newbold's YouTube channel.

It doesn’t promote the Marc Jacobs brand, at least not directly — the designer styled himself in a combination of hotel uniforms and his own clothes.

If anything, it underscores Mr. Jacobs's need for creative outlets under any circumstance.

"An artist needs to create," Mr. Newbold said. "Otherwise what else is there?"

What did Mr. Newbold get out of it?

Another task mastered.

"The funny part is, I don't really want to share this," he said of the film. "I'm happy we did and that's enough, but Marc and I were chatting the other day. He loves to share. He talks about the importance of sharing experiences and art as part of the process. Even the little videos I do for Instagram. I don't really post them on my Instagram, Marc posts them. He's the vessel."

October 26, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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