Remember in 2015 when fashion designer Marc Jacobs accidentally posted a pic of his butt — and, yeah, the tip of his penis — on Instagram for the entire world to see? (Link NSFW) How could you forget that, right? Well, it came up once again during day four of Austin’s SXSW Conference and Festivals, during a panel dubbed “The Fashion Designer in the Age of Social Media.” The two-person panel included Jacobs and Vogue‘s Creative Digital Director Sally Singer.
The panel discussion focused on what inspires Jacobs as a designer (hint: he says it’s everything) and his personal presence on social media, though at times it veered into his most recent Winter 2017 runway show, his designer-cum-activist turns and his advice for those looking to start a new label. The conversation was a cordial one, with Jacobs speaking casually and comfortably to Singer and the crowd.
“I’m the biggest luddite. I just got on Instagram two years ago. Email and a Google search is about the best I can do,” Jacobs told the crowd to laughter.
It eventually became obvious that when Jacobs said he didn’t “get” technology, he meant it.
Later in the conversation, Jacobs was asked who he follows on Instagram. “I follow friends,” he says. “I also do that little — I don’t know what it’s called, it has the little magnifying glass — I like looking through that. There’s all kinds of weird stuff on there. Things the ‘computer god’ thinks I would be interested in.”
Jacobs seems rather adept in his use of Instagram to communicate with his fans, though. And he knows what gets him likes.
“If I have an Hermès bag, if it’s a selfie, if I have my clothes off or if I’m with my dog, it gets more likes,” he says. “I don’t post things deliberately for them [his social media followers]. If it weren’t fun, I wouldn’t do it. As soon as I decide to put something out there, it’s because I’ve decided to embrace that platform and the reaction from the audience. I’ve never been secretive about my love for attention. I love to please other people with my performance and the results of my work.”
And please them he did back in 2015, when Jacobs intended to use Instagram’s direct message feature to send a special someone that racy pic. Jacobs had just joined the photo-sharing platform, and unfortunately he accidentally posted it for the entire world to see. Jacobs completely shrugs it off, though.
“I don’t edit myself, and sometimes as soon as something is sent, I regret it,” Jacobs says. “I accidentally posted my ass. I was flirting with someone and I didn’t know the difference between direct messaging and posting.”
Showing skin isn’t exactly new to Jacobs, who has featured his own body — sans clothing — in his own marketing campaigns.
Jacobs sums up the #butt-gate incident of 2015 succinctly: “I’m not ashamed,” he says.
The world-famous designer and business mogul’s SXSW appearance was his first time appearing at the festival, and his first time in Austin, Texas.