Marc Jacobs Store Manila

Written By bryanboy

Marc Jacobs Store Manila

I finally paid the new Marc Jacobs store a visit. The first thing I said to myself was… "wow, we finally have a Marc Jacobs boutique in the third world."

Marc Jacobs Manila

Oh hella click, click, click if you work for SSI/Store Specialists Inc. That includes you, too, purveyor of luxury goods in the third world, Mr. Anton Huang. Oh and Marc, eeek!  I have a feeling y’all won’t be pleased with what I’m about to say. Nothing personal — just my observations. You know I love you both though.

Click click click!

After much anticipation, I finally hauled my bimbo arse to the new Marc Jacobs store in Greenbelt.

As you know, there used to be an Yves Saint Laurent accessories boutique there… YSL is now a goner though. Soo sad.


The store was dead empty when I went there. Nobody else except for me.

Empty as in there was only 1 member of staff manning the counters. She was quite nice and helpful.

I spent a few minutes looking around and all I saw were bags. This is the left side of the store.

Inside Marc Jacobs Boutique Manila, Marc Jacobs Bags

… and on the right side, you’ll see more bags, bags, bags, bags, bags, bags, bags.

Inside Marc Jacobs Store Manila, Marc Jacobs Bags

When I questioned one of my friends what’s the new Marc Jacobs store like, she said it felt as if the new store was a "graveyard of bags"… cold and empty.

I don’t blame her though. The only non-bag items on display were a pair of glasses… and a pair of shoes. I’m not kidding! Sunglasses on the left… shoes on the right.

Inside Marc Jacobs Manila, Marc Jacobs accessories

The store is tiny, yes, but it’s a heck of a lot bigger than YSL. There’s so much space I’m sure a rack or two of ready to wear and other accessories won’t hurt, no?

Even more bags… again, this side is on the left, where the Christmas tree is.

Inside Marc Jacobs Manila, Christmas Tree

Wanna know what that thing is behind the Christmas tree, away from public display? Even passers-by can’t see it properly.

Inside Marc Jacobs Shop Manila, Christmas Tree

It’s the Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2008 runway show!

You’ll have to go inside the store to see it… but then again, why would you want to watch the vid when it’s available online? I guess it’s to create mood/whatever… I dunno. Personally, I’d move the tree somewhere else in the store so the Spring 08 video is more prominent. Think about it.. "oh look, there’s the Spring 2008 show, maybe I’ll pop by the store and see if they have Spring pieces" etc etc etc.

Etc etc etc etc etc.

1) Most of the bags are from Marc’s fall 2007 collection… a lot aren’t from the runway though. No surprise there. I **know** runway pieces barely hit the shelves and if they do, they end up at flagships. Also, unless I’m mistaken, I think I must have seen a few spring 07 bags. Maybe it’s just me.

2) They do have about 3, 4 or 5 new pieces for Resort. Most of them are mostly mocha/beige/dove gray/something along those lines coloured pieces.

3) I asked when the Spring/Summer 2008 items are going to be available and the lady told me they don’t know.

um, so when are you getting the new Spring 2008 bags? I’m looking for this tote-like bag with another purse on the outside.

Sales Associate: (confused look) We didn’t make those bags.

Me: Oh yes you did! It’s on the runway show!!!!! (we were near the tree so I pointed to the little video screen behind it)

Sales Associate: Oh. I don’t know.


Of course I was referring to the new Spring ’08 bags that are now available for purchase online, like at one of my favourite stores, Luisa Via Roma.

Marc Jacobs Serafima Bag, Marc Jacobs Robert Bag, Marc Jacobs Duffy Bag

Marc Jacobs Serafima Bag €1980
Marc Jacobs Robert Bag €2099
Marc Jacobs Duffy Bag €1770

all at Luisa Via Roma

This is the runway version that I fell in love with…

Marc Jacobs Spring 2008 Bags
Photo credits: Luisa Via Roma/


4) NONE of the pieces they have available are on sale. No markdowns, no sale items, and
all of them are full-priced. I repeat, FULL-PRICED, meaning they’re a
bit more expensivo than the usual retail prices when you buy things
from overseas. Again, no surprise there. Retailers around the world are fighting over one another with massive sales… heck, Faran of Fashionista even tipped back on December 4 that the Marc Jacobs boutique on Mercer St., New York held a 70% off sale for Fall/Winter 2007. Yep — THAT brilliant collection. Someone even posted a comment saying that shoes are also at 70% off in the Las Vegas store.

marc Jacobs 70% off sale

Also, go online to all the major shops in Europe/US — Saks, Neiman, Bergdorf, eLuxury, etc.. they have massive sales going on.


I asked the helpful lady when they’re going to be on
sale AND when the new arrivals are coming and she said she doesn’t know — she offered to take my contact
details instead, which I wrote on a little ‘guestbook’ of some sort. I know I could easily say "well these items are NOT really geared for anyone who wants to buy it on sale" for the hell of it. But that’s not necessarily true. I know lots of ladies with a heck of a lot of dime and most of them echo my sentiments. IMO, more and more people these days, especially in the third world, are becoming more and more educated and aware of their options, thanks to the internet. Third world folk who want to buy luxury goods are savvy online shoppers and a lot of them travel… or shop outside the third world because it’s more affordable. 

I’m trying to think who SSI’s market is — fashion-savvy folk or people with penny to spare but don’t know any better? While I am, in no means, fashion savvy (hello, look at me — one look is all it takes for you to spit your coffee to your keyboard!), I’m quite obsessed with the whole thing!

I’d be very, very sad if the Marc Jacobs store here ends up like Yves Saint Laurent because it didn’t do well. I dunno. Is it sustainable, in the long run, to sackride the handbag bandwagon?
I mean come on! How on earth is it possible for a chica brand like YSL to close up shop in a few year’s time?

Am I missing something here? SSI fascinates me to no end. I’m dead serious when I say it’s fascinating learning about Filipino consumer practices and luxury habits. What are people buying? What works? What doesn’t work? Why are stores opening/closing? Why are luxury stores here are so slow when it comes to ‘sales’? Who are their target demographic? Why are third world buyers buying this and that. What’s up with the selections? I have soooo many questions but I’ve never worked in retail so I guess in this lifetime, I’ll never know the answers. Heck, in other countries you have courses such as "luxury brand management". Etc etc etc.  I’m honestly, truly, madly, deeply intrigued.



I think this is nice. I get to put my mere 2 brain cells to practice.

So yeah.

I like the new Marc Jacobs store if you are looking for bags. Mind you, the bags are gorgeous.

But if you’re looking for something else, your best bet is to go online and/or call other Marc Jacobs boutiques around the world who can ship to wherever you are.

And for those of you who are interested, Marc by Marc Jacobs, is going to open next month, as in January 2008!

Now **THAT** I can’t wait. I *LOVE* Marc by Marc Jacobs. Think about it — in Hong Kong, all the sales associates I’ve met are young, have funky hair and I remember one of them having a nose ring.

Also, the Marc Jacobs team ordered the San Francisco store to have "WORST PRESIDENT EVER" on their window display.

Will it be as fun and youthful as other Marc by Marc Jacobs stores around the world? Answers on a postcard…

Email me and tell me you love me. My email address is

I love you all!

PS. I’m not hating!!!! OMG I’m not!! Marc is NEVA gonna name a bag after me now. :-(


  1. wow!
    i love this entry. you are right about luxury brands in manille. i go to the stores only to try or to see what they are in person. if i like something, i ask my brother who is in new york to buy for me. minsan wala pang tax because they ship via balikbayan box.

  2. If you are really interested about fashion, why don’t you take up merchandising or retail?

  3. karylle c.

    SSI is owned by Rustan’s. It’s their common practice to charge huge mark-ups. Alam mo naman dito, monopoly.
    I would hate to see MJ go but I’m giving that store 2 years tops. The it-bag was declared dead by international press this year and jewelry is the future. How will that translate to the consumers, nobody knows pero one thing is for sure: you cannot survive on handbags alone.

  4. Oh my god, that is so true! Diba SSI holds the local franchise for Gucci? My sister bought a bag from the shop in Greenbelt in October. When she returned to the states, last year pa pala yung bag!
    it’s ok to “dig deep”. it shows you are smart and you are willing to learn more behind the expensive price tags. why don’t you work for a luxury brand even part-time to satisfy your curiosity? you’re passionate about fashion so maybe that would get you somewhere. i’m not talking about stocking the shelves or attending to customers.

  5. Well SSI sucks and that’s just about it.
    Fashion is about change and it excites us to see the collections change from season to season but with SSI and Rustan’s it all about redundancy and the tad tired. Aren’t Filipinos fed up with this???
    SSI overprices all the time. Who’s their buyer? He/she should should be sacked.

  6. kiki mabantot

    “Aren’t Filipinos fed up with this???”
    Yes we’re tired but as if we have a choice.
    Wait… we do!
    Bryangay took the words out of my mouth when she said people prefer to shop outside the country kasi nga it’s cheaper. Manila is very expensive for luxury items. It’s so expensive even the riiiiich go to HK to shop!

  7. All bags? wow. It’s the first mj store i’ve seen that exclusively sold bags.
    Are you sure it’s a “store”? It looks like a concession to me.
    That’s really sad. I love MJ!
    I’m surprised why they don’t have shoes in your branch because MJ shoes often sell like hotcakes!

  8. Just when you were about to give a nicely thought review about marketing strategies, you drop it like it bored you to think further. LOL.

  9. tiffany: LOL @ your comment. i have a reputation to keep, you know! i’m supposed to be a dumb foul-mouthed senseless wallflower. i’m not allowed to look smart the same way posh spice is not allowed to be photographed smiling, drinking or eating. :P
    helena: i’m unhirable! i don’t think anyone would want to hire me. lol

  10. SOOO TRUE about the FULL-PRICED issue. I went to the Marc Jacobs store and saw this bag. It’s $895 in Eluxury and it’s being sold for P70,000! (That’s $1,690 for you folks out there). I mean come on!!!
    It’s just not MJ. At Tod’s (also run by SSI), there was this messenger that costs $1,395 in the US and it’s being sold for P95,000 ($2,290). Don’t even get me started on Bottega.
    Let’s just go to HK, stay at the Pen and shop there. All in all, it’s going to be cheaper.

  11. HOLY CRAP!
    Not only you’re paying retail, you’re also paying DOUBLE! I wonder how they justify their pricing. Is it the exchange rate?
    At $895 retail, that should be P36,695 at P41 exchange rate. Wait until that bag goes on sale at eluxury in a few weeks and you will probably get it cheaper.
    Charging twice that amount is robbery in broad daylight.

  12. Oh Honey that’s why I NEVER shop for luxury goods in Manila. The markups are outrageous. Don’t fret! Just fly to Hong Kong. Stay Fabulous.

  13. The only people who buy branded items in Manila are prostitutes, mistresses or Vicky Belo. The fashion flock go to HK or Singapore or stateside to shop kasi nga it’s cheaper.

  14. I totally get your problem! I went to a newly opened MJ store in Beijing hoping to see his men’s collection but i was soo naive thinking that they’d sell clothes at all! Freakin bags for the chinese ladies thts all!
    At least the Marc By MJ store is ok though totally overpriced like the Manila retailers I guess..

  15. gorgeous

    yeouch…i work in rustan
    it’s good to hear comments like these though
    maybe i’ll inform ATH aka mr huang
    …if i have the guts haha
    true true…even though luxury stores seem always empty, one transaction is enough to feed families…
    but imagine the Phil without ssi/rustans
    how awful…wouldn’t you agree?

  16. fashio'n apprentice

    Maybe you could lobby some more variation and update the collection here to MJ himself. Even if the mark-ups are astronomical, at least the selections would be oh so faaaabulous and would be the definition of eye-candy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *