Some £40,000 worth of designer Marc Jacobs' Spring/Summer 2012 collection has been stolen in London this week, according to the Metropolitan Police. It is unclear whether the theft was an opportunistic grab or a planned operation.
Thieves managed to make off with clothes, bags and shoes, all of which were much-coveted samples of next year's collection.
Jacobs was due to unveil his eagerly anticipated work to fashion press on Friday, but the world-renowned couturier was forced to cancel his press day as he no longer had any clothes to showcase.
The collection consisted of drop-waist skirts, cellophane cocktail dresses and tinsel fabrics, which Jacobs described as having the 'feel of a Southern dance hall' in September.
As yet there is no clear detail as to how such a quantity of clothing was stolen, but it is feared that the designer has been the target of counterfeiters. The clothing samples themselves would be hard to sell on without rousing suspicion.
The theft, according to a police spokesman, occurred "in the Mount Street area" of London in upmarket Mayfair, near the Marc Jacobs boutique. It is thought that they were stolen from the courier van parked outside, when the clothing arrived from Paris.
Police have given no indication that they know where the garments might be.
Marc Jacobs' PR team tweeted "Thank you for all your concern about our stolen #SS12 collection. Onward, upward".