The Definition of “Style Aficionado”
From Top Athletes To Award Winning Recording Artist
To say fashion is a passion for Marcus Paul would be a huge understatement. It’s more then a career it’s literally his life. Marcus keeps up with fashion with the same intensity people keep up with fantasy football, which is pretty extreme. Being a veteran in the fashion industry Marcus Paul has worked and styled athletes and entertainers from Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Big Sean, Pusha T to Jay-Z to name a few. To have a resume that’s extensive, you better believe he’s a stylist that has a vision where fashion is going next. We had the opportunity to meet with Marcus in Soho at Carson Street Clothiers (which is an impressive men’s showroom) to grab lunch and discuss his opinion on the state of fashion, the impact of street-wear and how the internet is tainting the fashion industry. To hear his thoughts check-out the interview.
What do you consider the most important style piece when it comes to picking out your outfit?
Marcus Paul: That really depends on the season.
Let’s say fall since that’s the current season
Marcus Paul: I would say jacket and then the shoes. Everything else is in between. Everybody has their favorite pairs of jeans right? But if your jacket speaks and shoes also it completes the outfit.
How do you feel about the state of fashion here in NY? Is still about individualism or just fashion clones?
Marcus Paul: It’s still about individuality, but I feel like with NY people are more on the comfort level. One is so active in daily life that even if women want to get dressed up they might not want to wear silhouettes all day. So I feel like fashion has changed it’s a little more casual now than it’s ever been. And I don’t know if I really like that. There’s obviously influence with sportswear that’s where it’s at right now. You have fashion designers making sportswear and you have luxury brands creating sweatshirts. It’s more of this relaxed thing, but I hope it turns around and back to people wanting to dress up because I think everything is too relaxed.
Well how do you feel about Adidas? Do you think the brand is trying to become a fashion house with their emphasis on luxury products?
Marcus Paul: It’s apparent that’s where their primary focus is in terms of their fashion statements they made as a company and investing in people like Pharrell, Nigo or Kanye who’s obviously their biggest investment. I mean the list goes on even someone who I work closely with and that’s Pusha T. He came out with a sneaker last year and another coming out on Black Friday so yea Adidas is definitely investing in the culture. Out of the entire sportswear brands, Adidas seems to be on top of the fashion aspect.
You travel frequently for fashion shows and events. How do you feel about fashion globally?
Marcus Paul: I feel like fashion is stronger in international markets as it’s always been. Paris is the hub for everything then you have Italy and, of course, London. It’s different. I use to travel to overseas years ago, I’m talking about over seven years ago and I use to always look at the women there. All of them would wear sneakers and everything else would be dressed up so that was like the culture and now that’s everywhere here in the states years later. So I always saw that and I always traveled that’s where I get my inspiration and then I end up see it in the market here so it works in a reverse kind of way.
They’re certain things in America that influence other countries. Denim really started here and now you have places like Japan that understand denim better than Americans, but it’s really American companies that they study. They can tell you “Oh this Levis was from 1901 because the ripples were made this way.” So they mastered jeans like Americans knowing all the details. But I appreciate it and that’s what makes the Japanese so great. If they are into something they are in it 1000%. And there’s a beauty in that.
Do you think there’s a lack of American Designers in the market?
Marcus Paul: Umm… I think street-wear really drives off American designers. And hip-hop is super influential putting it on a global scale and it’s like hip-hop and culture have set so many trends but I don’t think they monetized on it. You have these big brands taking elements from the streets and saying we going to add a $1000 price tag on that and we’re going to get it! So it’s that weird relationship between street wear and high fashion which one is influencing which? And the internet has messed a lot of that up.
So to really answer this question and take a few steps back, I always been traveling since I was younger and you use to be able to tell where someone was from like I could be in Paris look down the street and say “That person from NY” or “That person is from London” and that doesn’t exist anymore and the internet is the reason why. People see things from street-wear and take this element and now you can’t tell.
Photography: Brian Freeman