For stndrd Style we usually break down a celebrity who’s style is on the right track but this time we wanted to do something different. For this episode of stndrd Style we wanted to highlight a person who is responsible for a lot of the celebrities and athletes styles that we admire and appreciate today. That guy is Marcus Paul. Marcus has worked with a long list of clients that includes Pusha T, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and even Jay Z. Marcus is exceptional at picking pieces that highlight his clients personality, taste and comfort while furthermore gaining their trust which is important when you’re in an image driven business. Besides getting LeBron ready for his GQ shoots, Marcus also has his hands in design and did a collaboration with NYC-based brand XXBC on some limited high-end sweatshirts that came in a specially designed box that looks just as lavish as the sweatshirts. Marcus is also working with Pusha T for the launch of his Black Friday sneaker release with Adidas that has the internet buzzing with excitement. We met with Marcus in Soho as he took us around the area and talked with us about what it was like growing up in the city, his style & influence and what inspired him to get in the industry.
What was your experience growing up in NY? Can you recall any bizarre memories that stuck with you growing up?
Growing up in NY was exciting. NY continues to be a cultural melting pot combined with a fast paced environment and that makes the city exhilarating. The city was more dangerous when I was growing up. Times Square was not the Disneyland it is now. It was hustlers, pimps and prostitutes that spawned the street style of NY. The style was fresh, edgy and arrogant. I remember when my older brother would take me to 42nd Street to watch double features and being in awe of my surroundings.
Can you describe the moment or event that made you want to explore and pursue fashion for a living?
I can not really say it was an exact moment or event. Fashion and style were embedded in me from my parents. My mom was a seamstress and she always took pride in how she dressed me and my brothers growing up. I always liked how being dressed up made me feel and the compliments I received. I started to learn how to make clothes and started making t-shirts, cut and sew dress shirts and scarves. I was immersed in the fashion culture when I modeled for a couple of years in Italy. I later studied interior design and worked in the industry for 10 years. Years later, I began my career as wardrobe stylist and creative consultant.
When it comes to your resume you have done style jobs for Jay Z, Big Sean, Pusha T and LeBron James. In your opinion what sets you a apart from other stylists and what keeps these stars coming back to you for fashion guidance?
Passion. I am constantly looking for what is new, now and next in the industry. I do not like to follow trends. I like to curate a look that reflects my clients personality and comfort level. I respect the fashion industry and have created great relationships with designers, fashion houses, commercial teams and bloggers.
Besides styling you also have your hands in design. What’s your approach when it comes to creating design projects compared to styling? And what do you enjoy more?
Design projects and styling have many similarities in terms of the process. It starts with the idea and figuring out if it is possible. You create sample designs or looks. You identify the kinks and re-work it until you get the desired result.
If you have to choose one person’s style you admire who would it be and why?
Haider Ackerman is a master at layering pieces and draping. He exudes a sense of relaxed and effortless elegance that I admire.
On a beautiful fall afternoon in NY what would you recommend for the perfect outfit for the season?
The perfect fall outfit will always include layers and accessories—a beanie, an overcoat with a brooch, a sweater with a tucked scarf, jeans or trousers and a nice pair of trainers or brogues.
Since the holiday season is steadily approaching do you have any fashion projects we should be on the look-out for?
I have some projects in the works but they will not be revealed until 2016.
What advice would you give anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Study the arts, research, travel and develop friendships in different countries. Do not limit yourself, the world is yours.
Photography by Brian Freeman