Marques Emmanuel, self described fashion superhero & creative astronaut, recently wore the clothes of this years graduating class atop the roof of The Truman Brewery.
Having collaborated on a shoot with Urban Outfitters, and co-directed the visual performance The Revolution by musician King Kay, Marques is one to watch in London based creative industries. Starting out as a model, Marques has extended his reach to include styling, directing and social media influencer.
We caught up with the UK based creative to find out why social media works as a great source of inspiration, using your experiences to inform your personal style, and why having an opinion is important.
What maDe you want to be involved in Graduate Fashion Week?
For me its about the fashion. I’ve always loved fashion in my life and being involved in a campaign like this it allows me to network and meet creatives similar to myself and put my own work out there. Being a creative in today's society means you have such a voice you have to use in our own unique way.
Marques wears Meliqua Jones from UCA Epsom and Takato Wako from Nottingham Trent University
Fashion and politics always work together not necessarily harmoniously! People often use fashion to express their views. Is that something that you do and how do you feel about that relationship?
I mean for me it about finding the balance isn’t it and fashion for me is everyday life. If it’s a lifestyle for you, it becomes natural and its always good to do things that come naturally to you. Things shouldn’t be forced, what you wear or who you are and your identity, you know its about and your identity in the first place and that comes from experience as well. It comes from finding you and growing isn’t it?
How do you stay authentic on social media and true to yourself?
How I see it is, I use social media as inspiration. You can use it to showcase your work, like if you choose to use it as inspiration and you decide to block out the negative sides of using social media- of course it depends on who the individual is. I think it also depends on what you use social media for. I go on social media using it as inspiration, and I on a daily basis choose not to spend too much time on it because it can be time consuming and it can be somewhere you compare yourself to other creatives. That can sometimes be to a detriment to your own work. You know, if you do use it for inspiration its an actual blessing.
Its also a good tool to collaborate with other people, the amount of people that get jobs from social media!
For me its getting the opportunity to showcase your work and it’s a way of staying connected all the time. I received multiple emails from different brands daily who want to collaborate with me because my work is out there and it gives you the platform to do so. Its all about building a brand for yourself on social media and the branding side is so important now, you know, if we weren’t in a generation where there was no social media.
It would be so much harder, because you have to show people so in a way its diversifying who can more people to get involved in the industry and be more creative.
I think its really good to have opinions, negative or positive, having an opinion is important. Take on board what someone has said because and I think for me the best advice you can get is to stay true to yourself and remain authentic because your individuality is what make you stand out, how you portray yourself as an individual is how you can showcase that. Put out your work and that’s what I feel is the best thing about being a creative and using social media for that purpose.
What's your favourite thing about the London fashion scene?
I think fashion in London has evolved so much. I studied advertising about 5 years ago and I remember thinking to myself am I going to be doing advertising or fashion? I think that fashion in London is bigger- its always been bigger. There so much more scope for people to showcase their work, not that everybody has style, style is a gift and sometimes people mistake style for piling so much on and I don’t believe in that. I do believe that London is the number one capital for fashion following closely by Paris but London obviously.
London is number one for me, there is so much inspiration.
When it comes to street style, which is so popular now and I believe that London is number one for that . I’ve been to New York and been to Paris but London genuinely stands out. There’s a buzz in the air and on the street when you see everyone dressed so cool and people are friendly about that as well - they wanna know what you’re wearing and where’s its from
What advice would you give to the students that are preparing to show at GFW18?
When it’s the last legs time you should always think about the end goal, just remember who you were when you started. Just remember what your end goal was and how close you are. I think as a fashion designer, someone who works in the fashion industry, I feel like when you’ve set that goal, there’s no stopping you. Don’t be discouraged by the late hours as well because the late hours are the ones your going to look back on. Its almost nostalgic for you and you’ll remember how much work you put in. I believe that hard work always pays off.
Interview & Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins