We sit down with Izabella, who has been with Marc Angelo for 10 years, and Gillian, who has been there for 8 years, to give us an insight into the Marc Angelo brand, the design ethos and to ask them just what inspires them.
What quote do you strive to live by?
Izabella: “Life is not about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself”.
Gillian: “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to require the most from you”.
What made you choose to work in the Fashion Industry?
Izabella: It’s always been fashion for me, I’ve lived fashion all my life! My parents owned a factory and I took it all in from a young age. I’ve always been fascinated with fabrics, texture, the colours, the shapes. I’ve had my own fashion businesses and the most rewarding thing for me is watching a customer fall in love with a garment I have constructed.
Gillian: I come from an artist background and I initially got involved with Fashion illustration which I love. The process of seeing a design evolve from paper to product is amazing. My grandmother was into tapestry weaving and that always intrigued me. I’ve always adored flicking through fashion magazines, eyeing up the catwalks and watching the fashion around me on the streets so it was a natural decision for me to work in fashion.
Who is your favourite Designer?
Izabella: Armani. It represents pure elegance, luxury. It exudes the confidence of the modern woman. It’s like if you mix up everything that I love about fashion and put it in a bowl. Voila, you have Armani. I never look at the designer themselves, I look at their creations.
Gillian: Christian Siriano. I love his designs. They are so inspirational in terms of colours and prints. I often look to him for inspiration for Marc Angelo.
(Christian Siriano, SS18)
What three words perfectly describe the woman that Marc Angelo designs for?
Izabella: Trendy, proud, confident.
Gillian: Elegant, self-assured, fun.
What is the design ethos at Marc Angelo?
Izabella: The way I see it is our lives are catwalks, you never know what the day will bring! The Marc Angelo woman wants to stand out at an event, but also to be comfortable, stylish, confident.
Gillian: We design for the everyday woman, we focus on real body shapes and designs that women are going to feel comfortable and confident in. I love to see what everyday women are wearing on the street and take it all in. Marc Angelo’s styles are to be lived in, but also to have fun in. So whilst we keep our most loved shapes in production, we love to try out new shapes, patterns and styles that our customers can have fun with.
What about the modern woman inspires you?
Izabella: She is a woman of the world. She’s global. She loves to get near other cultures, to see what’s going on in the world. She’s very smart. Open- minded.The modern woman takes her own life in her own hands, She fights for what she wants. She takes but she also gives. She is inspirational.
Gillian: She’s fearless. She’s a go-getter. She is a strong character that doesn’t give up. She is bold and confident in her choices, whatever they may be. The modern women juggles a lot in her life and doesn’t give up. She often has to make sacrifices but perseveres. That’s inspirational to me.
What Inspires your Design?
Izabella: For me, It all starts with the fabric. Once I see a fabric, I know it is the one. I love fabric markets and finding something special. I usually sit and I drape it over myself and think in my mind, that is the dress. I can imagine the Marc Angelo woman wearing it at an event, on a trip. That’s the fun part.
Gillian: I love to look to the streets. Especially the Street Style at Fashion weeks. I love seeing how people combine styles, create their own looks. I also love to read trend reports.
Your favourite last fashion moment?
Izabella: For me, it’s always the runaways. I can't choose a single moment. I look at the Runaway shows every day and I am always inspired.
Gillian: I loved Pyranka Chopra’s looks at the royal wedding. She had two looks and they were equally elegant. The gown she wore was Dior, it was gold and glittering, it stood out for me immediately. She almost upstaged the bride! She also wore a fitted lilac suit, that was gorgeous, it that was Vivienne Westwood. The look was finished off with pastel makeup and a Philip Treacy hat. She stole the show for me.
(Pyranka Chopra at Royal Wedding)
Tips for success for independent retailers and boutiques?
Izabella: Work harder than the next man. Give all of your energy and attention to your work and vision. Value your staff. Know your customer. Ask them questions, and you will get your answers.
GIllian: Get to know your customer inside out. What do they do in their spare time, what do they read, what excites them. This is a big focus for us and a strategy that has worked for us. Once you know who you are selling to, the hardest part is done. Build good relationships with your suppliers, you can work as a team to achieve your goals.
(Self Portraits, Left: Izabella, Right: Gillian)