Marlon Gobel is one of the most talented emerging designers in the menswear scene as of late. His name should sound familiar for a few reasons. Two of them being: he is the former Director of Operations for Thom Browne and the Assistant Creative Director for Michael Bastian. His namesake label may be fairly new (barely three years ago) and his aesthetic may be imaginative each season. However, well-tailored looks always ground his work and make him one of the most talked about names in menswear. We finally caught up with the menswear giant-in-the-making and talked about the MARLON GOBEL brand, Christian Louboutin, the Met Ball and more ...
The Fashion Law – Tell me a little bit about your brand, since business, now more than ever, is focused on branding.
Marlon Gobel – After 7 years of working with two established menswear brands, I started MARLON GOBEL with a very specific idea of what I wanted my brand to look like and who I thought a MARLON GOBEL man would be. The DNA of our brand has always remained the same; beautifully tailored clothing that looks and feels familiar, but has a uniqueness to it.
The Fashion Law – The two menswear brands you're referring to are Thom Browne and Michael Bastian. What were the biggest things you took away from working with them?
Marlon Gobel – I began my fashion career as Thom was starting his label. So, I was very fortunate to learn about all facets of the fashion industry while working alongside him. I paid close attention to what brought sucesses, and what didn’t work for an emerging brand. I was very drawn to his ability to weave art and clothing together.
The Fashion Law – We’ve talked about this in the past a little bit, but you did a highly anticipated collaboration with Christian Louboutin (his first menswear collaboration to date). How did that come about?
Marlon Gobel – Every season I include one women's look. So, for my S/S 2011 runway show, "Mr. America," Christian Louboutin was kind enough to let me borrow a pair of their shoes for my women's look. After the show Christian and I started a conversation about a possible all-men's runway show using his shoes exclusively. After 2 long design meetings and me sending my own fabrics off to Paris, a few months later for my A/W 2011 show, "The Secret Order," all my male models were walking the runway in MARLON GOBEL looks with Christian Louboutin shoes. It was a wonderful experience and the reaction to our working together was fantastic.
The Fashion Law – Your first collection was Fall 2010. How do you think your brand has changed since then?
Marlon Gobel – As I said before, I had a strong sense of the MARLON GOBEL brand's DNA from the start ... and it only gets stronger after every season. I'm more knowledgeable and confident in my ability to dress men. We have also gained a very diverse fan base from Mr. Hamish Bowles to our most recent styling of a pro surfer.
The Fashion Law – Any thoughts on the menswear that hit the Met Ball red carpet?
Marlon Gobel – I was disappointed watching the men arrive at the Met Gala this year, actually. Menswear does not have to be mundane or have to conform to a basic black or navy tuxedo, especially for this year's theme: Punk. MARLON GOBEL had many choices that would have been spot-on for the event, but it seems the only labels the men wore were the already established designers we see year after year. It appears the support for new, fresh talented designers is just not being cultivated enough.
The Fashion Law – What are you working on now?
Marlon Gobel – I'm already onto S/S 2014 and I'm really excited to show it off in September. We are hard at work on an online shop that is set to debut in the very near future! I also have a few things up my sleeve that I can't discuss yet, but The Fashion Law will be the first to know once I can ...
The Fashion Law – What are you obsessed with right now?
Marlon Gobel – I'm obsessed with changing men's idea of fashion, and how they should look and present themselves. I always say I want to make men feel special, not look like a spectacle. I love a wonderfully tailored, luxurious suit ... and I'm ready to show all men that there's more than just navy, black, and gray for them to choose from.