After being discovered in 2010, Marc Sebastian Faiella, who M Magazine describes as "a delicate type with electric eyes," has made a pretty steady rise in the modeling industry. He has walked for Balenciaga, Kenzo, Siki Im, J.W. Anderson, Lanvin (whose S/S 2013 show Marc opened and closed), and of course, Saint Laurent (twice), among others. Faiella (IMG, Ford Paris, Why Not, etc.) has graced the pages of WWD, 10 Men, and The Ones to Watch, and fronted Able Jeans' Fall 2013 ad campaign. We caught up with the designer-turned-model (not the other way around), who talked to us about womenswear, Saint Laurent, what size he wears, and more ...
The Fashion Law - How old are you and you are from New York, right?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - Turning 23 on November 1st. Yep, born and raised in a suburban town called Holbrook on Long Island. Went to a very cliche high school where my graduating class had something like 700 kids. I didn't really spend much time there I was usually always going into NYC whenever I could during high school. My mom was always really supportive and understood I didn't like suburban life to much. She even let me cut school in high school to sneak into NYFW!
The Fashion Law - You were scouted in the summer of 2010 by stylist Daria Radlinski while you were working at Opening Ceremony, right?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - I started working at Opening Ceremony when I was about 18. I was just so excited to work at a store that stocked so many great designers. When Daria asked me to model for the web store, I was just thinking I'd get to wear all the clothes I couldn't afford all day. Shannon [Sinclair] was the first one to shoot me and she asked if I had ever thought about getting an agency and when I said no, she sent my pictures in to all her contacts at agencies and that's kind of when it started. I was a little hesitant because I was in school at the time and didn't want to have the stigma of model-turned-designer. So, it took a while before I actually started doing it
The Fashion Law - Prior to that point did you think you were “model material”?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - Hmm, no not really. I was always on the other side of it. So, I never really thought the camera would be pointed at me one day. I used to love assisting on shoots and dressing shows. It was really exciting to me. I still always try to help when I can if things get crazy! I love a good steaming/quick change moment.
The Fashion Law - How do you think you are different from other models?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - Well, I think each model is very different from the next, but with me I'd have to say its the fact that I really enjoy getting to work with all these people that I've admired for years. The money also all goes towards to my student loans (kill me, thanks America!). So, getting to work behind the scenes with these extremely talented people is the best kind of work experience for me.
The Fashion Law - You studied design at Parsons. Any plans for a womenswear collection in the near future?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - I started actually at FIT and studied abroad in Florence at Polimoda during my time there. After getting my AAS, I decided to switch to Parsons. I just got my Bachelors this past May. I presented a mini collection as my thesis and almost died because of it. I think everyone thinks "fashion school" must be extremely easy but what they don't realize is that we have CRAZY amounts of work. All nighters around 3-4 nights a week and no outside life. The last week before I presented my collection [some of which is picture directly below], I had been up 70 hours finishing up the collection when I collapsed in the workroom! It was intense, but now looking back, it was truly the best experience I could have asked for. No definite plans for a full collection right now. I am applying to some design competitions though. I don't want to present anything until I can make I perfect. With the branding, fit, fabrication, image. It's not worth it unless its perfect, you know?
The Fashion Law - I want to know about your experience with Saint Laurent.
Marc Sebastian Faiella - I've walked F/W 2013 and S/S 2014 exclusively in Paris for Saint Laurent. I was really excited because F/W was [Hedi's] first men's show and there was a lot of excitement in the air since he had completely rebranded the house. All the boys work with Hedi very closely. So, I've spent loads of time with the Saint Laurent team. Hedi takes a lot of time fitting each boy because he likes to really get to know them. It's really great actually because every time I have a fitting I really feel like the outfit that I wear was chosen just for me because of who I am, not because of how I look. He really has an extraordinary talent for all the little details. He will not let anything be seen until every single minuscule detail is thought of. I feel really lucky and very grateful that I was able to work with the man who changed menswear for the better part of a decade. It was defiantly a highlight of my modeling experience.
The Fashion Law - Hedi notoriously casts very, very thin boys. What size are you?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - Haha! I'm really small probably around a 27 or 28 in jeans. Not by choice though! All of my friends can testify to how much I eat. I just can't gain weight. Hard life, I know.
The Fashion Law - How do you think that knowing fashion (likely knowing it A LOT more than the vast majority of the other guys) has made your career and your experience different?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - I've been interested in fashion since I was around 10 or 11. So, meeting all of the people that I had learned about is amazing for me. I feel so lucky all the time. Sometimes though I will get super nervous if its someone who I really love. I remember meeting Joe Mckenna for the first time and calling my agency and thanking them profusely for signing me and letting me meet him. I'm lucky because my mother agency, Ford Paris, really supports me and my desire to progress into fashion after modeling. They've been the greatest to me. They always laugh so hard when I make a big deal of meeting someone I truly idolize. I don't think they have many boys like that, haha.
The Fashion Law - What designers do you admire?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - Ahhh, such a hard question. It's clear I admire Hedi a lot and really love what he's doing for Saint Laurent menswear. The clothing is so amazing up close and the branding is just so perfect. I also really love a lot of the designers coming from London, including Christopher Kane. His F/W 2011 collection changed my life essentially. There's really great new designers from there as well including Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson and Christopher Shannon. My favorite men's designer would have to be Raf Simons or Lucas Ossendrijver at Lanvin. They always can mix concept with amazing construction and yet, it turns out to be extremely wearable and practical for their customer. Guillame Henry at Carven, Phoebe Philo at Celine, Stella McCartney, as well.
The Fashion Law - What are you obsessed with right now?
Marc Sebastian Faiella - Crane machines, having meerkats as pets and Prada womenswear Spring/Summer 2014.