Since launching his runaway hit blog One Dapper Street only five years ago, menswear tastemaker extraordinaire Marcel Floruss has consistently redefined what it means to be a “blogger.” His next act? Designer.
Although Floruss has dabbled with design (he recently launched a footwear company, Ankari Floruss, with a friend), the Marcel Floruss x Designow collection marks the 25-year-old’s first foray into fashion design. For fans of Floruss who’ve long marvelled at his ability to always look impeccable despite a gruelling travel schedule, it’s as easy as our three-piece capsule.
Floruss recently spoke to Designow about the process, his inpirations and a love for things utilitarian:
DN: Tell us about your collection for Designow.
MF: Basically its really a small capsule collection. It’s one look: a cargo pant, a vest, and somewhat of a hybrid between a denim jacket and a blazer. So it’s three pieces and the pants and vest come in three colors, and the jacket in two.
DN: And is this the first time you’ve designed clothing?
MF: Yes. I have my own footwear company, but clothing it was a first.
DN: What is the name of your footwear company?
MF: It’s called Ankari Floruss. I’m doing this together with my friend and other influencer Moti Ankari.
DN: So what was the biggest challenge? How did you go about creating the capsule?
MF: It was fairly easy. I think fashion becomes really difficult once you have to repeat collections and start coming up with new things. But the first thing was fairly easy, because I knew—for example, the vest—was a very straightforward thing for me, because I honestly have a hard time finding a company that makes good vests in couple of basic colors, that fit while I’m at work and are somewhat casual. So I knew exactly what I wanted. But then I didn’t just want to design a vest, and I kind of decided to go with a look from there. It honestly just kind of fell into place fairly easy for me with this one. Same with the cargo pant, I don’t see too many companies that have the fit down, down to a T. And the colors, and the fabrics. The jacket is the only thing where I’m being a little bit more risky, where I’m trying something new, where I’m trying to actually design more than product develop, I think.
DN: What fabrics are you using? The color scheme?
MF: So the color schemes are fairly—it’s going to be a khaki, an olive, and a navy for both the pants and the vest. And it’s going to be just the khaki and the navy for the jacket. So no olive jacket. It’s all cotton, all stretch cotton. They’re super flexible, it’s slim, very European. I’m playing with a lot of tailored details. There’s buckles on the pants, there’s buckles on the back of the jacket as well as the back of the vest. Patch pockets, that kind of play with the cargo pockets. Very utilitarian, very Italian, very classic with a twist, I’d say.
DN: Very Italian, you said?
MF: Yeah in terms of the fit, and in terms of the look that’s created when you wear all things together. It reminds me, personally, of what I think when I think Italian, Italian style. Like suited but…you take the edge off, you make it more casual. You make it more relaxed.
DN: Have you spent a lot of time in Italy?
MF: Yeah, my stepfather is half-Italian. Growing up, we went there pretty much every vacation. In his parent’s village we have a house. It’s a super small village of 500 people, so super Italian. Like everything you think of, very charming. Tiny little streets, old houses. Old ladies, old lovely ladies that talk to you in Italian even though you don’t understand a word as a kid.
DN: And you mentioned it being super utilitarian. You’re obviously on the road a lot. Is that something you look for in your personal wardrobe and for travel? Are you a light packer? I don’t imagine you are but who knows.
MF: I’m utilitarian only for the look. We even talked about the fact that there’s cargo pockets here, patch pockets there. I am pretty much always traveling with a handbag. So I don’t make use of any of those pockets. It’s more the utilitarian vibe and the look. Not so much about the actual utility it offers.
DN: What is something you never leave home without? Or say if you landed somewhere and your luggage is lost. What would be like the first item you bought? Like a go-to look.
MF: My go-to look. If I had to choose a go-to look. Maybe a blazer, a white t-shirt or a white shirt. Probably both, and wear the t-shirt underneath the shirt, so I could take it off if I wanted to. A pair of gray slacks and currently still white sneakers, I think they’re the most versatile in any environment. Plus, the most comfortable.
DN: As far as the process, how many samples did you have produced? Did you have to go back and forth a lot? Or was it pretty much a smooth process?
MF: We just did a second round of sampling. So the first samples were really close. And then the second set—the fit meeting—I actually couldn’t even be there, it was a FaceTime meeting because I was traveling and we were on a little bit of time pressure. But Designow has made it super easy for me, especially with my schedule right now. That we even can make it happen—like if I had to be there for everything, I could not have been on probably 90% of the trips I’ve taken this year so far. So they’re super flexible. I really think Designow is such a great opportunity for small designers that have so much talent, and not nearly enough resources or contacts to make anything happen in the near future. And I think they’re a great partner to start that with because they really take you by your hand and guide you through the entire process. So I’m excited to be working with them, I’m excited to help promote Designow and I really hope the entire website and the entire concept turns into something much bigger.