If you google designer Marc Ross one of the top results reads “sex and the city designer Marc Ross…” read further and you will discover that this talented Scottish designer literally had a hand in creating the Westwood gown that Carrie wore when she very nearly married Big. Impressive as this may be Marc’s career should be defined by his talent as a designer whose passion and commitment can be viewed not only through his creations but also through his words. Marc’s potential has been recognised with a nomination for Scottish Young Designer of the year at this years Scottish Fashion Awards on 15 June. Despite a hectic schedule leading up to the awards the man himself managed to squeeze in this wee interview. Marc’s enthusiasm and drive is such that I could not bear to edit his words in any way read on and I am sure you will understand why…
The evolution of the Marc Ross label?
I have always had an interest in fashion from a young age I come from a retail background between the ages of 10 and 17 I worked with my mum selling clothes at Candleriggs market in Glasgow . I would spend all of my summer holiday in our warehouse printing and embroidering t-shirts and sweatshirts. At this time there was also a manufacturing business in the warehouse therefore I would watch everything that was going on and this is where I got my first experience of pattern cutting. If I am honest, when I finished school I went to university to do Stockbroking it didn’t take me long to realise that it was not for me, therefore I left and studied at Cardonald College. I enrolled on the fashion design and garment technology course which for me has the be the best course to start with. The staff and the course really instilled a way of working in me and made me realise the importance of pattern cutting. This really has stuck with me and I am a firm believer that in order to create amazing garments, one has to have an understanding of how the garment is produced. When I am designing and sketching garments, I invision how the garment looks in 3D inside and out and transfer this back to the design. In many ways I have the pattern in my head already.
In 2007 I had a collection in Glasgow Fashion Week before moving to Manchester to study fashion as I got direct entry into my final year. On completion of this I interned with Vivienne Westwood and this is really where my pattern cutting skills were allowed to shine. I was fortunate enough to learn from the best in the industry, invaluable experience I now take forward as a designer. I then went onto work with a company called Copper and Stollbrand, designing and pattern cutting for companies such as Burberry, Jaeger, Anya Hindmarch and Barbour. During this time I was again fortunate enough to design and make garments for various high profile celebrities from music, tv and modeling both in the UK and US.
Inspiration for me comes in so many forms. I am inspired with everyday life and architecture and people in general. I am the person who carries a camera with me everywhere I go and love to capture my inspiration through imagery. Fashion allows you as a designer to explore and research areas or subjects that people don’t always feel comfortable speaking about, but thats the beauty of it. To be in a position to turn something from a negative state into something so positive through fashion. I really get inspired with designers such as Westwood and McQueen. I embrace the idea of loving who you are as a person because thats what makes us so special. These designers inspire me through there work ethos of thinking outside the box and really pushing the boundaries with both design and the technical side of creating garments.
The “Marc Ross” woman?
The Marc Ross women is someone that strong, independent and knows what she wants in life. She is a woman who is interested in fashion and she dresses to look important and capture her audience. It is not just a brand but more a way of life. Its being able to be who you want and having the belief that you can wear what you want as anything goes and she definitely buys into this belief. She is someone who is not afraid to express herself or individuality infact embraces it.
Things at the moment are daunting and crazy. I never expected to be nominated for this award but I Iove the fact that I am. I am up against some awesome young designers who I am sure will all go on to do amazing things. I have been home in Scotland for less than a year and its such a honor to get recognised for something that you love and enjoy doing. The fashion awards are definitely a great platform and way of exposure and I am thankful for this. My main focus at the moment is expanding and creating new pieces for the collection, a few which will be seen on the night. I have already designed my next collection therefore I am currently working on that. I am also fortunate enough to be one of the participants for Cultural Enterprise Starter for 6 program which gives creatives the chance to pitch for funding for there business. I have just finished my last session with the guys and I am currently working on my pitch which takes place the beginning of next month therefore a big focus is going on that at the moment. I am also working on a dress for Starbucks which involves me creating a dress made of coffee beans. It is for a charity project that they are doing. In addition to this I am creating a one off t-shirt design for the Nordoff Robbins charity which will go on sale at Silverburn in Glasgow in the next couple of months. I am also working on a proposal for a celebrity a the moment designing outlandish avant garde pieces that have the wow factor, so I am really buzzing about that.
For the future, I would love to keep designing. I really want to take my label to a level where I can compete with other established designers such as the designers that inspire me. I want to grow and develop the Marc Ross brand and get as many stockists as possible. In addition to this I am hoping to show at Fashion Week. My intentions are to also launch a menswear range when I feel the time is right. I will be wearing one of my own menswear pieces at the awards. I really want to focus on the womenswear at the moment and as the brand grows branch into menswear as this is an area that I love.