The Nolcha Fashion Week: New York globetrotting team had the opportunity to catch up with accessories designer Marlin Jones, to discuss what was next for his brand Taylord Blu and what 2015 has in-store.
TaylordBlu Clothing Brand was born out of Marlin’s love of vintage old Hollywood style. His quest as a designer has always been to redefine the way men dress. Marlin’s vision is to make a contribution to fashion just as Ralph Lauren has made to “redefining the American style” and how men dress.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A FASHION DESIGNER You’ve heard that saying that I never chose to be a fashion designer, fashion design chose me. Well this is so true in my case. I often reflect on my style as a kid and just simply nod my head with understanding, that fashion is a part of who I am. We all have abilities that are just of a natural order of who we are, and I just so happen to be great at putting things together; so being a fashion designer has always been who I was, even before creating my own line.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND? I would describe my brand as Vintage Hollywood with a modern flare to it, adding color, contrast, and depth to a market that needed revitalization of men’s neckwear and accessories. This was the idea behind the birth of the TaylordBlu collection.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE BEING IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY? There are many challenges that I have encountered since starting my own clothing line; such as marketing/advertising, capital, competition, and designs of all of things that affect many start-up clothing lines from day one. My biggest would definitely be advertisement and marketing, only because I come from a small Midwest town in Ohio, with no credit to fashion trends. This is a small blue collar town in which fashion is obsolete. So designing clothing that many see on television, magazines, and fliers must connect with the area in which you reside. The biggest challenge for me has been connecting with my target audience of young corporate professionals. Since the economy is making a slow recovery and fewer jobs are being created, many choose to spend their hard earned money in areas where they will see the most benefit to them and their families. So my abilities to be somewhat successful in my area has been difficult at best, but through social media like Instagram, Facebook, and twitter just to name a few, we now can market more streamline straight to the consumer without all the pricey advertisement needed by the major brands in the industry. So I have to constantly show the consumer through these forums that my brand is just as competitive and a quality product in comparison to the major labels in order to compete with dollars and cents; but I am making this work for me with no overhead I can now concentrate on new designs and capital versus marketing and advertisement.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION FROM WHEN CREATING YOUR NEW COLLECTIONS? My inspiration comes from many things…my travels to beautiful places where architecture dominates the skyline, nature, and from the old movies of Hollywood dating back to the silent movie era to the bustling streets and sounds of New York City. I love color, so nature is the catalyst for invoking color and patterns into my designs. Color can take an ordinary outfit, and make you look like a million dollars, so I find that to be a very important necessity when designing. Next would be patterns… from plaids to stripes, from paisley to floral designs, from simple to bold can be the defining aesthetic that makes your brand stand out from the rest. So thinking outside the box is essential for survival in this industry, and that I am good at.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE? Wow…..Great question, well I would have to say ….Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Oscar De La Renta, and Rudolph Valentino just to name a few. They have revolutionized the man’s suit and accessories to the next level. I love the fitted European influences, meticulous aesthetics, and attention to detail in their designs. They truly are the litmus standard for the modern man of the past, today, and the future. My hope is that my brand, TaylordBlu, will at some point be referenced by those that see fashion as a cornerstone rather than a trend as it relates to men’s neckwear and accessories. My philosophy is simple….We are committed to redefining how men dress.
WHAT DOES 2015 HOLD FOR THE BRAND? As a result of attending Nolcha Fashion Week: New York Fall/Winter 2015. The feedback has been incredible! It was just the exposure I needed to propel me into a broader market, and gave me the opportunity to network with those in the fashion industry, and has allowed me to collaborate with many other brands that are already established in the market. So my outlook beyond 2015 looks promising! My quest is too make TaylordBlu more than just a local brand, but to now bringing it more mainstream with the ability to reach my target audience and beyond.
My quest as a designer has always been to redefine how men dress. The TaylordBlu brand has been built around meticulous aesthetics, quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, while staying competitive and accessible. Through my designs, I want to invite people to experience my dream of making fashion a lifestyle. My goal as a designer is a simple one, based on the belief that fashion is just another way in which we express our personality to the world. “A successful man will always dress in ways that reflect his own individual style,” that’s why my tag line is “Custom made ~ individually inspired” Welcome to my world…..Marlin Jones
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