You’ve seen his underwear (maybe you’re wearing some right now), you’ve seen his costumes (think Iggy from the EMAs, Fergie at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Britney Spears’ angel costume for her Vegas show, and Katy Perry’s cupcake bra) and you’ve seen the web-series in which he’s featured for the passion and excitement that go into executing a Marco Marco runway show.
Based in Los Angeles, Marco Morante of Marco Marco is one of the hottest designers today. His runway shows have become known for something more than just over the top styles, bright colors, and their bawdiness in featuring adult film stars as models. His runways have been inclusive and have in our opinion really pushed the industry to think in new ways. Marco Marco shows have featured models of different races and ethnicities, different body types, and different gender identities.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Marco to do a little debrief on what he’s learned and experienced throughout the process of creating so many must-be-at shows.
Congratulations on all your successes to date! You seem so very humble and drama free. How do you handle the inevitable dramas and stresses that come with the work you do and the industry you work in?
LOL thanks! Honestly, there is drama and stress in every industry, in everyone’s life. Dealing with it gracefully is simply a hallmark of understanding your responsibilities, breathing through the difficult moments, and ultimately doing your best to complete whatever task is in front of you.
You’ve shared in other interviews that you were first interested in having your friends be your runway models. Five shows later, people must be knocking down the doors to be in your shows. How do you choose your runway models these days?
It’s true! We get SO many requests from people all around the world who are interested in modeling every day. I think it’s amazing. Something about our show has empowered all of these people to shuck the preconceived notions about what it is to be a model and I think that is amazing. As far as how my team and I go about casting, it’s the same as it was during our first show. I’m looking at the people that I see around me that I find singular and inspiring. As the shows evolve, so does my focus, but ultimately I’m looking for unique people with a palpable sense of confidence. To me that’s what beauty and fashion is all about.
You call yourself a costume designer, but what impact do you feel you’re making on the fashion industry with your fabulously inclusive and over the top runways shows?
I honestly don’t know LOL. I never really expected any of this to take off the way that it did, and the show is really more like a family reunion at this point more than anything else. Fashion is so ephemeral, but people aren’t. I feel like the people I work with on these performances will be with me for the rest of my life, and I am honestly more focused on doing them justice than I am making a statement aesthetically. Hopefully, whatever it is I’m doing lands on someone’s lap and inspires them to create and explore in their own way.
And are you still awaiting a response from Anna Wintour to your open letter to her?
I mean! It’s been two years and I check my mailbox every morning to no avail. I dunno, I thought we were closer than that.
What have you learned from your runway shows about what works and what doesn’t?
I think when I look back on the shows, the one thing that always gets me is noticing the places where I didn’t go all in, where I held back, where I tried to edit myself. I always look at those missed opportunities and wanna punch myself in the head.
What has been the most memorable moment putting together your shows?
I think vicky vox walking out, my first model in my first show, throwing a lit cigarette into the audience and tearing off her dress and watching the audience respond the way they did. I honestly didn’t know what to expect or how it would be received. She is such a powerhouse personality and such a beautiful person. She was actually the inspiration to do the shows the way I do. The whole audience flipped. They went from golf claps to standing on their chairs. It was like being in a movie. Magical and irreplaceable
You’re from LA and you have a lot of family in LA. When planning your first New York City show you learned you have a lot of family here too. What does family mean to you?
It’s just the most inspiring thing I’ve ever encountered. To walk into a new city and met people that you feel like you’ve always known for the first time. Inexplicable.
To what do you attribute your success?
That’s a hard one… I still feel like I’m grasping for it. But whatever accolades I’ve received, I’ve received completely due to the incredible support system I have. My business partner, Chris is a rock, and my team is just the greatest. I love them all so much and they are the only reason I’m able to create anything of any relevance.
What’s in store for 2017?
I just hope to continue improving the company and the clothing, add new products, make a better show, maybe make it to yoga once or twice.
We’ve learned to expect the unexpected with Marco Marco so we’re dying to know your answer to our signature question, “What is something you have done that would be considered edgy, unconventional, or tight-lipped?”
I’m edgy on accident. Cut out group sex and acid and I’m pretty square. Unconventional…I guess doing these fashion shows with all of these extravagant pieces on the women and I don’t sell any of them lol. I just like to make em, and generally I just give them to the models…Not the best business move, I know…but it moves me so I keep doing it.