Vintage Sailing Coat MA AW12 008 Colour: Ecru With me being a somewhat novice in terms of knowing what goes into fashion design, Neil explains to me that seasonal inspiration isn’t the primary driving force to his work but the knowledge of needs to be improved. “Its not a seasonal kind of thing, the concept of my design philosophy is always improving on the current models. So a lot of these styles have been carried on for many years but I update and innovate the styles we have already got each season. There are definite references to classic tailoring and classic silhouettes, whether that is in a military silhouette, detailing or whatever it might be. I tend to develop
Constructed from heavyweight bees wax cotton Hood with fold away peak Zip & snap closure front storm flap Button closure front pockets Leather welted zip pocket Adjustable hood and waist with leather stoppers Bias bound interior seams
When meeting Marshall artist designer Neil Maloney during the Autumn/Winter 2012 press day in London, he talks to me about the brand.
on what I have already done as opposed to ‘This is the look for winter, this is the look for summer’. A constant evolution of the brand is the core idea. “It used to be, back in the day; the retailers were like ‘what is the concept this season?’ and if it was the same as last season they were not interested. We’ve done the wool blazer again and we would tell them how we have improved it, that the content of
wool is higher, the hand touch is much nicer, look at the lining along with this, this and this. They were never interested. They were like ‘well we had that last season, show me something new’. Now their attitude is ‘that worked for me. I know that works for my customer, I know my customer wants that.’ So we show them the development of it and it is just about the continual progression of the story.”
Vintage M–65 MA AW12 007 Colour: Gold Yellow Constructed from bees wax cotton and waterproof chambray Bias bound interior seams Packable hood with waxed cotton pull cord Zip & snap closure front storm flap Large pouch pockets at chest Flap closure welt pockets at lower front Adjustable hood and waist with leather stoppers
“This has probably been the most popular one. This is based on a vintage army issue M65. I think with lads, if you present them with a silhouette that works and that they are used to and familiar with, it’s not so hard. So if you present a lad with something they already understand with a silhouette; everyone knows what an M65 jacket looks like, you can push the fabrications a little bit further by doing that or you could take a really classic silhouette like a raincoat and do something a bit more interesting with the fabrication. If you were going to do something more progressive then you tend to do it in something that’s heavily detailed, you would do it in a really safe fabrication. With me personally, if I do really innovative silhouettes and then do a mad fabrication, you just think it’s blatantly out there and it’s not really my thing.” Despite being relatively young, he speaks about his foray into the industry from where he started and how Marshall Artist is run. “I started out in around 1998 as an art director in for a fairly cool studio, and gradually just worked for big brands Levis, Nike. MTV etc. That was more my background and looking at things from a branding perspective. Self taught in fashion; started out really
Tailored Golf Blazer MA AW12 013 Colour: Olive
Button Up Cardigan MA AW12 047 Colour: Navy
Marshall Artist is a representation of British Men’s Fashion and referring to the army affiliated M65, he talks about catering to men’s fashion and how he prefers to do things.
small just doing bits and pieces, little projects and it eventually has grown into a partnership that I have with the co-owner of this brand who is based in Vietnam. He gets to play around at the factory that manufactures all this stuff. It was about four years ago we decided to partner on this brand and it is where it is today. That’s it in a nutshell. “For this brand I look at everything from creating, the photography, the art directions and styling, everything - the brand as a whole, which means instead of having 15 different people for 15 different uses, its just me controlling and creating, It seems to work and it is cost effective because it saves me from hiring design agencies “We have people in the factory who work on the product side of things but essentially the brand is driven by me. But again with all the branding and those ideas, I just move it on every season, keep altering, and keep tampering with the idea. It sounds easy but its hard work.” There are not too many shops that sell MA in the capital; do you have plans for a flagship store in London?
THE A/W12 COLLECTION REVIEW Arguably the most trendily suave of menswear at the moment, it looks like this season will bring Marshall Artist to the forefront of British fashion.
Tailored Hiking Waistcoat MA AW12 023 Colour: Light Chambray
Generally I stay out of that side of the business, so I hire people who know what they are doing. They tend to work on the sales, distributing, marketing and the press. I think there are about 100 stockists in the UK and about 300 globally. We are opening two stores in South Korea, we got two stores in Shanghai, a store in Saigon, and around 150 stockists in America now. It’s getting out there, with stockists also in Japan, Scandinavia and Russia. “We had a strategy of looking up the best 30 independent retailers in the country and spreading it from there. In London there are not many independent retailers, when you go up north there are a lot more independents such as Flannels Fashion who really represent the brand well. But again it’s getting there, we’re not trying to take over the world, but with the right people and at the right times we can keep moving forward.”
Long Sleeved Pocket Polo Shirt MA AW12 063 Colour: Steel Blue
Tailored Walking Trouser MA AW12 031 Colour: Dark Chambray
Long Sleeved Pocket Polo Shirt
Fig.1 ‘Long Sleeved Pocket Polo Shirt’ shown in Burgundy
MA AW12 063
Fig.2 ‘Long Sleeved Pocket Polo Shirt’ shown in Steel Blue
Cotton waffle polo shirt Chambray welt pocket and patch pocket at chest Leather branding at sleeve
Fig.3&4 ‘Long Sleeved Pocket Polo Shirt’ shown in Charcoal Colours available 1. Charcoal
Attention to detail and the audacious sense of creativity combine to provide a collection of garments completed with an eccentric British elegance. Forgive the oxymoron, Marshall Artist can be embraced into any stylist’s locker, so whether you are going for the eligible bachelor look or the alternative Shoreditch style, something will be applicable, along with most things inbetween including jackets for the stylish Everest climbers or the aspiring Ben Ainslie’s of the world. Using fabrics you may not have thought would work for you; they are implemented to create unique pieces from the bees wax cotton gillets, pin-stripe linen trousers to the corduroy mountain shirts. My favourite piece is the vintage sailing coat and I am also impressed with the long sleeve pocket polo shirt. Although not in the same price bracket as the Margiela’s and McQueen’s, Marshall Artist represents the same awe factor. So without having the price tags that will have you seriously contemplating whether to pay your rent/mortgage or resorting to eating porridge for a month, the brand entertains a stylish value-for-money solution.