The world of fashion is ever changing, and for young designers, sometimes it’s too short lived. In a very demanding industry, fashion designer Marco Hall has remained strong for the last 20 years.
As a designer Marco Hall continues to awe and inspire his fashion following. Celebrities such as Rihanna, Natalie Cole, Erykah Badu, Sara Dash, and Vivica Fox have worn his designs. The New Jersey born and bred artist has showcased his designs in New York at Fashion Week and around the world. This has made him an industry leader, yet Hall is humble and grounded in his work.
Hall learned how to sew from watching his great-grandmother. He started to sew by hand. In elementary school home economics was mandatory, and that’s where he learned to sew a pair of pants. The rest is all self-taught. Hall said, “It’s all God.”
Hall’s fashion career began by creating his own image, and then dressing his female friends he says. His designs are inspired by many things; something someone said, something he sees, music, or walking down the street. When he sees a fabric, it will speak to him and “tell a story.” “I love making dresses and consider myself a dressmaker. If you want a dress, I’m your man.”
Hall loves the way a dress falls and moves on a woman
Stylists working with celebrities will come to him and request something special for an event, a performance, or the red carpet. Hall will look at their style and pull three or four choices from his repertoire. There are times that he designs for them completely off the cuff.
Speaking about the growing trend of being casual, Hall said, “We are too casual, everyone wants to be comfortable. It’s not about being present, before everyone wanted to look great. All this dressing down, leisure Friday, we have become lazy about getting dressed.”
“Women are just putting on heels with jeans. Black tie used to mean gowns. Now black tie is short dresses and skirts.” Hall attributes social media to everyone conforming and losing their own personal taste. “No one has a personal representation of who they are. We are followers, no one has an individual style anymore.” Hall added, “It is going to be hard to get back to being an individual.”
Marco Hall loves designers who have their own voice
Hall said fashion has become “too commercialized. Fashion has been watered down; it’s no longer exciting when you look at a fashion magazine. Everyone is trying to jump into a market that is oversaturated with athletic wear. I want to still see a woman in a great dress, and a great pair of heels. I still love that woman. Everyone is dressed casual even going to the opera. Before when you went to the opera, everyone was dressed in coats, hats and gloves. I would get dressed up just to go on the airplane. Now everyone looks like they’re in their pajamas, half dressed like they just rolled out of bed.”
Besides designing for women, Hall also designs for men. He will be showing his collection featuring King International’s Swim & Sport Collection, at his boutique in Newark, in November of next year. With the rise of more gender-fluid clothing, there will be great unisex cardigan and jackets he said. And men can get dressed up in brocade jackets and still be comfortable.
Marco Hall’s boutique is at 29 Halsey St. in Newark, NJ a neighborhood he said that is much like the Village was in New York City years ago. The city is undergoing revitalization, with the construction of new housing and condos. New businesses are coming into Newark. “Hopefully it will be a place where people can come not only for dinner and a show, but to shop and hang out,” Hall said. “There is a really great art scene that is untapped he feels and just starting to be showcased.”
As a gay man, Hall spoke about his hopes. “The LGBT community has to stand ground on where we are going in this America. This is a whole new America; we are really divided as a people. Everyone is new, trans, new gays, everyone is trying to find who they are. Instead of just loving and letting people be, everyone tries to control who you are. It is really about uniting, holding our ground, and voting. Letting people know that we are here, we’ve always been here, we are not going anywhere. People say they don’t understand, and are afraid. We want the same things as everyone else. It’s about finding that common ground. Learn before you judge, and try to understand me.”
“Before I go to another country, I try to learn about their culture,” he said, “So when I go there I’m not overstepping my bounds. What affects one, affects all.”
Hall said that Newark has their own Gay Pride, but Newark is still trying to find their way. He feels that Pride hasn’t reached the plateau it should have. “A lot of gays live in Newark and want to do more in their city, and Newark needs to offer more for the community.”
Hall has a very strong faith and is very spiritual. His faith has made him stand his ground as to who he is as a designer. “I definitely am in love with who I am as a person; my faith has a lot to do with that. Artists fall into the trap of being like everyone else. You have to be very strong in this industry. One day you’re in, and one day you’re out. When you are consistent, your faith gives you a lot of discipline of what you want to be. I am all about showing the world who I am through my clothes. When you see my clothes, you know who I am as a person. When you wear my clothes, I want you to feel you have a piece of me. And definitely my faith shows that.”
Hall is re-branding his fashion into a lifestyle brand, tapping into every aspect of fashion, art, clothes, and home. He is working with fabric artists to create home design.
Inspiration comes from seeing his work. “That’s the joy of seeing someone enjoy the work, want to wear it, and feel good in it. They want to show it off. It’s the process of seeing the finished product. That’s the joy that I get when I wake up in the morning and create something new. That I use the gift I’ve been given, and that it’s mine. I can use it anytime I like.”