Well hello again to all you lovers of fashion and trendsetters out there! It’s your girl, Nombuso, bringing you yet another offering of the amazing, inspiring, insightful designers who along with their creations celebrate the creativity within and are changing the fashion scene of their hometowns and ultimately Southern Africa one tee, one print, one garment at a time! Hope you enjoyed our last offering and we do hope that we've channeled the maverick in you!
Today we have yet another founder and designer (doubles as a graphic designer) for the label Mark Swag that has been doing the rounds in my hometown of Manzini. He prefers to be identified as Ghost as he does not want everybody to know who is really behind the brand. This brand has presence, has what it takes to stick out like a sore thumb (no pun intended) which I do hope it never does, very street styled prints and is more of a movement, a state of mind rather than it being just a clothing line. It’s a label on the move. The wearer simply has a Mark Swag tee and goes with it. Man I’m excited and inspired by having to do yet another level that is redefining clothing as well as the designs that inspire these brands. True Maverickz changing the fashion scene in our region!
Ghost is legit people, no funny business here. Mark Swag prides itself with being an innovative international brand of young and fresh designers producing clothing items that may never be repeated again. Sounds like a fad, an item or accessory that reaches its peak quickly and never makes a come-back in the fashion scene again. Also it’s been caught the attention of some South African musicians which is something that is really amazing and impressive as every budding designer desires to have their label worn by some celebrity out there. To them I say Congratulations! Without any further ado, check out this interview
1) Please introduce yourself?
Marques Ricco Matola, a fashion and graphic designer who happens to be a Mark Swag representative.
2) Tell us about your brand?
We are an International Brand of innovative, young and fresh designers. Mark Swag prides itself in it's ability to produce a wide variety of clothing that may or may not be repeated. This gives us the opportunity to claim that we are the Most EXCLUSIVE Brand. It was established in 2011. Sweaters cost E320.00, t-shirts E260.00, Snapback Caps E120.00 and Winter Beanies are E80.00.
3) What makes your brand unique?
It simply has to be the custom fit cut and signature prints on the top of sweaters and t-shirts be it leather, African Tribal Prints or lace at times.
4) What inspired you to start your brand?
That’s an interesting question which I feel I don’t have an answer to but I’d like to just make a point by saying that it was challenging oneself for the love of fashion because people don’t understand that fashion isn't just getting dressed in fancy apparel. Its more about matching or shall I say complimenting the fit satisfactorily.
5) What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start their own brand?
My advice is never be afraid to fail, don’t get lazy and copy people’s ideas, be passionate, last but not least BELIEVE.
6) Where can or readers buy your stuff?
At the moment Mark Swag is available at EMC Design Studio which is in Manzini, Swaziland, (Casa Minha Building Shop #4) and is also currently available in South Africa, Johannesburg at the East Gate Mall (Carbon Store). Or Order On Facebook or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/markswagclothing
7) Correct me if I’m wrong but I saw a presenter for Shiz Niz on Craz-e, Evan Creamer, wearing a stunning print of your Mark Swag t-shirts. Did you get any compliments for it in South Africa?
Well, yes. We are working with Evan Creamer of Shiz Niz, also Bass and King Jay of Oskido’s Stable as they featured on Speedy & Stoan’s Aziwe music video wearing the New Mark Swag Tribal Print Sweaters. Female artist Zahara got herself one as well.
8) From the posts you've made on your brand I get that it makes a statement, has presence and is more of a movement. Its an idea and a state of mind. What would you say is the identity of the brand is?
It’s a trendsetter on its own, it’s about being up to date with fashion, it’s that feel good type of wear. I feel like it’s that type of wear everyone wants to be involved in, it motivates, opens up a challenge for young designers to make them try and come up with their own clothing line.
9) As with every Art Movement was driven by an idea i.e Futurist, Pop Art, Surrealism, Constructivist movements, etc and as certain events have influenced fashion (e.g Le Smoking by Yves Saint Laurent, the Little Black Dress by Coco Chanel), is there anything that influences you and your brand?
The designers behind Mark Swag are crazy, playing around with different concepts as they produce different kinds of clothing daily. It’s more like implementing creative ideas onto material.
10) At what level do you hope to take your brand and are there other ventures you’re currently eyeing?
It’s already gone international but that isn't enough because it’s not at a Ralph Lauren level or another international brand most definitely but it appears to be invisible at the moment.
11) Is the client base growing for your brand and how well is it doing?
Is that a trick question? Well… This winter our target is to push at least 1000 units of sweaters.
12) And lastly Mark Swag is……
Hold up, what is "Mark Swag"?!! That’s a question that’s been circulating the Earth’s surface for a couple of years now. If I could define it: I wouldn't have the best definition because Mark Swag is versatile but one thing I'm certain of is that: Mark Swag is an Alter Ego of a brand of itself, it's Passion, it's Power, it's not just clothing or swag, it's on another level. I’d say its fashion.
Well there you have ladies and gentlemen! A bright, confident young man who believes in the potential as well as power of his brand and who has done very well for himself as having had his brand of t-shirts featured with presenters, upcoming musicians modeling his brand of t-shirts and having a famous musician purchase one for herself – we salute you! We do hope you continue the great work because clearly what you put out there in indeed quality! Till next time darlings, cha-cha!