Marta Marques & Paulo Almeida
HAIR PRODUCTS: KIEHL’S, INCLUDING SILK GROOM SERUM. HAIR: TYLER JOHNSTON FOR KIEHL’S/ONE REPRESENTS. GROOMER: ANDREW GALLIMORE FOR NARS/CLM. MAKEUP: ZOE TAYLOR FOR DARPHIN/JED ROOT. STUDIO MANAGER: MARK PATTENDEN. PHOTO ASSISTANTS: FENTON BAILEY, MALAK KABBANI. MAKEUP ASSISTANT: LILY GREGORY.
Co-founders, co-creative directors, and co-CEOs of Marques’Almeida, London.
HAYLEY PHELAN: What does fashion mean to you?
MARTA MARQUES: Identity and expression. Fashion can bring about and reinforce cultural change by giving individuals the ability to reinforce or create their identity.
PHELAN: You and Paulo co-design the label, and you’ve also decided to run the business side together as co-CEOs. Why?
MARQUES: As we got to a place where it was time to make decisions about how we could scale and grow, we just decided we wanted to make those decisions ourselves. We’re both a bit workaholic.
PHELAN: How do you make those big decisions?
MARQUES: It’s very important to us to speak to our clients and let that inform our decisions as opposed to following the predictable way of doing it, the way you’re “supposed” to do it. Our dialogue with our customers informs what categories we’ll expand to and what sort of retail channels we’ll look into.
PHELAN: How do you keep that dialogue open with your customers?
MARQUES: People send e-mails asking for items that they want, and we can see on the website what they like. We can ask them on social media, “What was your favorite season?” And the amazing thing is that they will reply back. We love looking at the photos that come up on Instagram of customers wearing our designs. It’s amazing to see how diverse that customer is, and how spread across the globe she is; she’s not necessarily in this very small niche fashion world. That’s something we need to keep in mind.
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