"Profile" is a column dedicated to exploring the sensibilities of independent creatives in the fashion sphere. Garrett Wilson is an artisanal menswear designer for his own label, Marcel Everette along with his own atelier in downtown Los Angeles. We caught up with Garrett to discuss his views on his ongoing collection, design language and art.
SL: What got you started in the industry, was there an initial catalyst that spurred your interest in design?
GW: I began sketching and documenting ideas many years before the launch of Marcel Everette. This quickly grew into an infatuation with textiles and construction. I became obsessed with approaching a design with the intention of devoting as much attention to the exterior appearance of an article as on the interior construction; something I noticed was missing in most high end brands at the time. I felt more could be done, so I made it my mission to do so.
SL: As an autodidact in the industry, how have you navigated your approach to designing and conceptualizing your collection? Has your formal education helped at all?
GW: Marcel Everette is based on an observation in industrial creation. I tend to lean towards designing more from necessity than excess. My formal education and analytical tendencies have been useful in handling the business side of things as well as branching off into other endeavors.
SL: Are there any artists or designers who’ve shaped your design philosophy over the years?
GW: I am constantly observing and gathering information, mostly from sources outside of garment design. I always listen to my inner voice first and approach each project with a “less is more” perspective.
SL: Your brand’s ethos is based around the question of technological innovation in relation to human life, how do you think experimental textile production and tech-wear as a whole play into this?
GW: Functionality is first and foremost. In terms of experimental textile production, it falls directly in line with the idea of humans benefitting from the use of technology to create wearable innovation.
SL: I’ve noticed your releases for Marcel Everette have been done in small installments, why have you chosen this method of releasing your collection?
GW: I showed a 50 piece collection in Paris in 2018 but decided at the time that the retail store environment was not for me. The small installment method has been a way to develop an ongoing dialogue with those that connect to my work.
SL: A few of the garments you’ve released for Marcel Everette are already imbued with their own history, such as the over-dyed 50s military trench coats you’ve recently offered. As a designer who’s focused on experimental fabrics and treatments why have you chosen to work with these old textiles?
GW: I have always appreciated the idea of a garment outliving its owner. The natural wear and longevity of these 70 year old articles is a nod to that idealism and aligns directly with my personal deep-rooted motivation in constructing articles that will last for years to come.
SL: Being a Texas native, has relocating to Los Angeles shifted your perspective at all on life, design, art?
GW: Marcel Everette was born in Houston and materialized in Los Angeles. Before I relocated, I faced many obstacles attempting to create our first collection while working long distance with Los Angeles manufacturers. The move has made me more appreciative of the process as well as grateful for the possibilities that come with opening our own factory space.
SL: What current or older music have you been listening to as of late?
GW: At this time I am listening to several old Sigur Rós projects.
SL: I have heard that you are a man of routine, how does having a pet, managing clients along with Marcel Everette factor into your day-to-day?
GW: Each day is long but in a great way. There is always a surprise and a challenge. Having Ransom has been a great addition in terms of creating balance within a heavy work schedule.
SL: Tell us a bit about managing your new factory space. I can imagine how advantageous it must be having your own in-house production for Marcel Everette.
GW: Creative fluidity has always been the end goal. Atelier Obsidian has given me that opportunity as well as the ability to provide a safe haven to my clients.
SL: Are you selective with the clients you take in, do they have to be brands that you genuinely believe in?
GW: Yes. I take on projects that peak my interest. I feel that the best work is produced when both the client and I are equally passionate about the project at hand.
SL: Any new projects that you can leave us with?
GW: Furniture, home goods, and the official announcement for Atelier Obsidian.