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2009 October 20

A Moment With...Marios Schwab

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(NEW YORK) Marios Schwab's designs have been heating up the London runways since his first show in February 2006. Now, this Austrian/Greek designer is about to make a splash on American shores as the new designer at Halston. He talked to The Daily while in town for press appointments.

You’ve had a crazy year.
Yes--crazy in a good way! It’s been a good year for Marios Schwab, definitely. We’ve had a really good response from the shop floors, and we’re expanding.

And we’re seeing a lot of inroads in the American market, too.
Yes, it’s really important. For me, I always imagined success would be reaching a really good, stable clientele. And obviously Halston is something I really love doing. It’s like a dream for a designer to enter a house that people respect.

Were you surprised when they called you?
I periodically got offers to design for houses, but this kind of felt like the right place to be. You put your hand onto it, and it really feels natural. I love the aspect of the history of such a specific time--it represents the glamour and the fantasy of fashion, which is everybody’s dream. I like the era of decadence, mixing the beauty and fashion, which is the true era of fashion. To dress up in a simplified way that still contains all this glamour and femininity. I love it.

Do you work from a Halston design studio in New York?
Sometimes. I travel a lot. I come regularly to New York to see friends and go out clubbing. It’s really nice to learn--slowly--the woman and what she wants. You need to express that through the clothes you’re making, and nowadays it’s very important. It needs to have some representation of what the woman wants to wear, how she wants to move, what she aspires to. It’s kind of important to feel close to her, to communicate to her. Clothes are such an important tool to communicate. Nowadays a woman wants a very clear identity and personality. The clothes need to elevate your personality.

Are we going to see a departure from the classic Halston jersey looks shown since Marco Zanini left the brand?
For me, it’s very important that everything has an evolution. I don’t think that Halston would be doing the same thing he was doing in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He was an innovator, so he was translating his time in a very unusual and innovative personal way that every woman loved, so that every woman who wore each dress would feel different. That’s such a powerful message, to contain this simplicity and minimalism. I don’t know, I’m not a woman, but if I wanted to wear an evening dress and go out, I would want to look like a million, and that’s something that he translated in such a simple way.

How is it working with Harvey?
I met Harvey once, I haven’t really worked with him yet. I have a lot of respect for him. He has a great vision in what he does, and I think he really respects the way I design. It’s a new chapter, I’m really looking forward to being around all these people who have all this knowledge. Certainly for Americans, it’s a very dear brand.

Are you doing to have a runway show this season or a presentation?
I have started looking at both options. I think it’s very important to represent the brand with a very clean, distinctive vision, so certainly the visual aspect is very important. It’s so visual, it’s not a conceptual brand.

So you’re going to be bicoastal now.
I really enjoy it. The two brands are very different, as well. Marios Schwab is very personal, it has a hallmark of timelessness--Halston does as well, but it’s different. Marios Schwab is very sculptural, it plays the game of juxtaposition.


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