The annual Marie Claire Fashion Show, held in London, England every February, is Marco Magno's biggest triumph so far. The Italian designer and art dealer have established himself as one of the most respected names in British fashion. But what is the secret behind his success? What does it really take to succeed as a fashion designer?
“I think I have the right approach when it comes to fashion,” says Magno. “I think I always do the things that I feel are right for women. And you could say that these are my basic principles.”
Magno studied art history at university before taking up fashion designing. After several failed attempts at the industry, he finally succeeded in 1990. That was also the year that he made his first trip to Milan, where he got to know fashion designers such as Christian Dior and Andre Courreges. During this time, he also began developing his own designs, which are now sold by well-known designers throughout the world. Today, Magno is considered one of the world's leading fashion designers.
Magno began working as a commercial photographer before turning to fashion. A career in photography may not be suitable for all, especially those who lack aesthetic sense and prefer to design rather than a photograph. “My favorite thing about fashion photography is the process of looking at clothes,” he explains. “The pictures tell a story.”
Magno often uses black and white photography to create his images. “I prefer it when there is something more than color involved,” he says. “The colors make me crazy sometimes.” Black and white images complement each other well, he continues: “They give an impression of form and clarity.”
Magno's fascination with women's clothes began when he was still a teenager. “I started when I was very young, and at the same age my mother was starting to wear the most expensive clothes in town,” he relates. “I would follow her and try on her clothes. I felt that I knew something about fashion because I had been interested since I was little.” Today, he describes his love affair with fashion as “a never-ending experience.”
Magno currently has four separate shows running simultaneously in Milan, Paris, New York and Tokyo. While he admits to being somewhat nervous about being so close to the spotlight, Magno has enjoyed the experience. “I'm at a stage in my life where things could get pretty boring if I wasn't moving forward,” he admits. “But what I do enjoy most about fashion is meeting new people and having fun.”
Magno's clothing line has become something of a celebrity in itself. Magno often refers to his collection as “our line.” Celebrities such as Elle Macpherson and Christina Aguilera have been photographed wearing Magno's clothing. Magno claims that in just a short period of time, his clothing line has already reached out to over 40 Hollywood celebrities.
Magno is also well known for his editorial work in Men's Weekly. His articles have won several awards including those from The Financial Times and Esquire. Magno has also published several cookbooks and self-help books, which have all raised considerable sales. It seems that Magno's success is not solely confined to clothing but also to publishing his own cookbooks.
Magno's fashion shows attract the top names in the business. Past attendees include stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kurt Russell, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton and Leighton Meester. Magno says that many of these stars keep an extra wardrobe just in case they need it. Magno admits that he receives phone calls from these celebrities every week. In fact, some of these calls can become difficult to manage! But that's just part of the fun!
Magno also hosts his own fashion television show on MTV. It's called The Paris Hilton Show and it's been very popular with consumers. Magno is so popular that there are already three seasons of the show produced.
Magno's other ventures include his own perfume, children's clothing line and even a movie. The movie, Hands of Ice, has already grossed over $100 million at the box office. He also has a line of fitness clothes, as well as menswear designed by clothing designers Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano. These clothes are very well received and often sold out within hours of going on sale.
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