Marvin Osifo is a West African born, Sydney-based fashion entrepreneur, that founded Face Fashion, a platform for emerging Australian designers to get a foothold in the ever increasingly exclusive fashion market. Twelve years since its inception, Face Fashion is set to once again wow audiences, consumers and industry folks alike, as it showcases up and coming, innovative design talent. To be housed at the Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne, the event will run from 3-5 April, 2018.
We sat down with Marvin to discuss his focus on emerging Australian designers, affinity with style, and why this facet of the fashion industry is so exciting.
What sparked your interest in Australian fashion, particularly emerging designers? My interest in fashion started as a young child, back in Africa. I was always surrounded by rich fabrics, vibrant patterns and custom made outfits. When I came to Australia and finished my schooling, I started my career in retail and it was a natural progress that I became interested in Australian fashion. Quite quickly I realised that my passion [lay] in supporting emerging designers. Perhaps it was the fact that I came from hardship, that I’ve always understood the concept of ‘starting from the ground up’.
You created Face Fashion over a decade ago to assist unique and emerging designers to gain access to an often exclusive and inaccessible fashion retail market. What do you think has been the key to Face Fashion’s success and longevity? Hard work and determination, driven by passion. Thankfully we’ve had some great sponsors that have supported us over the years, who have also been key ingredients to making each show come to fruition successfully.
What is it about up and coming Australian designers that makes them so exciting? Not only are they the future of Australian fashion, but they are so excited and humble to have an opportunity to showcase their designs to people. They’re carrying their hopes and dreams on their shoulders and are so optimistic that the world is their oyster and they are only limited by their imagination.
What do you provide emerging designers to help them showcase their creativity and collections? Do many of them have an understanding of their ‘brand’ yet or is that something you also assist with, to get their name and product out into the retail world? We provide a platform for them to use as a stepping stone, to be seen by an audience whom they otherwise would find difficult to access. We provide the runway, the media coverage, the marketing assistance and so much more, and all for a minimal cost as [the designers] usually have very small budgets to work with.
Is there a favourite ‘success story’ designer from previous years that have gone on to further greatness? Michael Lo Sordo, Sara Phillips and Yousef Akbar are some of our top success stories. Many other designers are working on their labels, a few have opened retail shops and some are stocking in numerous boutiques around the country.
Is there a particular designer you have your eye on this year, that you think will surprise and delight audiences and consumers? The talent this year is incredible and each designer is so unique that we believe that the audience and consumers will have trouble choosing a favourite. We can certainly say that there are some really amazing key pieces within each of the collections that will be jaw-dropping when they hit the runway!
What can your guests and consumers expect at this year’s Face Fashion events? They can expect two wonderful runway shows, filled with designs from Australia’s next generation of emerging talent. We will also have goodie bags filled with products from our awesome partners.
You are also a style consultant, which is not surprising due to your sharp, flawless and classic sense of style. How have your style choices been nurtured and when did you know you had an affinity with fashion and style? Thank you very much! Yes, after receiving constant requests to dress male professionals in business, fashion and sports, I decided to begin my own style consultancy business. My affinity with style began very early on in my life, influenced by my cultural heritage, and it really is something I love to do for me as opposed to trying to impress. It’s how I express myself and I believe fashion should be considered more like art and creativity. People should have fun with it!
What’s next for Face Fashion and Marvin Osifo Styling? Plenty of exciting things in store for both! We are constantly growing, and are always on the lookout for great businesses, labels and institutions who are as passionate about supporting Australian talent as we are; to collaborate with Face Fashion and make each show bigger and better!
QUICK RANDOM ONES
Most disliked overall current fashion trend? I could get in trouble for this but personally I’d have to say wedge heels. Most men seem to have an aversion to these for some reason but they too are a matter of personal taste, as is all fashion.
Most loved fashion trend/look for women? I do love the ‘structured’ look on women, using sharp lines and perfectly tailored pieces; teamed with a slicked-back wet look hairstyle. I feel it’s very modern and sexy.
What do you prefer: to wear a 3-piece suit or casual Sunday attire? The 3-piece suit is a bit of a signature style for me, as most people can tell. Especially one in an unusual colour or texture. In saying that, like everyone else I enjoy being casual on Sundays, usually in ripped jeans and a fresh tee.
Most prized possession? My loved ones.
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? You’d have to ask my wife. She would probably say my proposal, which was done in a very private and intimate way.
Best place to holiday in the world? Dubai! Although next on my travel list is Italy and Spain.
Favourite designer of all time? As you know I love Australian fashion, and a favorite brand of mine is Jack London who create amazing jackets and statement pieces. Internationally speaking, it would have to be DSquared2, a brand founded by Italian-Canadian twins who live in London but product their collections in Milan.
If you could have anyone’s job in the world, who would it be? My own!
The one classic item of clothing a man cannot be without? A well-tailored suit, without a doubt.
Tickets for Face Fashion 2018 are available via: http://facefashion.com.au/