Photography by @cryfortomorrow
Marshall James is a self-taught independent fashion designer from Columbia, Maryland. After he started making clothes in 2017, he began to commission one on one upcycled garments to his close friends and colleagues. In 2019, he moved to New York to begin his journey into high fashion. This past summer, he decided to hold his first show entitled ‘HARDWEAR’. The presentation showcased 23 looks, including 3 artisanal pieces.
His next collection titled: ‘A Cold Wind Blows and Ends All Progress,” will be presented at the end of March via a short film. The collection will be an exploration of the designer’s intrapersonal evolution pertaining to identity and what it means to be a modern citizen. The images in the editorial entitled: ‘Polymorphia,’ depict a soldier struggling to fight for a country that would not fight for him.
“Growing up biracial has been a constant search for identity; an internal pressure to choose a side. Fashion gave me an opportunity to express my identity and, quite literally, wear my influences just by taking two T-shirts and sewing them together. I started learning to sew using my grandmother’s sewing machine doing precisely that: going to the thrift store buying the T-shirts that I liked, and sewing them together. Some of them half and half, some of them not even in wearable patterns, I just wanted them to be seen together. I then added screenprinting to my arsenal of practices, grabbing images off the internet and custom text to print onto the t-shirt collages.”
“I’ve always seen clothing as much more than coverage of the body. In many ways, the clothing we wear serves as the truest projection of self-identity. The reason I make clothes now is to tell stories and create characters. Ultimately, I learned that I did not just want to make clothes; I want to create moments; I want to create ecosystems. We wear these moments in time to pay homage, pledge loyalty, and create separation. I’d like to tell these stories.”