With his signature, unisex bow-tie brooches attracting celebrity clientele, Marc Clark is a rising fashion icon. Offered in a wide variety of colors, the brooch can be designed in different prints. His spunky product, which modernizes the typically juvenile accessory, is steadily becoming a must-have item. Still, he has a few more yards of fabric to go before he is a household name.
Hailing from Prince Georges County, Maryland, the 24 year-old designer says that his hometown had a major influence on his interest in fashion. Located right outside D.C., he describes it as a “very hip area” that was a haven for fashion designers and models. Despite this, Clark is a “very casual guy.” He admits, “I’m a big tennis shoe freak.” As an adolescent, however, his favorite fashion item was something similar to his current and popular creation. “Neckties were really big for me,” he says. Yet, even so, he was far from a simple dresser. “Daring was my style. I’ve always pushed the limits.”
Clark’s first introduction into the fashion industry was an internship position with entrepreneur and clothing designer, Russell Simmons. The opportunity, which lasted a few years, proved to be a great learning experience. “He’s my business mentor,” he says of Simmons. “He’s always had an impact and influence on our generation and in fashion. He created one of the first lines geared toward African-Americans.”
Following his internship, Clark and his former business partner launched a men’s and women’s graphic t-shirt line. The line, “Art of Fashion,” was a success. It was released in 50 U.S. stores, including Commander Salamander, Up Against the Wall, and Michael K. Unfortunately, the working relationship between Clark and his business partner did not fare as well. Eventually, the two parted ways, in pursuit of solo endeavors.
Clark’s next venture was starting his present company, Marc C. Defined as “iconic,” with the buzzworthy bow-tie brooch as its leading product, Marc C. specializes in men’s and women’s accessories. Thus far, Rihanna and Estelle grace his A-list of famous consumers. As well, Diggy, Angela, and Vanessa Simmons – relatives of Russell Simmons – were seen wearing his brooch. Although, he cannot remember exactly which celebrity wore it first, Estelle is the first to come to mind. “At the moment, I didn’t really take in the moment,” he says, when he saw her wearing it at a party, one night. “She pointed to me as the designer and it was a gratifying feeling. It’s fulfilling to see your design has an impact on fashion in today’s culture.” Well, celebrities are not the only ones, in support of his sensational item. Clark’s dog is also a proud owner. “I have a bow-tie for him. He’s a rockstar,” he laughs.