TOMMY HILFIGER RETURNS TO NEW YORK
A love letter to New York: Tommy Hilfiger returned to New York Fashion Week and speaks to…
Interview by Sina Braetz
Numéro Berlin talked to Marcell Pustul about his new Chapter, the ideas of communities and the future of luxury.
For a long time, the fashion designer Marcell Pustul successfully distributed his clothing under the brand “Marcell von Berlin.” However, when his longtime friend and financial backer Rainer Schaller (McFit) tragically passed away, and the new management showed no interest in continuing the collaboration, the fashion designer had to reorient himself. He removed the “von Berlin” from his name and henceforth released his fashion under the name “MARCELL__.” The Designer has been in the industry for a long time and knows how the market is changing. The rebirth of his brand brings some new opportunities but also challenges. It will be exciting to see how Marcell’s new fashion evolves.
“Now, I understand clearly that it is often necessary to shrink in order to grow.”
I learned, in the first place, to always make sure I keep control of my own brand and never again give it back to the others. I had given away majority of MARCELL VON BERLIN to the investors and this was a big mistake, but also – a huge learning. I’m always positive because I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and what happened to me was crucial to my personal development process. Now, I understand clearly that it is often necessary to shrink in order to grow. I am coming back to myself and the deconstruction of my reality was unavoidable to get here. I’ve understood that it’s essential to never give up and stay true to yourself. If your intention is purely good at its essence and you work hard — everything will be fine and the success will come.
I also learned to value people who stood by me while I’ve lost everything I love – my brand, without them I wouldn’t be where I am now. They give me the strength to fight on a daily basis. The brand is gone but the community has stayed with me and is ready to explore the unknown waters. I have a strong internal drive to rebuild the brand but also seeing people looking forward to open the new chapter is a huge motivation. I’m so excited about the new venture and so grateful.
“Simultaneously, I’ve been spending much time on introspection and limited social interactions to understand which relationships truly serve me and which are wasting my good energy.”
In the first place, I went through a personal rebirth. In the last few months, I have been working on finding myself, understanding what I truly want and how I want to achieve it. I owe special thanks to my Life Coach, Vivace Maxvictor, who has helped me shift from being a victim to becoming a winner in this situation. Vivace has been instrumental in setting up goals and creating a comprehensive plan for my future. Simultaneously, I’ve been spending much time on introspection and limited social interactions to understand which relationships truly serve me and which are wasting my good energy. On the business side, I received valuable support from Patrycja Szklarczyk, who I’ve appointed to oversee my new brand as a Brand Director. I believe that without her contributions, I would not have made such progress. We’ve had a chance to work together before my previous brand had fallen apart and she was one of the very few people from the old structure who stayed with me and actively supports rebuilding the brand. Furthermore, I must express my gratitude to my amazing community, who consistently stands by my side and provide unwavering support. It is their encouragement and backing that have inspired me to dedicate and open my new brand to the community.
Minimalistic, Responsible, Luxury: The new style of MARCELL__ embodies minimalism and sophistication. Our primary focus is on delivering top-notch quality and avoiding an overproduction. MARCELL__ is not merely a fashion brand; it represents a way of being and a community. We aim to empower individuals to express themselves through our products. Our first flagship store, scheduled to open next year, will be more than just a retail space; it will be a sanctuary for the quality (of life) seekers. The inaugural store is set to open in NY, followed by Miami and LA.
“The brand will be now the platform for multidimensional expression, not only for me as a designer but also to the others.”
MARCELL__ at heart is the same brand I started 12 years ago, it’s still me — Marcell Pustul. However, I’m now embracing a new vision and approach and feel more mature as a designer. I can see things more clearly and my vision is more stable now – I am are ready to deliver less products at higher quality and stand for it. Stop chasing trends and start chasing the quality and harmony. We aim to open the brand to the contribution of the creative community and let talents to interpret our products. The brand will be now the platform for multidimensional expression, not only for me as a designer but also to the others. On a personal level – I’m also excited to announce that I will be making a comeback with my evening wear and couture line under my full name, “Marcell Pustul,” by the end of next year.
With my new brand, MARCELL__, in a first phase I am focusing on womenswear, mainly on tailored suits as bestselling category of my former brand. Each collection will revolve around tailored pieces, including also long bodycon dresses, dresses in general, light knitwear, bags, shoes, and sunglasses. These categories are the main focus. We plan to introduce menswear in the 2nd phase of brand building. We aim to redesign men’s suits into women’s suits using deadstock materials. Currently, we are actively searching for the right partner to collaborate with on this initiative. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the fashion industry with a strong focus on responsibility. For instance, our sunglasses collection is crafted from 100% recycled materials, emphasizing our commitment to sustainability. Not mentioning packaging etc.
Personally, my dream is to stay true to my values and build a stable and healthy business. Also to try to not blur the vision of the brand with temporary trends and shallow voices. I want to build a healthy team, respectful towards each other, celebrating the process and the quality. As I mentioned before, there is a big appetite to become more than a fashion brand. I don’t want to send the full vision out too early but there is a wide plan how to contribute to different fields. Let me stay mysterious.
“The fashion sector is one of the most dynamic and stressful industries, and we have all experienced its challenges at some point in our careers.”
I want to ensure that we work only with factories that provide a safe and responsible work environment, where every person is treated with respect and receives a fair wage. I will personally visit all the factories. Mental health balance is now extremely important to me, and we aim to create a well-balanced work environment for the new team. The fashion sector is one of the most dynamic and stressful industries, and we have all experienced its challenges at some point in our careers. Therefore, we would love to dispel this belief and create a healthy, safe structure. We will also take more responsibility for fabric choices and strive to avoid overproduction by responding to the real market demand. The new collection will feature some pieces made from recycled materials, and we are seriously considering upcycling models for tailoring.
I want to work more and more on involving my community in my campaigns, shows, and other brand activation efforts. While we will still use professional models, our primary focus will be on real people. For example, we had a successful pre-launch campaign called ‘I BELIEVE IN MARCELL,’ and we aim to continue this approach. To further engage with our community, we are planning to create a lab where we will invite individuals from our community who have artistic souls to collaborate with us in crafting unique pieces, objects, and events. I want to celebrate my community because they have a significant impact on what I do and why I do it.
“Brands that prioritize building genuine connections with their customers and facilitate meaningful interactions will undoubtedly thrive in the competitive landscape of fashion industry.”
The community is incredibly important for brands. It is the foundation. I have personally experienced its significance, especially in the last 6 months, and have realized just how crucial it is to me. We have already witnessed a significant shift in consumer behaviour, where people are not just passive buyers but actively seek connections and engagement with brands that align with their values and beliefs. Communities offer brands a unique opportunity to create more meaningful and authentic relationships with their customers. Through community engagement, brands can foster loyalty, trust, and advocacy among their customers. These communities provide a platform for customers to share their experiences, ideas, and feedback, which can be invaluable for brands to improve their products and services. In conclusion, the future success of brands in the fashion market will heavily depend on their ability to harness the power of collective. Brands that prioritize building genuine connections with their customers and facilitate meaningful interactions will undoubtedly thrive in the competitive landscape of fashion industry.
In the first phase of my brand development, we are focusing primarily on the US market, with a strong emphasis on epicenters such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami as they play a crucial role in establishing my new brand, Los Angeles is also my current place of residence. We prioritise US market as it has a huge commercial potential and many layers. Apart from the US, Europe remains a vital market for us, and we have plans to open a second office in Warsaw (to be closer to the production) to cater to the European market. In the second phase, our focus will shift towards the Middle East and Asian markets.
“Later this years our own ecommerce platform will also launch to cater customers directly.”
Yes, we are working one some exciting projects, but I can’t say more for now. I love to surprise.
At the moment, we are in the process of relaunching the brand. We are currently finalizing the new brand identity, as well as building the first collection, which will be presented to both – our previous wholesale partners and potential new ones later this year in Paris showroom. For now, we are showcasing our pre-launch products on our temporary website (marcell.world).
Looking ahead, we aim to collaborate with top luxury retail partners such as SSENSE, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Selfridges, MyTheresa, Net-a-Porter, Matches Fashion, KaDeWe, etc. Later this years our own ecommerce platform will also launch to cater customers directly. Our plan is also to open the sales by appointment in Los Angeles and Warsaw, further in NY and Miami.
“Our goal is to create a brand that people can truly and democratically enjoy and have a memorable experience with.”
Because of my current business set up and the interest in my new brand in the USA, it’s natural for me to initially participate in NYFW to increase the brand’s visibility in the US market. Of course the presence at Paris Fashion Week will be core of our business activity as this is the center where we can meet all international buyers and press at once. I want to also assure all my customers and supporters in Germany that they are not forgotten. In the future, we also plan to organise activations in Germany, particularly in Berlin.
What is exciting – we aim to introduce innovative ways of presenting shows and events. The fashion industry is undergoing significant shifts, and we want to be at the forefront of these changes. For instance, we are exploring now the idea of hosting public fashion shows where attendees can purchase tickets to attend. Our goal is to create a brand that people can truly and democratically enjoy and have a memorable experience with.
My absolute dream project is my new Brand and everything what will come as a part of the process.
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