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THE SCHICK SIT-DOWN: CELEBRITY STYLIST & BLOGGER, MARIAN KWEI DISCUSSES FASHION’S FUTURE POST-PANDEMIC

Ghanaian-born, London-based personal stylist and content creator, Marian uses her style, social media and blog to promote the best of fashion from a unique perspective. With over 10 years of experience under her belt, she’s more passionate than ever and just as invested in seeing the global fashion industry grow to its fullest potential as the day her journey began.

In a chat with SCHICK, Marian discusses her career, the importance of promoting Black creatives and how the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed fashion forever.

Where did you grow up and how did that influence your relationship with fashion?

I grew up in the United Kingdom, Ghana and The Gambia. This mix between the West and West Africa affected my relationship with fashion in that it caused assimilation of culture, which affected my personal style. So the colours I gravitate to, the patterns and the prints that I champion, the layering of say a West African textile over a Western pair of pants is as a result of the mishmash of my experience. My layered approach to fashion is a testament to that. 

Do you think of yourself as more of a stylist or a content creator?

That is a great question. I would say both. However, even when I style people I see it as content creation – content for fashion spaces, be they digital or in print. A branding of them somewhat. I am very passionate about content creation and the ability to start conversation. I have just started a new project with costume designer, Lauren Miller. We aim to tell the untold stories in fashion, beauty and culture. Content creation is my passion and this is what I aim to do with my Instagram, blog and more.

Amazing! From your blog, readers can tell you’re passionate about promoting African style and Black creatives around the world. When did you first realise that was important to you?

From early on. I am passionate about the work they create and their ability to do so with limited resources. I am riveted by their production processes, what it takes to create a textile, be it Adire from Nigeria or Kente from Ghana. I am fascinated with the stories they seek to tell with their designs and I like to share these stories with the world. I gravitate to their work because of my personal experience of having been raised in both the UK and Africa. 

What do you currently find most exciting about working in fashion?

Currently, I find the conversations that social distancing has enforced riveting. Everyone has taken the conversation online, podcasts, Zoom discussions and the like. I am all about conversation and engagement and the COVID-19 pandemic has fostered the need to do so. 

So true. In what ways would you say the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the nature of the fashion industry?

I think it will affect a lot, from the ethical practice and sustainability of brands to how the industry engages with consumers. Also, I believe the ongoing online conversations are here to stay. 

Speaking of the business of fashion, what advice would you give to creatives looking to work in the fashion space, as it is now?

To first and foremost figure out exactly what they want to do; what their end goal is. Then, to assist as much as they can with established creatives in their field of interest, to learn as much as they can about their area of interest, to seek a mentor. Mentorship is everything.

How would you describe your personal style?

I like to say my style is an assimilation of my experience – layered, textured, colourful, 70’s inspired, patterned, maximalist and bold. 

Can you tell us the most common piece of fashion advice you give out?

To figure out what your personal style is. Once this is done, everything from having the building blocks of a closet to effective shopping all become second nature. It improves self-confidence, saves money and creates cohesion. Also, it is a joyful place to be when what one wears reflects the person’s personality and lifestyle needs. 

Till date, what do you consider your most significant achievement?

Being featured by Vogue Italia. Vogue is the ultimate when it comes to fashion, so although I have garnered great press, achieved good branding for celebrity clients, I think being featured by Vogue is my most significant achievement. 

Read Marian’s blog here and follow her on Instagram!