To describe Mark Powell’s style in a single word: timeless. A sense of fashion so classic and so versatile its inspired. He always remains one step ahead of the game.
Mark Powell is a renowned fashion designer who specialises in bespoke suits. He has worked with the likes of David Bowie, Usher, George Clooney, rock legend Mick Jagger, supermodel Naomi Campbell and more. Even our very own Madi Mai has had the honor of sporting one of Powell’s iconic suits during a photoshoot.
Powell states that his love for fashion began at around age 12 through being unable to find styles he wanted in store and resorted to tailoring his clothes himself. Needless to say, this only further ignited his existing interest in the fashion industry. Powell actually started his fashion career as a teenager. “I never went to college, went straight into retail which got me started” as he worked at retro boutique, Robot.
Powell went on to established his own brand at just 24 years of age back in 1985. Powell & Co on Archer Street in Soho where he stocked suits and menswear. Powell has now been in business for over 36 years.
His store then evolved to, Mark Powell Bespoke Tailoring, and has a newly opened store in Soho (just off of Great Marlborough Street) which he moved to in January, but did not manage to open till April due to COVID-19.
The style Powell has created is not as all for your average office worker. NO – its style for the individual. For the groom, or the broker, or that person who really just needs that statement piece to add to their ensemble. Powell created style which has come to be known as “Gangster Chic” among Powell and his clients. Many describe his suits as a form of empowerment or rather outwear that is an extension of themselves.
Those who speak so highly of Powell’s work truly understand the beauty of him taking inspiration from different sub genres. He has strayed far beyond that of traditional tailoring and takes influence from styles of the 40s, 50s, 60s and even that of the Edwardian era. But he puts his own twist on it.
Powell admits that he’s found importance in slowing it down sometimes and not thinking too far forward so that the uniqueness of his ideas can be properly appreciated and not styled before there time. Nevertheless, Mark Powell is a well know trend setter. Many try to recreate what he has already created, but his execution and detail are unmatched.
He also exudes ample respects the balance of comfort and detail whilst tailoring. “It’s important to feel comfortable in your suit but not too relaxed”.
Powell outlines that in order to be a successful tailor (or successful in the fashion industry at all), making a name for yourself as an individual is of the highest importance. “I’m one of the last independent tailors in the west end. In this line of work you have to be independent really because everything is quite hands on”.
He has independently executed and maintained a unique vision for what Mark Powell Bespoke Tailoring should look like. Powell states that tailoring is a very personalised business and that no one is going to see or execute your visions the way you will.
“I’m Mark Powell and I do Bespoke Tailoring. I mean people love it when your names on the door and then they come in to meet the designer who single-handedly makes all the clothes” – Mark Powell
Having your name or brand known globally is an impeccable thing that Powell has been able to achieve on his own from his ventures and single store. He is able to capture a form of authenticity through being a one man show rather than a whole production team.
“You can’t have loads of stores if you’re one name” Powell explains from the idea that being soul influence of your products and have multiple stores/ influences is simply a myth without external input. Name brand such as Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, etc all have the main name and face of the company. However there are multiple ideals being given by others working the company that sway the styles and designs.
Therefore, as it stands Mark Powell is one and only influence of his brand – unless his son Max decides to take a name and rain in a family business. But for now the brand will be spoke by the single tailor.
“I’m not trying to be a multi-billionaire! I’m just trying to make a living doing something I like doing” – Mark Powell