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Marcus Teo is a stylist and creative director. After attending film school and working at WWD he landed a coveted position at W magazine. His client list includes Vogue, Nautica and Calvin Klein to name a few. As he is creative directing more and more Marcus is going back to his film background roots, we met up to chat with him about his amazing career and what's next.
What’s the most important item you keep in your kit?
Other than pins and clamps, the most important thing I keep in my kit is a black bow tie and a white handkerchief. They elevate any look. At the end of the day it’s all in my head. I have come to shoots slightly unprepared with tools, but make up for it with mentally being prepared to MacGyver anything I need from what’s around me- even using sticks and stones! Really, the best accessory to a kit is a good assistant.
Who are some of your favorite men fashion icons?
Michael Chow is currently my number one icon. A close second is Lapo Elkann, the New York-born Italian industrialist, he’s part of the Fiat family. Third is my grandfather. I think many men idolize their grandfather for their style. I think it has to do with the era my grandfather grew up in and the beautiful photos I see of him. Not just dapper, dressed-up photos but he even looked great in many athletic photos. Sir Edmund Hilary is another icon whose style inspires me; photographs of him scaling Everest are great. Others include David Hockney, Bryan Ferry, Milan Vukmirovic, Paul Weller and Daniel de la Falaise.
How do you feel you advance your craft?
Styling is a collaborative and expressionistic craft; by working with really good, inspired photographers I feel I learn more. I have gotten to work and collaborated with amazing established photographers, like Brigitte Lacombe, Nathaniel Goldberg, Nigel Parry, Walter Chin, David Slijper and Richard Burbridge. Recently, I have been working with new talents like Angelo Penneta and Kai Z Feng for Vogue, Blair Getz Mezibov and Chunky with GQ. There’s a big difference between being a good photographer and an inspired photographer. To be inspired is the only thing that has kept me at this job.
Do you think there is a certain amount of ADD in the fashion industry?
ADD means you get bored and don’t retain emotional information. No, I don’t get bored. I simply want to look at something new and inspiring. We need stimuli refreshment all the time and constant evolution. It was Oscar Wilde that said, “Fashion is merely a form of ugliness so unbearable that we are compelled to alter it every six months.” The eye has to travel and I need to refresh my vision.
What advice do you have for stylists just starting out?
There’s no such thing as a styling course. Educate your senses. Watch lots of movies, read great books, look at lots of images and develop your eye. The development of Pinterest is a great tool for collecting beautiful images.