We are proud to present to you an interview with Darhel Anthony and Caron Gabriel of the up and coming menswear brand Marshall Anthony.
For The Discerning Few: Could you please tell us about your backgrounds?
Darhel Anthony: I did a stint in corporate finance before founding Marshall Anthony in 2009. I have been a neckwear craftsman and a tailoring apprentice since that time; studying the design, construction, and styling of men’s clothing.
Caron Gabriel: I was briefly in investment banking/brokerage firms until the market crash in 2008. In the subsequent years, I became heavily immersed in fashion and the possibilities within the industry.
FTDF: How would you describe your personal styles?
Darhel Anthony: Still evolving and becoming more sophisticated. I would say it is an extension of myself, traditional but very much modern and relevant.
Caron Gabriel: I concur with that sentiment.
FTDF: Do you or did you have style icons?
Darhel Anthony: Not so much icons, but I can appreciate the style of a great number of individuals; some very notable and some less. More so than just the particular clothing items, there is a certain level of charisma that supersedes the clothing in terms of style. Muhammad Ali and Johnny Depp are great examples.
Caron Gabriel: I have always admired great men. The style these men possess is a layer that compliments their aura. Personally, there is probably little chance that I would regard a man as an icon simply because he is stylish. A gentleman’s wares/style should always be in addition to who he is.
FTDF: Do you prefer English tailoring, Italian tailoring or Classic American style?
Darhel Anthony: I have a penchant for the elegant and simple. As far as a tailoring preference, I like certain aspects of each of the styles. I appreciate the relaxed vibe of Neapolitan tailoring, the elegance of British styling for more formal occasions, and the business aesthetic of classic American style. They each have their place.
Caron Gabriel: I admire the elegance of English tailoring. I believe it is unrivaled.
FTDF: What is the story behind your brand Marshall Anthony? What was your ambition when you started in 2009?
Caron Gabriel: In 2009, it was all about fulfilling a niche in the bowtie market. As Marshall Anthony expanded into neckwear we saw a disparity in the menswear market altogether. It is that void that we intend to fill, and present something with all the character and craftsmanship of old, but revisited and refined.
FTDF: What makes a good tie, as far you are concerned?
Darhel Anthony: Good is very much a subjective term and varies greatly from one person to another, like the term luxury. A quality tie is less subjective. For proportion, a necktie should be 7-9 centimeters in width at the large blade. All natural materials should be used for the outer shell of the tie, as well as the interlining. Silk, linen, wool, and cashmere are ideal; with a wool interlining. The closing seam should always be sewn by hand, as well as the hand rolled edges. This hand craftsmanship gives the tie its character and ensures the longevity of the garment.
FTDF: Your customers can have their ties altered or turned into bowties; can you please explain that process?
Darhel Anthony: Sure, we dismantle the tie stitch by stitch carefully, in an effort not to damage the silk or other fabric of the tie. The fabric is cleaned and pressed, then used to craft a new bowtie from either a custom pattern or one of our staple patterns. We also offer a tapering service to slim down wider neckties.
FTDF: Who is the Marshall Anthony Man?
Caron Gabriel: The Marshall Anthony Man is a gentleman between the age of 18 and 49 with an interest in menswear with a modern yet classical foundation.
FTDF: Could you walk us through your new S/S 2012 collection?
Caron Gabriel: The majority of our current collection focuses on the idea of "distinguished casual". It is our belief that a gentleman should always be dressed as such, but not all occasions require corporate business attire. Raw silk and Linen were the fabrics chosen to center Marshall Anthony’s S/S 2012 Collection around. All of our raw silk ties can be dressed up or down. The most classical colors we currently offer are black, indigo, evergreen, and royal navy; with natural and taupe being great colors for the summer months. Finally we some interesting shades of color that very much represent a Spring color palette but retain their masculinity; some examples are the taupe, blue steel, and teal raw silk ties.
FTDF: What inspires you on a daily basis?
Darhel Anthony: Improving upon the foundation of the day before, seeing other people who are extremely passionate about what they do, and the many forms of artistic creation; be it a song or architecture. I see some pretty inspiring things every day.
Caron Gabriel: One of my deepest fears is primitivity of the mind. This fear inspires me to learn more and desire to become and achieve more than I previously considered a possibility. One of my favorite sayings is “Esse Quam Videri”, which means “to be, rather than to seem.” Achieving the true meaning of this saying is a personal quest of mine.
FTDF: What do you think of the menswear business nowadays? What can Marshall Anthony bring to the table?
Darhel Anthony: Menswear has become very trendy, even the market that is particularly interested in classically tailored clothing is becoming driven by trends. There are many things that are fresh and good looking that lack utility and vice versa. Marshall Anthony will offer garments possessing quality design that is rooted in classic style. Our garments will transcend current fashion and provide the wearer with more utility than its predecessors. Quality craftsmanship and construction, to maximize comfort, longevity, and an appealing silhouette will be paramount in Marshall Anthony garments. We have a committed focus on fit and proportion. We intend to revisit all classic menswear items and see how we can improve upon them.
FTDF: What is elegance as far as you are concerned?
Darhel Anthony: Elegance is simplicity.
FTDF: Where do you see yourselves and the brand in five years?
Caron Gabriel: Constantly learning and working diligently to improve upon our craft and manifesting our dream for the world that is Marshall Anthony.
We would like to thank Caron Gabriel and Darhel Anthony for their professionalism, their kindness and their knowledge.
This interview was conducted by PAL & VM for For The Discerning Few. Paris, April 2012. All rights reserved.