Born in London and raised in the midwest, print and textile designer Gerlan Marcel will launch her debut collection of graphic sportswear during New York Fashion Week at the home of stylist Patricia Field. Marcel’s collection, “Peace & Love INC,” is inspired by change, unity, positive vibrations, extra terrestrials and a bright future. In addition to her new clothing line, under the brand Gerlan Jeans, she also runs Prints Please, a “surface design” and print studio. Marcel recently chatted with us about the relationship between fashion and design, what it’s like working with Jeremy Scott and her eclectic list of inspirations.
JC Report: After graduating from Central St. Martins in 2005, you designed prints and graphics for LA-based designer Jeremy Scott. How do you combine your background in illustration and graphic design with the fashion world?
Gerlan Marcel: I have never thought of graphic design as a 2D static medium. Print has always been about fashion to me and fashion has always been about print. I design prints specifically for the body—the shape of the garment informs the graphic and vice versa. I couldn’t imagine one with out the other. The most rewarding part of the process is watching the graphic (being) brought to life by whomever is wearing it.
JCR: What are you sources of inspiration?
MG: The malls of America, wearable art, riding the subway, Lil Mamma, my Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn, Fido Dido, my amazingly talented friends and family, Bernadette Peters in Slaves of New York, Paradise Garage, Dolly Parton and all things bright and colorful.
JCR: What are the core pieces of Gerlan Jeans?
MG: Printed denim and graphic knits.
JCR: If you had to sum up your new line in three adjectives, what would they be?
MG: Inclusive, animated, wearable—big, bold and graphic.
JCR: You describe Prints Please as a “surface design studio;” can you explain a bit more about what you mean by “surface design”?
MG: I believe in making EVERYTHING big, bold and beautiful. Prints for fashion, the home, industrial design, interiors…no surface shall be left behind!
This interview was conducted by Charlotte West.