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Marcus Paul: The Stylist With a Mission to Make Hip-Hop Move Past Streetwear & Embrace Alt Brands

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 3 issue of Billboard, by Bee Shapiro.

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Sartorial derring-do has long defined hip-hop’s streetwear fashions. But with hoodies and sweatshirts reaching critical mass, a refined take on hip-hop style is emerging. Brooklyn-based men’s stylist and former model Marcus Paul is an evangelist for the movement, taking a polished-is-better approach when dressing stars like LeBron James, Jay Z, Pusha T and Desiigner. “I care about the quality of the garment, which a lot of younger people don’t seem to care about.”

To that end, Paul leans on tailored indie brands and highbrow European labels for the artists he styles.

For Pusha T’s 2015 album Darkest Before Dawn, Paul selected a fitted embellished sweater overcoat by Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, whose fabrics and use of color and patterns “are amazing,” says Paul. “I don’t have anything against streetwear, but I’m looking for details and not necessarily brands.”

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Meet Marcus Paul, Pusha T’s Stylist

BY JAVIN BUSBY

On 2011’s “No Church in the Wild,” Jay Z raps about a cocaine white Rolls Royce, “drug dealer chic.” Yesterday, he and G.O.O.D. Music president Pusha T dropped their latest single, “Drug Dealers Anonymous,” that will be on Push’s forthcoming album. It’s no secret that Push very well could be the king of coke rap, so maintaining a look that doesn’t abandon his own personal style, but is good enough for the president of G.O.O.D. Music, adidas collaborator, and OG in the game is important. To help him get there, meet Marcus Paul, the man behind Pusha’s style.

With an impressive list of clients—including Lebron James, Jay Z, and C.C. Sabathia—Paul tells us his business has grown solely through word of mouth and the strong rapport he has with his clients beyond just improving their closets. “Every client I’ve worked with, I try to build a relationship with them, because it’s not only a professional relationship, but also a personal one, and I think that that’s important,” he says. Paul strives to show his level of dedication and immersion beyond picking the right belt or sneaker. Clothing helps his clients play the part of the well put-together celebrity who is ready to go at all times. “They’re extremely tired, but they’ve still got to put on that mask of, ‘Yo, I’m an artist, I’ve got to smile, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.’ It’s important, and I admire that,” he adds. This level of connection has served him well as he continues to add new names to his clientele list, including those he says he is not yet at liberty to share, but excited to hint toward. “Let’s just say, they have some things that are out already that are making waves,” he says about two of his recent acquisitions.

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All The Pretty Birds

All The Pretty Birds Feature  

Words by Marcus Paul

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Look 1- I was drawn to The French Fountain hand printed by Florence Broadhurst (Australian Designer) because of it’s elegant simplicity. Not only can I imagine the print being used as wallpaper but also as a fabric in menswear and/or womenswear. The modern, slight pasiley-esque design combined with the tonal use of the my favorite color blue inspired the look in where I wore the Dries Van Noten silk coat.

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Look 2- The photograph of the couple next to the vintage hotel sign expresses my love for design, texture, fonts and most of all color. When you look at this image you see beautiful colors that seem to reflect the passion the couple has for one another in that moment. The different shades of green and the pop of red is what inspired the look where I wore the Green Paul Smith suit and Dries Van Noten Chilas Wool top and Acne overcoat with Black and White Prada Derby shoes.

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Look 3- The Reggia di Venaria I, Piemonte 2007 photographed by Massimo Listri (this is a former royal residence house of Savoy) is such a grand space. It inspires me because of it’s amazing detail. Each detail no matter how big or small equally contributes to the beauty of this space. It inspired the look in which I paired the Dries Van Noten mohair jacket with the Saint Laurent jeans and the Damir Doma trainers. It ‘s all about the details.

ATPB QUESTIONNAIRE

Name: Marcus Paul

Occupation: Wardrobe Stylist/Interior Designer

Passion: Life and Design

Hometown: New York City

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY

Favorite Cities: New York, Paris, London, Stockholm, Berlin, Copenhagen and too many others to name. They are all favorites for different reasons.

Favorite place to shop in those cities: New York-Barneys, and other little gems that I’d like to keep secret. Paris-L’ Éclaireur, London-Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Stockholm-Acne. Berlin-SOTO and Andreas Murkudis, Copenhagen-Storm.

Favorite place to dine in those cities: NY-Blue Ribbon (Fried Chicken), Geido, NY-Nello’s, Paris-L’Opera, Stockholm-Restaurang Shanti (best Indian food) and all my friends in these different cities always takes me to the best places to eat.

What do you do to get your day started: Try not to look at my phone. Shower in silence, then I think about my “to dos” for the day and then I decide what to wear while listening to music.

Favorite Breakfast: Pancakes, Egg whites, Toast, Turkey bacon or very good pastries, and coffee,oj or a smoothie.

Food: Salad, Chicken (all types of recipes), Beef and vegetables, and a good red wine.

Fruit: Pineapples, Apples and Strawberries

Favorite Breakfast spot: Home

What’s your beauty routine: Shower, shave , lotion up and spray one of my signature fragrances.

Skin: Khiels Creme de Elegance

Where do you cut your hair: I shave my head myself or on occasion I go to a barbershop or a private barber

Nails and other personal grooming: Ada’s in Tribeca….no not Ada Kokosar ;)

Describe your style: I don’t think there is one way to describe it. I like variety so my wardrobe reflects that. I use my passion for design (color, textures and patterns) and architecture to cultivate and inspire my looks. (check my inspiration board)

What are your favorite brands: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Dries Van Noten, and Saint Laurent and others that I would like to keep a secret.

Any style rules (for instance you only wear black shoes): Black leather shoes with crisp white clean soles (Inspiration) and black suede shoes..there’s something about the texture of suede in the color black that exudes elegance.

What do you do before you go to bed: Pray.

Street Style: Marcus Paul in Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, A.P.C. & More

As Seen in HighSnobiety.com By 

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Today we present the next chapter of our Street Style series, featuring stylist Marcus Paul. We love the simple, yet perfect outfit, that plays with both color and cuts. We are also fans of the right watch and bracelet setup, which is pure perfection in Marcus’ outfit. Stylist Marcus Paul Top: Tim Coppens Bottom: A.P.C. Shoes: Balenciaga Watch: Rolex Bracelet: Balenciaga Eyeglasses: Cutler and Gross Brooch: Dries Van Noten. Flip through the complete outfit in detail in the above gallery. Photography: Youngjun Koo / Highsnobiety.com
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