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Out Fashion Vanguard Awards

Out Fashion Vanguard Progress Report: Marcel Coleman Jr.

Out Fashion Vanguard Progress Report: Marcel Coleman Jr.

FVA Marcel

Marcel shares his progress in the competition to become Out’s Fashion Vanguard.

Out is searching for the next great talent on the cutting edge of fashion. Earlier this year, we asked you, our readers, to submit your designs and sketches using #OUTFashionVanguard. Now, we've got three eager finalists preparing their designs to show the world why they deserve the title of Out Fashion Vanguard at the FVAs on March 30th.

Here's a progress report from finalist Marcel Coleman Jr., a St. Louis based designer who seeks to break visual barriers and celebrate the beauty of being an out man of color.

What encouraged you to submit to the contest?

Opportunity is what encouraged me to submit my work. I can remember I was scrolling through my Instagram timeline late at night and saw Are you the next Olivier Rousteing? Marc Jacobs? I always say, Why do people always ask are you the NEXT someone else? There is only one of everyone, but I get it! I read the post and saw the question Love to sew & design clothes? and I do. I love that this is another opportunity to do what I love and showcase the only, Marcel Coleman Jr.

Tell us about the design/sketch you submitted. How does this represent your style and aesthetic?

The designs that I submitted were an example of what my aesthetic and style is about: cool, experimental, and free. I love color, shape, and creating my own prints using different dye methods--that's my aesthetic. The work that I submitted was an example of that, all handmade-prints.

Your FVA challenge is to design and create one or multiple pieces to be worn as part of a complete red carpet look that epitomizes your own design aesthetic or references your latest collection. Where are you pulling inspiration from to create this piece/look?

My inspiration is from a story about myself that I have been working on for a while. Growing up I carried a lot of weight, physically and mentally. I was drained for a while because I didn't know what living for me felt like. I was inspired by bricks because they're handmade and stack on top each other to hold weight to prevent things to get in. I've been traveling these last couple of months; I got to see Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago all within these three months, and I've designed based on what I've felt and seen. Last year one of my best friends told me to share my testimony, so I decided to put it in my garments. I'm not the best writer, so I'm using what I have from where I am--my art. This look is a new chapter in this testimony of mine, the one that I'm reliving my youth, the good and bad and showing the power in the pain. I love the impact clothes have and this opportunity was another way for me to help not only myself, but the other people out here pushing through life situations and making it count for something beautiful.

How are you showcasing your personal design aesthetic in this look?

With this look I'm staying true to using denim and 100% cotton fabrics. I have a great passion for blues, but this time I'm using less blue and other colors such as orange, grey and maybe a form of pink. My goal is utilize the opportunity to be as creative as possible. I'm sticking to hand dyed textiles, with some embroidery and other surprising elements that represent me. Red carpet looks can be anything, my goal is really shine all the way through and have fun.

How are you feeling about pacing and the amount of time left to finish this look?

I love that we have a time limit; it was totally unexpected and thrilling at the same time. I love deadlines, they give me an extra spark and a little fire within myself to get it done. I'm confident that everything will be incredible and one level ahead of myself.

Describe your vision for who would wear this piece and why?

I would say this look is for someone who is open to the idea to try something new, courageous, loves color, appreciates a good story and just loves the feeling of being authentic. This look is definitely for someone who loves to have fun, be free, free of trends and requirements and lives for themselves. I believe that artist such as Solange, Pharrell, Miguel, Sharaya J and Ty Hunter would wear this look because they could care less how someone feels about what THEY ARE WEARING. They inspire me to stay me: limitless.

See how the other two Out Fashion Vanguard Finalists, Andrew Morrison and Kim Mesches, are progressing in the competition, and look for more updates from all three finalists coming soon.

Interested in attending the Out Fashion Vanguard Awards in Los Angeles on March 30th? RSVP here.

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