Every gent has a slight bromance with his Oxford shirts. They are the go-to staple when you just need to look classic, clean and on point. They are comfortable, go with almost everything and can work for an interview or a chin wag at the bar. We have certainly seen our fair share of these landing on our desk, yet this new line from Marlon Taylor-Wiles (who you may recall also is a partner in George Frost) really got our attention.
While his line More Than Words has shirts that look like classic prepster button downs from the front, the back gives us a ‘slap ya mama’ thrill that we weren’t expecting and we dig it. The back panels of the shirts are created with different textiles that ranges from camo to tribal to batik.
We had a pre fashion week chat with Marlon to hear more about the collection:
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Houston, Texas, where I studied classical ballet and modern dance at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After graduating from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Dance, I joined and toured the world with the contemporary ballet company ArmitageGone! Dance in New York City for five years and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 Dancers to Watch” in 2012.
During that time I have performed with Beyoncé, Madonna and appeared in the viral sensation Evian’s ‘Baby and Me’ film. You can also catch me in several fashion editorials with top models Joan Smalls, Dree Hemingway and Chanel Iman.
What inspired you to design a line?
While in college I managed several high profile retail stores including Bodega and Ralph Lauren Rugby. I had the opportunity to open the first Ralph Lauren Rugby store in 2004 in Boston, followed by the Palo Alto, San Francisco, New Canaan, New York City and East Hampton locations so I have been surrounded by fashion for quite some time.
I was inspired to start designing because I saw the lack of conservative yet playful garments. Either a brand is making a basic oxford or oxfords with way too many embellishments. I wanted to make pieces that could take a man from work to dinner to a bar, while making him feel cool and know that he is standing out just enough.
Where do you source your materials?
I source my materials from all around the globe. A good friend of mine has a small company called Kura Kura that makes fabric in the mountains of Bali. Japan is also a great place for me when sourcing fabric. The quality is the best!
How do you see the line evolving?
The line is an evolution within itself. Here you have one garment – an Oxford shirt that you can wear in so many different situations. I am in no rush to grow the brand overnight. I will be introducing more short sleeve styles for spring and I have many other ideas that I can’t mention just yet. You’ll have to check back in and see the evolution!