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Worn Out Wednesday – John Marsala

Today we speak to co-owner of the brilliant Brooklyn store, Modern Anthology:

Originally from New York, I took a long and unlikely route to opening our first retail shop. After studying architecture, I began my career at Walt Disney Imagineering as a concept architect and was a contributing designer of several parks with built works in Disney’s California Adventure and Disney MGM Studios in Paris. The hook for me was storytelling through design, and Disney certainly provided good opportunities for me to blend those two passions.

Eventually, my storytelling ambitions kicked into high gear, and I decided to move to London to study filmmaking at the London Film School. When I returned to New York a few years later, they weren’t exactly handing out directing gigs, but because of my background I was lucky enough to start working regularly as an independent art director and later on as a production designer on film and television projects under the banner of Modern Anthology.

The idea at that point was to grow a company built of other creative freelancers like myself, (filmmakers, designers, art directors, writers, etc), who could come together as an agency and offer the types of experiential and story driven problem solving that I enjoyed. It was through this work that I ultimately met my business partner Becka Citron. Together we worked on projects for everyone from MTV, History Channel, Comedy Central, HGTV, and the DIY Network before opening a retail component to the MA studio in 2010.

We wanted to create a shop that catered to a masculine design sensibility, and combined everything from the furniture and home accessories that we regularly sourced for clients, to clothing, bags and other personal goods that are as well-crafted as they are timeless. And while it’s still a labor of love for us, we feel fortunate to have garnered so much support over the years since first opening our doors, and are excited to have recently opened our second retail location in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

As for my personal style:

Jeans: Raleigh Denim, Martin Original Selvedge Raw

Shirts: Kai D Indigo Plaid Linus Shirt, Grei Chambray Shirt

Pants: Raleigh Denim, Jones Canvas Trouser

Suits: Universal Works, Navy Twill Jacket/Pants

Shoes: You can usually find me stomping around in my special edition Oak Street Bootmakers cap-toe with Dainite sole that they made for Modern Anthology a couple of years back. I’ve worn them into the ground.

Accessories: I have a vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date watch that my grandfather bought for my father who eventually passed it along to me that gets a lot of use, as well as a Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch in black that my wife gifted to me when I was being particularly good. Also love my Jay briefcase from Moore & Giles.

Outerwear: La Panoplie CPO Jacket

Favorite Cologne: I don’t always wear cologne, but when I do, I’m a fan of Odin’s 03 Century fragrance.

Your favorite App: BBC – I’m a news junkie

Favorite piece of technology: Like most, my iPhone has become an appendage that I have a hard time putting down. That said, I still prefer to keep important notes scribbled on paper in my back pocket.

Next tech purchase: Sonos please.

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Cator Sparks
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cator Sparks was the Editor-in-Chief of The Manual from its launch in 2012 until 2018. Previously, Cator was covering…
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