Chicago Looks: Early and Vibrant

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Ebony Leaks and Marcus Banks were shot after Allen Stone’s show downtown on a weekday at around 9am.

How long did it take you to get dressed this morning?

Marcus: It took me literally ten minutes to get dressed this morning. It’s easy for me to pick out garments because I just look through my closet and choose the garment that speaks the most in energy, youthfulness, structure or sophistication for that day.
Ebony: I actually woke up late and didn’t have anything in mind of what I was going to put on. I have a large treasure chest of clothes so I literally just grabbed something then looked in the mirror and agreed that it would work for the day. It was just a little under twenty minutes!
What look were you going for?
Marcus: The look is actually designed by me and my design partner Marcel Coleman. Our design name is called KAR-IK-TER and our brand represents energy, youthfulness, structure and sophistication. The design was based off the Soweto culture in SouthWest Africa. Life there is filled with color, texture, and pattern. We see the fashion as something innovative and they see their fashion as a way of life; a way of expressing themselves as individuals in a ghetto.
Ebony: I really wanted to find something that would be comfortable because I knew I would be doing a lot of moving. So flat shoes were very important instead of something with a heel. I really wanted to focus on my top since my time was limited, so my thought was to find something that was vibrant. As for my iPad case, I usually wear something gold or turquoise because it really speaks loudly to the royal look that I incorporate into my style. It is a big inspiration that I get from my jewelry line Vinyl Expressionz.

What inspires your styling the most?

Marcus: Well…Prince inspires my style the most! But, I’m in love with London street style mixed with the tailored traditional aesthetics of Savile Row. I love garments that are modern, balanced and tailored, like Ozwald Boateng. But I love to throw in fabrics that are unconventional and something that can challenge the idea of what men should wear on the street or in the office, designs like Dent De Man.
Ebony: A lot of my inspiration comes from the Queen Solange Knowles. I love the way she plays with patterns and colors and she isn’t afraid to be herself. She knows how to pair vintage pieces together and she always has a very clean look! Accessories are also a very large part of my style. I get inspiration from the new kingdom which is a part of the Ancient Egyptian culture. I love the incorporation of gold, turquoise, ivory and purple.

Marcus, where did you get these shoes?

I actually got the shoes from a vintage store in Notting Hill in London when I went this past January. The name in the shoes reads Aragin.
—Interview and photograph by Isa Giallorenzo

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