Marcell Pustul is getting ready for his fashion show in Los Angeles tonight; actually, it marks his runway debut for the German streetwear label Marcell von Berlin, which he founded in 2012 and relaunched six years later.
Up until now, the brand has relied on word of mouth, celebrity dressing and its two flagship stores in Berlin and Los Angeles to drum up interest. His clients have been encouraging him to stage a show for a while, he says. And now, away from New York Fashion Week's crowded schedule, he'll finally get the chance. (He showed digitally last season in collaboration with stylist Nicola Formichetti.)
"It's going to be very energetic, warm, vivid and strong!" he tells PAPER. "One special color will set the tone for the collection's energy." Indeed, it's telling he's making his runway debut in LA and not, say, New York or any of the other big fashion capitals like Paris or Milan. And he much prefers it that way.
Pustul grew up in Poland and moved to New York at 17 to study at Parsons before landing design jobs at Donna Karan and Michael Kors. Eventually he set his sights on Berlin, where he was drawn to its cultured yet gritty underground scene and independent spirit. He has equal admiration for LA, where he opened a store on Melrose Avenue in 2019 and considers it a sister city to the German capital.
"Both cities transport a hip "easy-to-wear" vibe that inspires me," he says. "They also have a lot in common. Both Berlin and LA offer enough space for personal development. Everyone is free to make their own choices and choose their own clothes to express themselves with. The only difference makes the weather, in LA people show more skin and they need lighter summer pieces. I adapted these needs to my collections."
His work can be described as a merging of Berlin's urban outlook with LA's laid back sensibility — rock 'n' roll clothes meets modern city dweller. Popular in Germany, it got a boost the past few years in the US thanks to celebs like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Paris Hilton, Troye Sivan, Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea sporting his wares.
"I've feel honored to work with so many big-name celebrities," he says. "This not only reinforces my work but also the dreams I had as a little boy. I couldn't even dream of more, except dressing Beyonce for the Met Gala."
His runway debut tonight, which is expected to have surprise performances and a star-studded front row (as LA usually does), will no doubt help his cause.