Moments With Martha Fogarty

Our interview series with The Style Line wouldn't be complete without including the story of a truly special designer. enter, Martha Fogarty of MART who is redefining what it means to design on your own terms. from her artistic approach to fashion to her unwavering determination, we're thrilled to share a few snapshots of the moments we spent with her as market came to a close. read on to discover more about martha's brand and enjoy an ADDITIONAL PART OF OUR INTERVIEW ON THE STYLE LINE.

Please introduce yourself!

It's actually quite difficult to separate myself from MART, it's so much a part of me and a reflection of me.

The collection pulls from all the facets of what I love and value: Music, film and art have shaped me as a person as well as my aesthetic eye. And humor, something that manifests in prettiness and unexpected combinations within the collection, is paramount to me. If you can make me laugh, it’s a done deal. I’m gonna think you’re awesome.

We love the sense of whimsy and quirkiness to the aesthetic - How would you say this has been received by the industry and what do you hope this contributes to the market?

Thanks! It hasn't been easy. Or, let me clarify that, it has been difficult to politely and diplomatically thank people for their opinions while ignoring all of their input. There has been a lot, a surprisingly, alarmingly LOT of suggestions to 'streamline' the collection to what's currently in the market. I was shocked. I was and am certain that not only is there a market for great, unique and fun pieces, there is a HUGE market for them. In fact, a market that's chomping at the bit to shop with nowhere to go. 

And then... Spring '16. Guess what?! This season they got it. This season people started to see the MART world and see what it was all about. I could literally see the moment it hit them, when they realized this was something new and something that tapped into a world that seemingly was forgotten about, girls who want beautiful and awesome pieces that no one else has (yet). 

What role does community play in your life and how has being able to connect with other designers in the Brand Assembly community influenced your approach to design?

Brand Assembly is so amazingly important and smart. Bringing together emerging designers and giving them this wonderful infrustructure to build off of cannot be overstated. One of the biggest problems facing smaller designers, or at least I felt, was the total insulation. When it's just you, there's no one to bounce those ideas off of, or you can become so obsessed you begin to lose perspective. Working next to someone who truly understands the ups and downs, the challenges and the victories, opens up your world.  

What do you assemble daily? 

Beauty. Regardless of collection concept, fabrications, anything else, at the end of the day the question is, "is it beautiful?" That doesn't mean it has to be complicated or intricate, a white t-shirt can be beautiful. It's when it comes together just so. It's a funny thing, when something is lacking you can pinpoint what's wrong. But, when it's truly beautiful it's difficult to vet out exactly why, it just is. 

As an artist, how have you been able to translate your skill-sets in approaching designing apparel and what’s the best piece of advice you can offer to artists who are looking to break into the fashion space?

I was extremely lucky to come to fashion from a fine art background. I learned early that preciousness is a hindrance. I think of clothing as soft sculpture - you're creating this thing that may or may not manifest in the way you're seeing it. And, if it doesn't work out, you can break it apart, start over. Artists respect the process of creating something again and again until it fits an idea, either in a single piece or in an expansive body of work. That mentality is at the core of a collection. 

How would you define contemporary fashion and what excites you the most about this market?

Contemporary fashion has evolved over the last couple years; it's grown up and grown into itself. I see it as truly ready to wear in that it's meant for real life at a price that's attainable. As a designer, there is a freedom in that for me. Each collection is a new narrative, a new story your girl is living. And my girl, she has a lot of fun.