“You could fail 1,000 times, but the one time you win it could change your life.”
This is the wisdom Griffin Mark brings to his fashion design with his “Made in Failure” brand.
“Everything comes from failure, even if it’s indirect,” he said.
Mark’s approach and unique designs earned him an invitation to the Saint Laurent men’s spring / summer collection fashion show on the runway in Venice, Italy. Mark received an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the show and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best personalities in the haute couture world from July 12-15.
Mark, 18, is a Janesville Craig High School graduate and aspiring entrepreneur who is currently building his brand in Los Angeles. Son of owners Brian Mark Funeral Home Brian and Diane Mark, Mark is preparing the release of two collections this year.
He has successfully marketed himself through Tik Tok and other social media platforms, garnering millions of followers through his creative and fashionable videos.
In fact, it was one of Mark’s Tik Tok style videos that caught the eye of Saint Laurent, one of the top fashion houses in Paris.
“It was a transition video where I was in a leather pants outfit,” Mark said.
Mark was first given items to wear and later an invitation to the show. The company sent it first class with reservations at the St. Regis Venice hotel.
At the show, he met members of the Saint Laurent team as well as other designers, CEOs of the fashion industry and editors of fashion magazines.
Mark said one of his most emotional moments for him was meeting American fashion designer Rick Owens. “He’s the Michael Jordan of the high fashion world,” said Mark.
Mark said he received a warm welcome on the show when he spoke about his own clothes.
“They were interested and excited about me,” he said. “A lot of people believe in failure.”
Mark said the best way to grow over time is not to be afraid of failure, to recognize your failures and grow from them.
“The world is a crazy place and it’s not always safe and you have to be prepared to fail. There is a negative connotation with failure and that’s what I’m trying to change, ”he said.
Mark said he slowly developed his fashion sense, which he describes as unisex with a punk rock twist. His videos sometimes show him in a skirt or pearls as part of an effort to break gender norms in fashion.
After graduating from high school in January, Mark moved to Los Angeles where he devotes most of his time to fashion design.
On August 27, Mark will launch 100 belts as part of the Made in Failure range. With a nod to pop art, each belt is a different design.
Next month, it will launch its first collection, “Off the Mark,” which is based on the demise of pop culture, he said. He chose events and designers from the 1960s to early 2000s as his inspiration, including Mick Jagger, OJ Simpson and Kurt Cobain.
Her Cobain-inspired piece, for example, is a green striped mohair sweater based on a sweater Cobain wore often that was seen in “American Horror Story”.
“I took elements of Kurt’s life and style and put them together in a green striped mohair sweater to form a story,” said Mark.
Mark also designed an all-over print dress pants inspired by Studio 54.
“Studio 54 is one of the most influential clubs of all time and was important to the LGBT community,” he said.
Other favorites include a John Lennon “War Is Over” cutout tee and an Andy Warhol-inspired white tee.
In 2022, Griffin will have four more collections ready for release.
“It’s time to showcase what I’ve been working on all this time and show people what failure is. Failure is me, in a way, ”he said.
Griffin’s next steps are a potential “Failure” tour through several Midwestern states where he would offer pop-up shops to showcase trendy kids.
The failure will not stop anytime soon.
“There is no step to cross the finish line. There is always a progression, ”said Mark. “Anything is possible, you just have to trust failure.”
Mark can be found using Tik Tok and Instagram mainly under the handles @griffinspreminum and @shoutoutyahweh.