Marco Capaldo

Photography and Interview by Ram Shergill

Hair by Kristopher Smith

Make Up by Natasha Lakic using Sisley and Mac Pro

Model Coco @Select

It was a long hot summer about ten years ago when I was asked to shoot a campaign for the clothing brand ISSA. We had looked for many locations for the shoot. I wanted a location with beautiful modern design yet with a classical atmosphere and luscious swimming pool.

A friend mentioned to me that she knew a fantastic interior designer named Sina Capaldo. Having received the pictures of the house I thought it looked perfect in every way; modern, chic and simply stunning. When we went to the Capaldo house I was mesmerised. It seemed like an oasis with palm trees surrounding the outdoor pool, not far from the centre of London.

The house on that day was full of beautiful models looking like a scene from a Helmut Newton shoot; stunning, golden-skinned, beautiful girls by the poolside wearing swimsuits and metallic heels by Charlotte Olympia. It was pure fashion indulgence.

As the sun was cooling down in the afternoon, a fresh faced boy in his school uniform, looking very chic (he must have been about 12), walked onto the set. Marco had just come from school and all I can remember is seeing his reaction as the fashion extravaganza lay before him. Beautiful girls, lush hair, bikinis, sunglasses, make up, gloss, luxury – it seemed to be every teenage boys dream. I asked Marco which girl he liked and was surprised at his answer. He was discussing the fashion and styling more than the girls with me, and he said that he loved the looks and the prints of Issa’s summer collection, and that he was a big fan of Christian Louboutin and Versace.

Mentioning to Sina that I thought Marco had a great style awareness albeit his young age, she took me into the family garage that Marco had turned into a makeshift design studio. I walked into the garage and to my amazement it was like a Pandora’s Box of beading, couture, fabric swatches, crystals and dolls!

I knew at that moment Marco was set for really big things.

Marco and I connected immediately. We decided that during his summer vacation he could come to many of my photo shoots to help out. We always credited him in the publications as “Marco The Fashion Kid”.

In an interview Marco told us more about himself and his design:


How did you get into fashion?

Growing up I was always surrounded by design. I was very fortunate to have been born into a very artistic household, my father an architect and my mother a graphic turned interior designer. I suppose that initially I drew inspiration from both my parents, being surrounded by architectural drawings, magazines and mock ups. I would constantly find ways to translate the idea of construction onto the human body. I was always helping my mother on photographic shoots, so from a very early age I was exposed to what goes on behind the glossy images that are printed in the magazines. I met some great stylists, photographers, models and personalities and started to build up as many contacts as I could. A very memorable shoot was with the amazing Victoria Beckham for Turkish Vogue, where I remember not only being fascinated by Victoria but also her ethos and drive towards her brand, which still to this day is very inspiring for me.


Which other designers inspire you and why?

When it comes to designers that inspire me, there are many. I love the work of Raf Simmons and Nicolas Ghesquière, I find their modern approach to design so refreshing and innovative. I love the work of Giambattista Valli and Elie Saab their attention to detail is very special and this focus on detail is something I always keep in mind when designing.


Who would you most like to dress and why?

My design ethos is driven by creating couture for the modern couture wearer. I would love to dress the likes of Daphne Guinness, her artistic approach to life and the way she effortlessly wears clothes is very beautiful. Diane Kruger and Cate Blanchett are also two very beautiful women who I'd love to dress. Victoria Beckham, but I think she has the wardrobe ‘chapter’ covered with her own amazing line. I would also love to see my work on Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Poppy Delevingne. 

What was your inspiration and creative vision for this particular all-white collection?

This collection showcases an aesthetic that stems from my fascination with “Westernised” Far Eastern culture. My inspiration finds its root at the film "Lust Caution" and how women of the time used their grace and charisma to seduce men whilst remaining incredibly sophisticated. 

I was able to connect such grace and charisma to the 70's Glam. This mindset and sprit that the 70's projected is key in my collection. 

I explored the idea East is West and West is East, I wanted this collection to be about purity, discipline and sensuality. The collection conveys a mélange of the fluidity and uber glam the 70's oozed in contrast with the rigidity and discipline of the far eastern Asian culture in its fullness.

When researching I looked deeply into the Asian clouds motifs and this channeled my focus on the idea of realising a dream, creating the unreal. 

Powdery shades of white define this collection while crunchy textures take centre stage with each garment is a careful assembly with thousands of Swarovski stones, each carefully placed for maximum effect and reflect my inspiration. The idea was to create cascading silk threaded clouds and layers of degrade beading juxtaposed against sharp clean and sexy silhouettes. 

Layered organza’s, silks and light cashmere were my fabric palette for my Spring/Summer 2016 graduate collection. Infused with intricate Swarovski beading and delicate cloud embroidery that is contrasted against a graphic white on white print inspired by typical Asian cloud motifs all combined with my classic couture tailoring techniques to reflect my European roots.

How did your collaboration with Christian Louboutin come about?

I have always been a great fan of Christian Louboutin's work and was very lucky to meet Mr. Louboutin on a chance encounter in London at his prestigious Motcomb Street boutique. I remember helping him with his iPhone that he had just bought and discussing his incredible footwear. I sent over an email saying how great and inspiring it was to meet him and kept in touch. I did an internship with his company in Paris which Mr. Louboutin very kindly helped me set up . There  I learnt so much about the world of footwear through one of the most respectable names in the industry. When it came to doing my graduate collection, I couldn't think of anyone else but Louboutin that I would want to present my designs with. I explained this to Mr Louboutin and like a dream come true, I was put in touch with the team and able to open the show of my graduate collection with Christian Louboutin shoes.


Can you tell us about your collaboration with Swarovski?

I certainly favour the use of crystal within my collection and designs. Having always followed and admired the work that Swarovski does with different fashion designers and houses it only felt natural to contact them to check if they would collaborate.

My intention was to have this collection act like a piece of fine jewellery, something timeless and extremely desired I presented my work to Swarovski explained my concept and ideas and very kindly sponsored me to create some of the looks within the collection. 

I would not have been able to create this without them.

How do you think that growing up in London has influenced you as a fashion designer?

I would state the obvious but London is probably one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It has such diversity of cultures and buzz that I'm most definitely very lucky to have grown up in such a cosmopolitan city. As a child I travelled a lot on family holidays and we always visited the Far East. I remember seeing the most beautiful places and cultures in countries such as Thailand Indonesia and Malaysia and I think this mixed with the contrast of London will always be rooted into my ideas and inspiration as a designer.

What do you see in the future for Marco Capaldo?

The future for Marco Capaldo… That is a very good question, I have just graduated from Istituto Marangoni in London where I completed my BA Degree in Fashion Design, It has been an incredible 3 years where I have learned at lot, met some amazing people and been lucky to have had some great teachers. The dream is to eventually have an established womenswear and couture label but baby steps for now and I look forward to see what the future has reserved for me. 


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With thanks to:

Federica Cavenati

Claudia Saadeh 

Fabio Deluca 



Christian Louboutin