Exclusive Report | Mark Ronson Interview

Mark Ronson's recently announced shoe collaboration with Gucci - here - came as a great surprise for many. I personally couldn't be more excited. He has proven himself worthy as a style icon so it seems only logistic that he ventures into designing, and thanks to GQ(and their newly launched site) we are given a more in-depth view of the collection and all of his other projects. More highlights after the jump...

"What have you been working on recently?
I've been working on a new album with Duran Duran. It sounds like classic Duran Duran and I'm really, really excited. We cut all the backing tracks and now we're waiting for Simon, who's working on lyrics as we speak. And then I'm working on my new album. I've been in the studio the last two months, working with a lot of the same musicians as last time around, but the arrangements are very different. There are barely any guitars—it's all heavy synths. The backbeats sound like Fela Kuti, but the keys are very late-70's Italo disco, like Giorgio Moroder. I'm using all these great keyboards I learned about while working with Nick Rhodes on the Duran Duran record. At times it almost sounds like a band in 1972 trying to learn how to play a Daft Punk song. Very syncopated and stop-start, with those kind of chord progressions.

"So I want to talk about your sneaker collaboration with Gucci. What was your initial reaction when they called?

Well, there's a really pervasive spirit of entrepreneurship in music right now. As soon as you're a success you're supposed to use that as a platform to get your clothing line going or your car detail shop or whatever it is. But I don't think I'm good enough at music yet to be distracting myself by branching out. That idea of, "Now that I've made it as a musician I'm going to put out my own line of shoes..."—I think it corrupts a bit. I don't know that Quincy Jones or George Martin would've had the success they had if, half the time—or even a tenth of the time—they were concentrating their attention on polo shirts.

But then again, Nike does all these editions, but you don't really expect Gucci to come knocking. So when they got in touch I thought it would be worth at least going to Milan to meet [creative director] Frida Giannini. Then, while I was there, I saw the men's show and fell in love with the line. So ultimately I thought it made sense. And I liked how genuinely into music Frida was. She has a collection of like 8,000 records at home and we talked about music being a component of what we're doing.

"Did you talk about specific bands that you're both into?
She loves early Depeche Mode and a lot of more New Wave-y type stuff, but then she also knows about all these post-punk, New York noise records, and all these post-punk disco records. A Certain Ratio, for instance. Her English is... Well, my Italian is non-existent so we weren't having the easiest conversation, but she was really cool.

"How did the actual design process work?

It was very important that it not look like Gucci brought me some shoe and I said, "Okay!" and threw my name on it. I was really diligent about every single aspect, down to the colors of the eyelets and the fabrics in the front and back. And it was important for me to take into account the seasons: What city is this particular shoe coming out in? And when is that pop-up shop scheduled for? The shoe somebody's going to want to buy in New York in October is very different from what somebody's going to buy in March. And it's certainly different than what somebody's going to want to buy in Miami in January.

The other thing is that it was really important to have some kind of exciting musical component, so I decided I wanted to make a brand-new record from scratch that you get on vinyl when you buy the shoe. I created the music with a fictional supergroup we put together called Chauffeur. The band is Sam Sparro, Theophilus London, and Tommy and Victor from the Dap Kings. It's cool—the sound is very '80s and luxurious. It's like what you would imagine a Gucci record to sound like. There's also kind of a play on Schoolly D's song "Gucci Time:" Looking at my Gucci, it's about that time. Maybe we'll get Gucci Mane on the remix down the lin



JamesJ. said...

Marky Mark is my style enthusiast.

JKJ said...

Ive never seen anyone young wear a suit so well.

RyanBun said...

im actually impressed by what he has done with Gucci. Better than Kanye "Beyonce had the best video of all time" West.

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