Karlie Marks is changing the fashion game with her signature quirky style, combining humor with darkness. With her brand, Puppets and Puppets (@puppetsandpuppets), Karlie deftly ignores the rules and creates new looks and flashy pieces that are her own — and the fashion industry is taking notice.
“This brand is my representation,” says Carly. “It’s a little off center. I love things that are wearable, but also a little weird. This is my starting point.”
“She was always surrounded by art,” says Carly, who grew up in Detroit. The artist-turned-designer’s mother once entered her bedroom to find a young woman, Carly, drawing dresses. “My mother said, ‘You’re going to be a fashion designer.’
Carly’s mother’s prediction eventually came true, but Carly wanted to work in fine art for ten years in New York to find out what her true passion was. After realizing that the art world was not for her, Carly decided to move into fashion. “I put down a line. It just flowed out of me, and it just felt right,” she says. “I was like, ‘Yes, this is what I’m supposed to do.’ I brought everything I knew from fine art into fashion.”
Carly’s fine art background was her initial pillar of inspiration, but it was her extensive and unique list of interests that helped set her apart. Horror movies, anime, fantasy and science fiction – to name a few – have all helped shape Carlin’s aesthetic as a designer. “I love any kind of escape,” she says. “And I like humor.”
Humor was especially front and center for Carly’s career. In her third fashion season, Karlie created a belt with a gummy cookie as the buckle. Keeping up with the trend, Karlie put a gummy cookie on that black handbag. “Everybody loves black handbags. Everybody loves cookies,” Carly said. “There we go.”
For Karlie, her unique approach to fashion fills a void in the New York fashion scene. “When I started the brand, I was definitely trying to be disruptive. I saw a void in New York fashion,” she says. “People weren’t laughing. They weren’t just trying ‘anything’. I was like, ‘I can do this. I can fill that void.’
Carly’s style is driven by “humor”, but for Carly, the designs are more layered than they seem. “Humor buys me and motivates me and I want to laugh and smile every day,” she says. “But what excites me is the juxtaposition of humor and darkness—light and dark. Because they are both. Everything is both. I like it too.
The post Meet Carly Marks, a fashion designer who lives by one rule – no rules appeared first on In The Know.
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