Luxurious Magazine’s Zoe Bing talks to Mark Farhat the man behind MARK/GIUSTI, the brand mixing luxury with fine art.
In recent years, the flood of luxury brands reaching the international market has grown substantially. So much so, that for some, the term “luxury” has been tarnished by overuse and mass marketing. But among the landslide of “designer” products shouting for attention is one brand which is quietly redefining quality with detailed attention to discreet craftsmanship and functionality.
MARK/GIUSTI London was founded in 2009 with the express aim of creating the perfect union between function, design and historic art. Creator, Mark Farhat began by setting standards for his collection of bags, leather accessories and neckwear from which he has refused to deviate, no matter what the cost. His initial business involved creating bespoke designs and collections for his private VIP customers, who wanted to escape the mainstream market and the obsession with logos. But quickly word spread and with his continuing participation in international showcases and fashion weeks, he’s become a byword for quality and time-served craftsmanship.
“Every product I design is individually handmade by the finest artisans in Italy who have decades of experience passed on from one generation onto another. All leather, linings, dust bags, packaging boxes, zips and hand carved metallic fittings have also been sourced and produced locally, this reflecting the brand’s prime dedication to quality and sustainability.”
But this isn’t the only reason that Mark’s handbags stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Born in Lebanon and growing up in Libya, the Republic of Congo and Gabon, Mark had a cosmopolitan upbringing soaked in Middle Eastern and African culture. His father, who’s a collector of art and mosaics, brought him along to antique fairs and auctions, educating the young Mark in beautiful pieces of history.
“We had so many wonderful books, of Byzantine mosaics in particular, that I grew up loving those beautiful patterns from antiquity. As an adult, the more I travelled around Italy, the more I wanted to see the mosaic wall decorations, paintings and marble floors in Byzantine churches and medieval houses. I fell in love with these designs all over again, especially those geometric patterns that seemed to have been forgotten.”
Mark now brings these designs back to life through his own creations. By redrawing these original mosaic patterns onto digital artwork, he then prints them onto a premium cotton sateen fabric and uses them as a lining for all MARK/GIUSTI London products.
“It’s a perfect union: my love of Byzantine mosaics and my love of fashion. Every collection I create compliments the one before it. To me there is a story, a timeline and a mood to each collection, but there is also a continuation, a progression and a step closer to my idea of perfection.”
It’s easy to see that Mark is a man with a passion, but this year he has taken this to a new level. He has developed a plain and geometrically embossed/de-bossed leather for the brand as well as introducing exclusive colours such as “London Nights” and “Midnight Navy”. Again these have been produced by a tannery in Tuscany with generations of skilled workmanship behind them. And with two nominations for different design awards and the first Ladies’ capsule collection on the cards for 2017, it looks as if the pieces of his own mosaic are definitely falling into place for Mark and his GIUSTI designs.
If you’d like to luxuriate in some discrete quality then go to www.markgiusti.com.
MARK/GIUSTI – Where and How?
On-line Boutique at www.markgiusti.com
Stockists at www.markgiusti.com/stockists
Interview by Zoe Bing