Courtesy of the brand
Some would say that imitation is one of the sincerest forms of flattery, but fashion designers can feel different. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty inevitable that similar designs will come from multiple brands as fashion repeats itself and it’s completely normal to take inspiration from each other, but there’s a clear line between being inspired and blatant copying.
For larger companies, seeing one of their models sold by another brand may not be alarming as they may have legal resources readily available. However, for emerging independent designers, it can be very discouraging and detrimental to their business when another brand with a wider platform copies their designs and sells them as an original.
Markisha Marie, the designer and founder of M.Marie, knows well the experience of seeing another brand with a larger platform steal her designs. The young designer, originally from New York, creates luxury heels made to stand out. Although Marie has been featured multiple times on Diet Prada for calling out designers who have emulated her past work, she isn’t letting that discourage her or stop her from building her ever-growing community of luxury-loving, shitty women.
“What is for me will always be for me. I stick with that. No matter how many obstacles I face on my journey to success, I know I was made to do this,” Marie told ESSENCE. “I know a lot of people say they have days where they just aren’t motivated or run into a creative block. I honestly have never experienced this. Every day I think of new models. My brain doesn’t stop working when it comes to shoes.
She continued: “While it hurts to see what I’ve been working on getting robbed, one thing is for sure – I will always speak up when needed every time and turn that hurt into my passion for MR. MARY. I have fun, I create, I live my dream and I am a black woman. Nothing will stop me!”
Marie originally launched M.Marie in 2018 after finding a manufacturer in Italy, but knew she would be a designer ever since she fell in love with shoes as a toddler. She describes her target customer as “those who care about the intricate details – how they feel, what they look like, and the materials used.” As a self-taught designer, Marie often charts her own paths and rules. “I’m not a designer who makes everyday shoes because I’m not an everyday girl. I like to play with my style. I love unique heels, weird heels and most things and designs that people would be afraid of,” she says. “I incorporate all of these things into M.Marie and that’s what makes my mark. So if someone is just looking for a standard black pump, they won’t find it at M.MARIE.
What will you find? A collection of vibrant and courageous heels, including a pair inspired by a trip to Tulum. The tropical heel is constructed with green ostrich feathers, silk satin, and colorful crystals, all inspired by elements from the Mexican city. Marie explained, “I knew when I designed it, this shoe was going to be one of my best sellers. I released it on June 19, 2021 and it sold out in seven minutes, in the midst of a pandemic. I was so inspired and it led me to immediately start working on a Resort collection which will be launched in May. She reveals, “This collection will include four new styles from all the places I vacationed last year. Jamaica, Cabo, Saint Martin and Aruba.
Until then, shop M.Marie’s “Tulum” style, which is now back in stock, as well as the other beautiful heels and boots offered at mmariebymarkishamarie.com.