We sat down with Ryan Mark Morgan to discuss his biggest inspirations, dream jobs and his future in fashion - photos by @ioliverjames.
1. What first sparked your interest in fashion?
From what I remember I’ve always had a love and interest in fashion. My earliest memory would be flicking through magazines that my mum would buy to check out the advertisements for Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Prada etc. I was so mesmerised by the images. How they were directed, the models, the clothing and its intricate details, how it made me feel. I was too young to understand really why, but I think this is where my interest in fashion truly began, because prior to these moments there was nothing else that I looked at that gave me such a feeling of happiness and curiosity to know more.
2. Who or what has been the biggest inspiration behind your personal style evolution?
I find this question a difficult one, but I can sort of answer it I think, I just may be restructuring it completely haha. So - when it comes to my style and it’s evolution, there is no one thing in particular that inspires me. I like to draw inspiration from a variety of different things. The same applies in my approach to sourcing inspiration for my work. To name a few of recent, my style is inspired by Korean fashion in regard to the oversized boxy fits and minimalism. I’m also constantly inspired by 90’s experimental fashion. All the wavy shirts, colours, skater jeans and dad shoes. I source a lot of inspiration through instagram, like many people would these days I imagine, but I also look to magazines and people I see out and about. I like to keep my circle of people wide, as I really get a lot of happiness and inspiration from others around me. Why they say the things they say, do the things they do, wear the things they wear. It sounds far fetched but all of these things I take into consideration and they influence the thinking behind my work and style. Opinions towards styles and colours, and what others think a particular item or colour connotes. I find it so so interesting, then I play with it when it comes to my style (as much as I can). I also have a weird thing for buying clothes that people hate haha. I find it funny and interesting how passionate people can be about garments that they don’t deem fashionable, and I love to try and challenge it. I hope this answered your question in some way?
3. If you could collaborate with any fashion creative on a large budget project - who would it be and why?
It’s got to be Nike I think. I’ve always loved Nike because of their versatility as a brand. They collaborate with high end designers as well as streetwear brands that I love. All of their shoes have individuality (which I honestly don’t think can be said for many of their competitors), they cater for sports, style, skating, swimming etc. I love that they have close ties with the music scene as a brand as well. They utilise what’s popular to stay relevant but in the best way, and they tell stories through their advertising. The ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ campaign was probably my favourite ad of 2018, if not ever (so far). The research that had been put into it along with the perfect execution of what it’s like to be a Londoner was just exceptional (I’m not a Londoner by the way, but many of my friends are and so I learned from them how accurate it all was). They’re overall just an amazing brand. Super inclusive and experimental, and they collaborate with so many brands that I love - I just think it would be amazing to work with them. The ideal project would be working to create a campaign and content with Nike and a high end label, maybe like Louis Vuitton or Prada. I love the merging between high end and streetwear fashion that’s currently happening.
4. How would you describe your ideal career in fashion?
My ideal career in fashion would be a content creator - but not in the sense of just influencing with a presence. I’d love to really CREATE content. Attend shows and create crazy films and edits of them, perform photoshoots behind the scenes, being involved in magazine shoots and advertising campaigns, art directing shows and shoots, and writing about these experiences and insider knowledge for a huge publication. I’ve always been creative and into fashion, but I feel you go through life with people older than you telling you to ‘pick a lane’. It was like I had to be just a photographer, or film maker, or marketer, or writer. Like I shouldn’t combine them. I think that’s why I love the fact that being a ‘content creator’ is now a thing. I don’t feel limited to just creating one thing, and I can work with different mediums and collaborate with so many different people to create mad things under that title. I’ve only recently fallen into the role of a content creator in my professional life, but I’m excited for the future when it becomes solely fashion content that I am creating, and all of the amazing people and brands I can hopefully collaborate with.
5. In light of current circumstances, what changes do you expect to see within the fashion industry over the next five years?
I expect to (hopefully) see some major changes in the fast fashion industry. Companies such as Primark have struggled massively due the amount of stock they have in excess and being unable to shop online, but I think many high street retailers have taken a hit for the same issue of having a backlog of stock that can’t be sold due to the situation. Companies like Everpress, who work on a pre-order basis where there is only enough stock to meet demand, have continued to function as normal during the pandemic. I imagine fashion companies will change to ensure they’re not overstocked and to be absolutely prepared to work and function solely online. It’ll be interesting to see how brands adapt during this period to be better prepared for the future in the case something like this were to happen again.
6. What three countries that you haven't yet visited, do you look forward to exploring in the next few years?
I’m yet to visit Italy, Monaco and Japan. I think Italy is just an absolute must - everything about it is so beautiful. I’d love to visit for Milan fashion week, and then stay and city hop for a little while. Try loads of different foods and experience the culture. I’m very influenced by my surroundings, so I’d really love to visit Italy for the influence it would have on my style.
Japan is a must and has been forever. I love Japanese style and the fits of all the clothing, and Tokyo just looks so mad! I feel like it would be such a great place to visit as a creative to learn more and improve what I do. Japanese food is also my favourite and I’m pretty sure (as much as I love it), the authentic stuff is far better than itsu haha.
Finally Monaco. Honestly I think I just want to go because it looks kinda boujee haha. It would be mad to go there to watch the Grand Prix. I don’t even like the Grand Prix, but it sounds kinda sick.
7. What new projects can we expect to see from you in the near future?
So, if all goes how I would like it to - I hope to be releasing more brand collaborations where I fully art direct and style the shoots. I love creating content for brands that is unique and interesting. It’s the perfect merge for my love of fashion and image making with my background in advertising and marketing. You’ll definitely be seeing more content across different mediums, including video as well as photography. Fingers crossed when the pandemic has ended, I’d like to start vlogging at fashion events to give people some more insight and share the experiences I’ve had. Aside of fashion, I also plan to work on some more projects in ways that I can to help people. I have an exciting project coming up later this year with a charity surrounding the topic of male eating disorders that I hope can help a lot of people. It’s something I personally struggled with and I’ve found through writing about it, I’ve gotten a better understanding of it myself and I’m able to detach myself from the disorder. I hope my story will help others going through it to do the same, as well as educating others about it.