Leroy Marc is best known for hosting the weekend evening show ‘Man Club’ on Transafrica radio but has also appeared on our screens presenting BETAlist on the BET channel. Not only a flourishing TV presenter and radio host, but Leroy is also an admitted Attorney, having completed his articles of clerkship in January 2014. Since then, he has written a lot of articles about brands, current affairs, and consumer trends.
Istyleblaq had the opportunity to catch up with Leroy Marc to talk about his love for style and fashion.
MUZI: Describe your style in 3 words!
LEROY: Clean, classic, and functional.
MUZI: As an experienced fashion stylist- Who would you say your style icons are and who would be your dream client to style?
LEROY: My style icons are Princess Diana and Diane von Fürstenberg. On the male side, I enjoy what Lebron is doing lately with fashion like so my fashion icons change as time changes.
Who would I love to style? Uhm, it’s a bit of a controversial one but I would love to style MaMkhize, firstly. I think she has a very impressive wardrobe but there are some technical things that she’s not doing very well and that’s why sometimes it seems like her style is a bit contrived or a little over the top. I think it’s just a matter of refining her extravagance. There’s nothing wrong with her style per se but I think it becomes a bit vulgar when she layers all the brands so I’d love to style her.
On the opposite end, I’d love to style Khanyi Dhlomo. I think she has impeccable style and taste and I’d like to challenge myself in trying to work with her because she’s already a pretty well-established and very well-styled woman and to see if I could make her even more stylish…if there’s anything like that.
MUZI: Having written articles about current trends and affairs – Fashion has evolved so much over the years – we’re seeing people having fun expressing themselves and taking risks with fashion. What changes have you loved seeing, both in trends and the way people approach to fashion?
LEROY: Yes, I have written about it and after writing about fashion I have had to just do some introspection on the patterns around fashion. What I found is that the idea of trends and styles and what is in and what’s out have become things of the past. That is happening now fashion has become more conscious and more idiosyncratic to the people who are wearing it so fashion has become more of an expression tool as opposed to a tool to fit in. So, people want to be different with their fashion as opposed to being included in their fashion so questions like “is orange the new black?’ wouldn’t matter now because if you want to conform then orange would be orange and if you want to be non-conformist then you’d want to wear another color.
So, I think from an abstract and scientific point of view there are no trends anymore. I think the trends are people mixing and matching what their style and influences are.
There are things that I am enjoying seeing right now. I am loving the idea of androgynous fashion where men and women can wear the same items of clothing, I think that is where the future of fashion is going.
I love the idea that men can wear white pants now and women can wear white pants and it all looks good on everyone. I still love the fact that we’ve got the classic suit with various adaptations on fit and tailoring that are still very relevant. So, for me, the big thing is suits and also the inclusion of other elements of the fashion industry whether it be big bags or playing around with makeup, ethnic hair, and unconventional colors…I think that’s what fashion is about right now. It’s more about expression than fitting in.
MUZI: You recently launched a Premium Wear Brand for men “House of Basil” – What’s it all about and what inspired the brand to come to life?
LEROY: So, House of Basil has been two years in the making and it’s been an absolute labor of love. It happened because about three years ago I was going away on holiday or working holiday and I had decided that I wanted to buy nice sets of underwear because I was going to the ocean and I wanted to have some swimwear, underwear and a mixture of both.
So, I didn’t know where to buy underwear in South Africa that would be nice, unusual and I knew there were Dax Martin but they’re based in Cape Town and at the time it was way out of my price range. So, I was looking for a way to get these fashion items and I ordered them online and I thought I had about three months and they’d be in South Africa by then. What followed was about a six to nine-week madness about constantly having to go to the post office and the pieces would be one piece a day and then a week later I’d get two pieces and then it would stop and then I would get nothing for about two weeks and then I would get a big delivery in about four weeks and it just became such a tedious affair with all these drip and drabs coming in…some items never even made it to me.
When I met my business partner, we both started talking about the fact that we both had a deep passion for undergarments and the fact that underwear should be as prominent as outerwear as far as the place it plays in our style and our clothing consciousness…we decided why not just doing because no one else is doing it. We are looking to upset the market but also we want underwear that we want to wear in various cuts, styles, and colors and so we just decided to put some money down and start doing the RND and after researching and developing it for two years on the 23rd of September I decided to just launch it. I kept putting it off because I wanted it to be perfect, I wanted it to be amazing and I realized that if I don’t give birth to this baby right now I’ll be carrying it for the next 10 years.
So, we wanted to make sure that people, men especially because they don’t have much choice when it comes to underwear in this country, firstly get their needs catered to and secondly, we want to look good in our underwear and I think every man should too.
MUZI: Where to from here (plans)?
LEROY: Plans? So, I’ve been blessed to be able to work through the pandemic. I’ve been blessed to build a brand during the pandemic and be enjoying growing at this time. From a personal or professional point of view as far as brand Leroy Marc is concerned, I’ve also been quite lucky and blessed that I’ve been able to get work and be able start projects that I am passionate about.
So, the future as far as brand Leroy Marc is concerned is tons more work…I will most definitely be growing the empire and applying our talents. We are trying to do a whole lot more with working around social ills especially when it comes to schooling-age men and boys and trying to facilitate them becoming better men as they get older, that is something is something I recently looked into. Sustainability of our brand- making sure we buy Proudly South African and we create Proudly South African.