“This is it. That’s how it is. Move on, speak up and be heard. There are people who need to hear what you have to say.” Marvin Maddix on the advice he would give his younger self. The Founder of FGUK – a fashion magazine leveraging the voice and creativity of minorities, talks the expectations of gender performance, the monetization of queer content, how fashion can dismantle social constructs, brands to watch out for in 2019 and more…
YOUTH and ROLE MODELS
In your youth, was there a queer role model who inspired you or did the absence of a role model have a more formative impact during these pivotal years?
Born into Jamaican and English mixed heritage, but raised by my Jamaican mother left no room for the ideas of “Queer.” It wasn’t until I was around 9, sneaking to watch Lily Savage on Blankety Blank that I was able to really think about gender and sex (not knowing what that meant back then). So I think not having a role model made my journey a little longer. It wasn’t till I was a lot older and coming into my Blackness and Queerness I was able to include myself in the conversation.
The most iconic image of 2018?
I’m Biased. Shoot me.
How did teen Marvin navigate identifying as gay and managing the social constructs of masculinity?
I was always confident as a kid, but I think growing up I struggled more with my gender performance than my sexual identity. When I realised I was Gay, I never gave it a second guess, (but it did take me a hot minute) that was who I was and nobody was going to change that, but I was also aware of how society viewed gays or anyone different. At home we just never talked about gays, if they came on T.V., a sly remark would be made and this is what I knew.
Going away to university really took me out of myself and allowed me to take some time to self-love.
What advice would you give your adolescent self?
This is it. That’s how it is. Move on, speak up and be heard. There are people who need to hear what you have to say.
What do you do physically, spiritually and mentally for personal growth?
I’m at a point now where I just focus on self-care and the idea of getting my mind and body right. I’m focusing on getting into the gym, eating well and not being afraid to take a few moments to myself to reflect.
“It’s not about isolating white culture, but about creative consideration and showcasing representation of all skin types and backgrounds when creating a project.”
FGUK and ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Talk to us about FGUK Mag. What was the motivation to create it and how has its purpose transformed since its creation?
FGUK Magazine (Fashion Glossary UK) started when I was in my third year of University. I had reached out to many publications to get my work seen and just couldn’t get my foot in the door. I wanted to start a place where young artists and minorities could come together and showcase their work in collaboration. 5 years on we’ve developed into a full print and online magazine dedicated to delivering talent alongside fashion that sends a message.
We believe “activism is not optional” and injustice shall be called out in all forms. We support those who don’t have a voice.
What role do you see identity and fashion play in community and how does this influence FGUK’s content?
We are a result of fashion being used as a form of activism. As isn’t fashion meant to be used as a form of identity? We want to dismantle all societal constructs that tell you what a man should be and what a woman should say and look like. We want our content to encourage any one suffering with identity issues to be themselves, feel free to express who they are and be unapologetic about it.
As an entrepreneur, what advice would you have for the youth of tomorrow inspired to create change and be the voice of a new generation?
Turn your passion into work. As then you’ll never lose sight of the goal.
Since launching FGUK how do you think the landscape of queer publishing has changed and what aspects of it do you hope evolve, find problematic or are introduced in the future?
FGUK has always ran a thread of Queer culture throughout our content and has only recently been noticed as a notary voice in queer publishing, but as an Independent who really understands and wants to promote queer stories. The trend of queer publishing and its monetisation, which is great for awareness but raises competition against some of these more corporate publications jumping on the band wagon and really just doing it for the money.
I think this is where consumers come in, and must know the difference between authentic and genuine content. This will then lead to more support of independent publications who are here to change the world.
As the Founder and Editor in Chief of FGUK how do you tackle the responsibility to comment on contemporary inequities and does your criterion affect your casting of creatives and models?
We are a Black Owned publication and we are proud of it. I think to ignore what is happening across the landscape in all businesses when it comes to racial prejudice would be irresponsible of me as a Black man with a voice and a platform. We really look to push minorities and People of Colour whether it comes to works, castings or features.
It’s not about isolating white culture, but about creative consideration and showcasing representation of all skin types and backgrounds when creating a project.
“No regrets just lessons. Mentally I have grown and have learnt to dismantle systematic racism wherever I see it.”
The biggest challenges of 2018 for you and what did you learn from them?
My 2018 has been a series of ups and downs. No regrets just lessons. Mentally I have grown and have learnt to dismantle systematic racism wherever I see it. FGUK continues to grow and will continue to inspire, so bring on 2019.
Three fashion trends for 2019?
I never tell people to dress “Trendy.” We are firm believers in less is more and being fashion conscious. Whatever 2019 does bring we just hope people really think about the difference between what they want and what they need.
A creative graduate who’s on your radar?
That would be telling. But I think a few brands to watch would be Ceylon Skincare, Minus Two, Tokyo James, Rich Mnisi and just a tonne of brands coming out of Africa.
What would you graffiti on the back of a toilet door?
F U PAY ME!