Coming off a BFC Award nomination and the announcement of his NEWGEN London Fashion Week sponsorship, Mark Fast is riding a wave of success. In the past year, his star has risen rapidly after presenting his much buzzed about S/S10 collection at London Fashion Week and announcing his upcoming collaboration with Topshop. Fast, who just celebrated his 29th birthday, went from student to superstar in just under two years, joining a fast-growing group of London based designers to make it big straight out of school. “I couldn’t do it without NEWGEN’s support,” said Fast, when asked of his success “I just don’t have the money. I would be starving. I am very lucky – a lot of good designers don’t get the chance to show because there isn’t enough funding out there.”
Fast’s name shot through the headlines during fashion week when, to the shock and awe of the international fashion world, he cast plus-sized models in his runway presentation. For a designer whose work is very body conscious, this came as somewhat of a shock to both retailers and the media. While the buzz was certainly an added bonus, that wasn’t the Fast’s objective when he decided to use the girls in the show. “It was about product knowledge,” explained Fast “my intention was to show that my work is for all shapes.” A few moments with the designer assures that a publicity stunt was the furthest thing from his intention.
The soft-spoken designer speaks of creativity and inspiration with care and draws you into his fanciful world. “There are too many opinions flying around, and creativity is a very sensitive thing. An idea can be like a whisper, if you don’t have enough ‘fine-tune-ness’ it might blow away, you need to hold onto it.” Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Fast moved to London to attend the famed Central Saint Martins for both his BA and MA studies. While he admits that his experiences at the school were varied, Fast is a great believer in giving young designers space to find their own point-of-view. “Designers need to keep their creativity safe – people sometimes invade other people’s creative spaces. Sometimes you just need to say step back.”
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.