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Meet Mark Roscoe of Mark Roscoe Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Roscoe.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been involved in the fashion industry for the past 36 years. I started as a model and SAG/AFTRA actor in Chicago in 1982 and later co-owned an extra’s casting agency for approximately 8 years while I continued to model.

I simultaneously practiced law in the State of Indiana where I currently maintain a Family Law and Mediation practice. In the year 2000, I began the Mark Roscoe Design label. My mother was a plus size woman who had difficulty finding garments that fit her frame and were fashion forward.

It broke my heart when she would return home from shopping excursions empty-handed and in tears because the market at that time was not addressing the needs of the full figured woman. In response to the same, I purchased a sewing machine, taught myself how to sew, and began making clothes for my mother that were stylish and well fitted.

From there, the Mark Roscoe label began to grow organically when other women like my Mother, as well as men, heard about my desire to give every person the opportunity to look as beautiful and as handsome as possible regardless of their size, shape or disability.

Since the inception of the Mark Roscoe brand, my garments have appeared on the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards (Irene Michaels) and at the Emmy Awards where I dressed comedian/actor, Keegan Michael Key.

They have also appeared at other Red Carpet events on Soap Opera stars, Kimberlin Brown (Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful); Tracy Melchior (The Bold and the Beautiful); Alice Amter (The Big Bang Theory) and Sayed Badreya (Iron Man).

I also have had the opportunity to provide the costume design on the feature film, Dreams I Never Had, starring Malcolm McDowell and Robin Givens. In 2013, I won an Emmy Award for my brand commercial, Make A Statement.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I am very positive in my approach to life. I embrace new learning experiences and am always grateful for any opportunity that presents itself. As with many new businesses, however, there was a learning curve to building my design label. The curve led me down many unexpected roads.

Some were a bit challenging to navigate, but the trips were a necessary step to honing my craft, identifying my product offering and targeting my niche market. As my business continues to grow, so do the responsibilities of financing the venture, as well as meeting the demands of production.

As an independent designer, meeting the demands of a hand full of clients is a manageable task. It typically requires less than five employees and a home studio/workshop. However, if a large department store expresses an interest in your brand and orders a thousand units deliverable within a 90 day period, your business structure may be required to drastically change overnight.

Managing a business that has such a significant growth potential within a short period of time has been the challenge, but it has not been insurmountable. Drafting a comprehensive business plan that outlines a specific schedule for business development and growth, including the strategy by which to achieve the same, has been a critical component to the success of my brand.

Of course, removing any fear of failure or self-doubt from the equation has been a critical factor as well. Remember, there are no failures, just lessons to learn!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mark Roscoe Design – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I personally design and handcraft one-of-a-kind, couture garments for women and men. I personally select only the finest silks from a global marketplace, preferring fabrics laced with unusual textures, colors, and patterns that are masterfully woven with layers of rich threads for a unique multi-dimensional look.

Attention to detail is spent on every aspect of the Mark Roscoe experience. Additional services such as hair, makeup, jewelry and shoe selection are also available to my clients. But what I am most proud of as a company is our contribution to our community.

In memory of my Mother who died from cancer in 2004, I partnered with Dr. Sandy Goldberg and created the Glitz & Glamour Spring Fashion Show benefitting A Silver Lining Foundation. The Foundation was founded in 2002 by Dr. Goldberg and her husband, Gregory Hines.

The Foundation provides access to cancer resource information, education, quality of life services and through its Buy a Mom a Mammogram Program, funds the entire spectrum of breast health testing (screening, diagnostic testing and biopsy) for uninsured and underinsured men and women in 15 partner hospitals in the greater Chicagoland, Elgin and Rockford areas.

The luncheon and fashion show are underwritten by A. Marek Fine Jewelry. Therefore, 100% of the proceeds from the ticket and raffle sales are paid to the foundation to fund the aforementioned services. This year’s show was hosted at the beautiful Peninsula Hotel on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago to a sold-out audience!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Life is fragile and very precious! It’s not a dress rehearsal! I prefer to live in the moment and to enjoy each new experience that presents itself without focusing too far in the future.

However, I am excited about introducing a new product line–The Reggie Roscoe handbag that I co-designed with jewelry designer, Reggie Long and possibly a new fragrance. My mind seldom shuts down, so there is always something in the works, so stay tuned!

Contact Info:

  • Address: Atelier: 604 North Washington Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383
    Chicago Studio: 1300 North Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, Illinois
  • Website: markroscoedesign.com
  • Phone: 219.743.9813
  • Email: markroscoe@markroscoedesign.com
  • Instagram: @roscoecouture
  • Facebook: Mark Roscoe Design
  • Twitter: #roscoecouture

Image Credit:
Ernest Collins, Daniel DuVerney, Triphena Johnson, Marcus Geeter, Tracy Gia Klimes, Nicole Petrie, Zahira, Grace, Neda Stevic

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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