Jesse Marco belongs to a glamorous and exclusive circle of fashion icons, models, and tastemakers. The New York-based DJ has curated mixes for brands including Alexander Wang, Stüssy and Tom Ford, and he’s appeared in campaigns for such brands as Uniqlo and Marc Jacobs. Marco sets the vibe for the sartorially inclined, but he also makes waves in the mainstream music industry with his upcoming releases with Mad Decent and Fool’s Gold, and even plans to put out a full-length album in the near future. But first, he’ll send out 2015 and ring in 2016 at Heart of Omnia.
As a DJ, you’ve worked with Alexander Wang quite a few times. How do you get in with a legend like that?
I’ve done a bunch of fashion related stuff. The first thing I ever did years ago was go to Milan [to DJ a fashion show and party] for Tom Ford. And then I did Calvin Klein—I can’t even remember all of them off the top of my head. [Wang] sort of just got a hold of me and was like, “I dig your style.” Most of the stuff I was playing at the time was a mix between rock and old-school house music and newer bloghouse, but with a hip-hop focus. He was like, “Yo, come do your thing at one of my after-parties.” He trusts my gut when it comes to [music].
What other brands have you curated music for?
Stüssy was really cool, I knew one of their creative directors who scheduled super sick incredible DJs. They were like, “Let’s do a curated mix and then take some photos and stuff.” I’m a big Stüssy guy. I always wear that stuff, so I was stoked on that.
How do you know what type of music is appropriate for which brand?
It’s about style and the vibe. I think about where I am or if I’m wearing a piece [of clothing] that makes me feel a certain way. Alex [Wang] likes hip-hop, and so do I. So the majority of that stuff is primarily contemporary rap music and some classic stuff.
How do you describe your personal style?
My style is pretty simple. I like just wearing a white T-shirt, jeans and a classic pair of Nikes or something like that, some Air Force 1s, just to keep it simple, to try not to overcomplicate things. I have so many T-shirts from Alex. And I love Dior jeans. Years ago, I did something for Dior, and they gave me a bunch of stuff. I love the way their clothes fit. But I’ll also get a T-shirt from the corner store for like five bucks.
Are fashion and music naturally related or do you have to work to tie them together?
I come at it from more of a music background, that that’s my real house. From a musical perspective, fashion and music intersect in a lot of different ways. I believe it relates chronologically. If you hear a tune, whenever that tune was made, you know what people were wearing. Like if you listen to ’80s songs or old-school rap songs, immediately you recognize in your mind what people were wearing at the time and what the style was. It’s sort a generational marker.
Does one have an influence on the other?
Music influences fashion and culture in general. It’s like a two-part thing. First, you hear the music and then you see what they look like. Or maybe some people see it the other way around.
How are fashion parties different from your average nightclub party?
The people are a little bit more in tune with [trends]. They’re on the cutting edge. Obviously, there are models and people who care about style. I can experiment sometimes with newer music. It’s nice to play to a room that celebrates pushing boundaries, I know that sounds really corny. [Laughs.] It’s refreshing being in a room where there is a bunch of people dancing to music that they maybe haven’t heard before and they’re digging it because they dig the style.
It sounds so glamorous.
It sounds glamorous. People don’t see the hard work that goes into it.