He’s obsessed with classic men’s fashion, Pinterest, Scandinavia, and architecture, so it’s only natural that we singled out Marcus Hamblin , a 28-year-old interior designer from the South End, as our Instagram style star of the week (find him at www.instagram.com/marcushamblin). Hamblin, who is in his final year at Boston Architectural College, plans to take over the fashion world after conquering interior design. As you can tell, he’s also quite humble and demure. His Instagram album is filled with well-curated details of his design obsessions. Time to find out what drives the self-professed “desigNerd” before he becomes a household name.
Q. Did you have a particularly wonderful experience in a Scandinavian country that forever changed your life and left you obsessed? Or is this simply a manifestation of your deep affection for ABBA?
A. I traveled to Iceland, Norway, and Sweden a couple of summers ago and completely fell in love. My love for ABBA obviously already existed. Doesn’t everyone feel the same way? My trip to Scandinavia was part of fulfilling my already-evolved obsession with the fashion and architecture of the place. Needless to say, it exceeded my expectations. I fit right in, took hundreds of photos, and spent way too much money on clothing. Everything about the place is just effortlessly beautiful.
Q. You’re originally from Salt Lake City. What’s the difference between Boston and your hometown?
A. Boston = that accent. Salt Lake = no accent. It took time and effort to get used to how people go about saying things here, but for anyone new to the city, it grows on you.
Q. Is there such a thing as over-pinning on Pinterest? And, while we’re at it, what’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve pinned? Was it ABBA or Roxette?
A. I am a self-described Pinterest snob (friends agree). I am meticulous about what I pin and only “like” things that fall slightly under my ridiculously high bar of worthy-to-pin images. That said, you can never pin enough as long as you categorize correctly. Nothing bothers me more than looking through architecture images and seeing a meme with advice on how to effectively clean your toilet with baking soda. As far as pinning anything embarrassing? You’ll never know. That’s what secret boards are for.
Q. If you had the money to live out your lavish Boston fantasy life, what would your life look like compared to how it looks now?
A. If I had the means, I would spend my time with personal shoppers at Barneys, drinking tea at the Taj, living in a perfectly renovated brownstone on a much quieter street, and escaping to beaches on the North Shore or the Cape as often as possible. Let’s just say I currently live a fairly watered down version of all of that.
Q. Is there a trick to your ability to expertly mix high-end clothes with fast fashion?
A. The key to good fashion is fit. In the case of men’s fashion, you would do well to make friends with a quality tailor. Whether you spend $150 or $800 on a jacket, it will never look good if it doesn’t fit. This has been the key to curating my style. I tend to purchase trendy, seasonal pieces from places like H&M, and invest in good quality, timeless pieces, like jeans and jackets, from more expensive stores. In the end, I look out for quality, which does not always come from the most expected sources.
Q. You love all things Scandinavian, so, pop quiz: Is H&M better than all other fast fashion stores?
A. For men on a budget, H&M is probably your best friend. Pieces are designed to fit better than many other men’s retailers. If you buy a classic-looking outfit from H&M that fits well, compared to a frumpy expensive one from somewhere else, you will get more looks and compliments. The girls [and guys] will have their eyes on you, and you spent less money making it happen.