Mark Anthony Richard Powell (born London November 11, 1960) is a British fashion designer whose emphasis on bespoke tailoring has gained a celebrity clientele with custom from actors George Clooney, Daniel Radcliffe and Martin Freeman, rock stars and style icons Bryan Ferry, Mick Jagger and Paul Weller and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Powell's dandyism, keen sense of fashion history and mix of references from the Edwardian era to the present day has been recognised as contributing to the resuscitation of "great British bespoke ".
Powell - who has produced collections for Marks & Spencer and collaborated with fashion brands Mulberry, PPQ and Michiko Koshino - is associated with London's Soho area, having operated from the locale for more than 25 years; his latest venture is the shop Mark Powell Bespoke in Marshall Street, London, W1.
Powell started his fashion career at King's Road retro boutique Robot in the late 1970s and developed an interest in made-to-measure when commissioning garments from the Robot outlet in Floral Street, Covent Garden.
In 1984 Powell opened his first shop, Powell & Co, in Soho's Archer Street, stocking suits and menswear in the style of the sharp East End characters of his childhood. This was the first manifestation of what was later to become known as "gangster chic"; among Powell's clients were the incarcerated Krays.
By the early 90s, when he was operating from a top-floor studio in D'Arblay Street Powell had a customer base including Jagger, Ferry, Vic Reeves, who sported Powell's neo-Edwardian suits for his TV appearances, and George Michael, who wore a Mark Powell suit for his performance at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.
Powell's suits have been worn by Mel B of The Spice Girls, for the group's meeting with Prince Charles in 1997, Naomi Campbell, notably for her court appearances, and Keira Knightley.
In 2000 Powell was installed at a studio in Brewer Street where visitors for fittings included the DJ/actor Goldie, the Earl Of Stockton Daniel MacMillan and singer-songwriter Kevin Rowland, who commissioned Powell outfits for the 2003 live reunion of his group Dexys Midnight Runners.
In this period - when his work was noted for its "attention to detail" - Powell also created collections for Marks & Spencer's Autograph range and his clothing has featured in such films as Absolute Beginners, Shopping and Gangster No. 1.
Powell's shop opened at 2 Marshall Street in June 2010.
Powell has participated in several Department of Trade & Industry-organised international fashion shows, and staged four of his own during London Fashion Weeks.
A three-piece Powell suit is part of the Victoria & Albert Museum's permanent collection and was featured in the museum's 1997 Cutting Edge exhibition.
Powell also contributed garments to the British Fashion Council's 21st Century Dandy exhibition of 2003 and appeared in the accompanying book.
Powell's work was also covered in Eric Musgrave's book about tailoring, Sharp Suits.