Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Marc Ecko Watches Global Brand Manager, Stephen Scholz

Q: How did you get started with Marc Ecko?
A: When the opportunity came up to launch Marc Ecko Watches in 2002 I was working on another fashion watch brand within the Timex Group. I went down to the offices in New Jersey and met Marc and his team. I was blown away by the energy and creativity. Marc inspires people to trust their instincts and appreciate the process of product development as an art form. He’s a visionary.

Q: What is the coolest thing about being the global brand manager for Marc Ecko and UNLTD. watches?
A: I would say the coolest thing is the people I get to work and collaborate with, from artists and celebrities to the retail partners and all of my friends and colleagues. I don’t underestimate any of the people I have met and worked with. Everyone has their own unique perspective, and I enjoy putting creative minds together and coming up with ideas that couldn’t have existed from just one individual. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Q: What sets Marc Ecko and UNLTD. watches apart?
A: We strive to create products and brand experiences that connect with the end consumer on a meaningful level. Every detail is considered and contemplated from the very first step. Our objective is to offer watch styles that stand for something unique and have great value. That has always been our approach. The payoff is hearing from customers who have bought our watches and talk about how much they love all of the details.

Q: Who is the Marc Ecko man?
A: That’s a tough one. I have always believed that our customer profile is more about a state of mind than an age or ethnicity. The Marc Ecko man is an individual spirit. Bold, daring, youthful, artistic and creative. Culturally connected.

Q: Who/what are some of Marc Ecko and UNLTD. watch’s biggest influences?
A: Wow. We get influences from so many different people and places. Sometimes there’s one thing that leads to another. Many years ago we did an alarm clock with the rapper Flava Flav. It was crazy. We did a launch event at KidRobot in NYC. The success of that clock led to a second version with Biz Markie. It became this old school hip-hop series called the Legends Alarm Clocks. We met Biz, and he had this turntable with him that inspired us to create a Turntable Watch. We did it as a necklace and bracelet in silver and gold, and it sold out. Some influences are more direct like that and others come from mashing up different ideas.

Q: What are your favorite trends for fall?
A: Yellow Gold Metals. Animal Prints. Illustrative Graphics. Transparent Materials that expose inner workings.

Q: Tell us about the Rhino logo. Where did that come from?
A: Marc’s father collected wooden rhino sculptures. It always stuck with him. When Marc was 20 years old, he was going to college at Rutgers and spending more time and energy on his art. Airbrushing graffiti t-shirts and jackets out of his parents’ garage that he had turned into a studio. They say do what you love and love what you do. He dropped out of school to pursue his passions.

He changed his last name to Ecko because he has a twin sister Marci who was born just before him. His grandmother called Marc the little echo. That became the name of the brand. Ecko. When he went to his first trade show, Marc saw all of the other established brands there had a logo or symbol to support the name. He remembered the Rhinos his father collected, and it had cool implications. The rhino is somewhat prehistoric looking. It starts slow but can be unstoppable when it gains speed and momentum. It’s a strong creature and was the perfect fit as the brand logo.

Q: Where is the most exciting place one of your watches has been featured?
A: Several years ago, one of the wealthiest families in Dubai saw our watch and ordered 1,000 pieces to be used as gifts for visiting guests at their palace. That was pretty cool. But honestly we get pictures emailed to us or our Facebook page all the time with people wearing their Ecko Watch to places like Hong Kong, South Africa, Peru or even Brooklyn. Everyone has their own journey. It’s cool to create something that becomes a part of it.

Q: What is the difference between the collections (Unlimited, Marc Ecko and Cut and Sew)? And how do you style them?
A: Unlimited is fashion-active and more in your face. We style the Unlimited Collection into two categories, Ecko-Classics which has stones and is more going-out, like a club watch. And Street-Tech which we launched a year ago. Street-Tech is technical enough that you can sweat in it, but you’re probably not using it for a triathlon. It’s fashionable technology. We use bright colored silicone straps, digital displays, luminous glow in the dark details and really modern and interesting case forms. Tech is the new bling! On the other side, Marc Ecko Cut & Sew is more mature…more grown up. Marc and his team do such an amazing job with crafting the details and applications on the apparel that we really follow the lead. Our watches are dressy and contemporary with precision detailing.

Q: What are your 3 must-have watches from Ecko?
A: The Flash in gold, The Flash in silver and The Supreme.

Shop all Marc Ecko watches.

Which Marc Ecko watch is your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

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