Fashion / Shopping

A Nigerian-Born Designer Launches a Luxury Fashion Label in Houston

Meet Arinze Marshall — a New Force to be Reckoned With in The Texas Fashion World

BY // 09.07.22
photography @vdm_photographer

Arinze Marshall grew up in Nigeria in a house of five boys. The fourth child in line, he was always known as the fashionable brother.

“My love of fashion stems from when I was a kid,” Marshall says. “My mom would always say I was just as fashionable as my father, which was special since he passed away when I was just 10 years old.”

After studying microbiology in college, while simultaneously modeling and hitting the runways outside of class, Marshall immigrated from Nigeria to Houston in 2016 where he met his wife — a native Houstonian.

“Houston is a part of me,” Marshall notes. “I’ve embraced the city as much as it has embraced me. It’s always felt like a hometown to me. And, if you look around the city, it’s a good environment for entrepreneurs. There are a lot of small businesses, startups and lovely restaurants. Houston is quickly expanding beyond just oil, gas and health care.”

It makes sense, then, that when it came time for Marshall to launch his new luxury fashion label, he wanted to launch it in his own Texas backyard.

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The Maiden Collection features two bags, and Marshall says there’s so much more to come.

The Inspiration

“I’ve always loved to draw and I’ve always loved design,” Marshall says. “A few years ago, I was going through a really trying time. Sketching bags was an escape for me. The more I designed the bags, the more I wanted to see them come to pass.”

Earlier this year, Marshall got his wish and officially launched his label, Arinze Marshall. Marshall has been extremely deliberate in every part of the process, incorporating his culture, story and even native language into the fabric of the brand. Specifically, Arinze Marshall’s logo comes from his native tribe (the Igbo Tribe) and reflects how the tribe spells “king” using its unique Nsibidi written alphabet.

Although the brand is based in Houston and incorporates a lot of Marshalls heritage, he puts a large emphasis on diversity and inclusion. His products ship nationwide, and he has global aspirations.

“I want every fashionable person to be able to be part of this brand,” Marshall says. “That’s one of the reasons I didn’t stick to just the traditional African prints or fabrics. I want everyone to be involved and be part of it.”

The Maiden Collection debuted this year with two bags, the Oma Bag (“beautiful” in the Igbo language) available in nude and red, and the Echiche Bag (“thought” in the Igbo language) available in black and green. This collection has a strong emphasis on craftsmanship, design and thought, as evidenced by the name of the Echiche Bag. Marshall says his top priority with this first collection was to show clients that he is ready to provide high-quality products, with an emphasis on quality in everything from the stitching to the materials to the hardware.

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The next Collection is expected by Spring 2023.

The Spring 2023 Collection

When it comes to what’s next for Arinze Marshall, Marshall is getting ready to launch his next collection in time for Spring 2023. The collection is anticipated to include a variety of other items, including backpacks, wallets, satchels and more.

“There will be something for everyone in this next collection,” Marshall promises. “My dream is to bring everyone — regardless of background or style — into one house. We all tell different stories, and I want this collection to encapsulate that.”

As far as his competition, Marshall isn’t worried. He says he’s confident that as long as he puts quality, hard work and perseverance first, everything else will follow.

“There’s a saying in my culture — ‘in the sky, there’s enough space for all the birds to fly,’ and that’s how I feel when it comes to fashion,” he says. “Just run your own race and don’t worry about anyone else.

“In the sky, there’s enough space for all the stars to shine.”

For a closer look at all of Arinze Marshall’s offerings, check out its full website or follow him on Instagram.