The first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Marquis Zaire Johnson is all black everything, and every time we cross paths, there isn’t a single non-black item on his body, save for the occasional colored accent.
I had the chance to sit down with Marquis for a 25-hour drive from Boulder, CO to Pittsburgh, PA (in which we almost died) and discuss his obsession with all black everything.
Who the actual f*ck is Marquis Zaire Johnson?
My name’s Marquis Johnson and I’m a 22-year-old freerunner. I am a student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina and a member of Team Fuego Amaterasu Crew (TFAC, not T-FAC). I also have the pleasure of working with Team Farang, as what a normal corporate office might call, a social media coordinator.
Describe your fashion style using more than just the words all and black.
All black, comfortable, but still able to go everywhere I need, short of a black tie or semi-formal event.
I know it’s timeless and makes us feel like ninjas, but what’s the deal? Why all black everything?
I keep coming up with new reasons, but the biggest ones, in the beginning, were sweat, stains, and my obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I usually tell people how it keeps my decisions in the morning simple: How comfortable do I want to be today? What’s clean? My parents might tell you that it’s popped up more than once while growing up, so it’s not too strange for me.
You are constantly rocking some serious fresh blackness. How do you keep your blacks staying black? Any tips for people trying to keep their black game 100?
Keeping your #000000 game strong can take work once you unlock the ability to see the differences in shades of black clothing. It’s a blessing and a curse honestly. I’ve dyed a pair of my Farang harem pants twice already. Dye is the best solution to fading, because who can afford to go buy more clothes when your favorites wear out so quickly from training hours on end?
Where is parkour fashion currently and what do you think is next?
I think the current trends in parkour are still fairly niche. Not everyone cares about #freerunningfashion or having a “look” to them while traveling and training. Harem pants are still co-existing with giant sweatpants, and I think that’s awesome! You’ll see the same thing in dance and skateboarding. You can often look at someone’s attire and figure out who they look up to, or what sort of style they might aspire to. Some clothes can aid certain kinds of movement, and make others more difficult. Some would call it an excuse, but it’s real. Everything coming out has its perks, appeal, and place in this growing community.
Who is killing the fashion game both within and outside of the parkour world?
I’ve made it a point in the last year to really push myself to funnel money back into the community when it comes to my clothing, especially when something dope comes out. Working for Farang, over half of my wardrobe comes from them now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Other brands I’ve gotten my hands on, and legs in, are The Motus Projects, Norml Brand, Myrm, Novel Ways, ETRE-FORT, Plus 2 Clothing, Strike Movement, OLLO, and American Eagle (after the campaign they ran with the lovable Max Henry).
What do you hope to see coming from parkour brands? I assume more black.
I think my emphasis on all black will stay for a long time, but I don’t know my wardrobe will always be all black. We’ll see. With that said, I would love to see at least one or two black items available from current and future brands when they release new lines. If they don’t, I’ll find friends that their clothes excite. I really hope to see more custom cuts and creativity coming from everyone. Farang and Myrm are maybe the most notable, putting in the extra mile on that side. More people may be going into factories for their lines, but those stand out to me, especially as it’s unlikely you can go to any jam in the States without seeing a pair of the infamous black harem pants or the now discontinued winter shorts. I’m not the biggest fan of limited release items, but it’s proven to work. And I’m trying to buy a Motus Projects Incipio logo tee from each person that walks near me in a large.
Any tips to keep your style game on point?
Keep doing you. Consider the days where you might only have 5-30 minutes to train before getting back to business. Sometimes that means investing in something other than your favorite pair of sweatpants that are still flexible, or at the very least won’t impair your ability to move the way you enjoy.
Skinnies or sweats?
Skinnies. These days it’s 90% skinny over baggy when it comes to my legs. I was sold on the slim life ages ago. But I still have my two key pairs of baggier pants from ETRE-FORT and Farang for the days I’m feeling it.
While I may not rock all black everything all damn day like the modern ninja, Marquis, it is essential within my wardrobe and I feel is essential to be found within parkour fashion. Black everything is classy, timeless, and instantly transforms its wearer into a night mission-ready ninja who is prepared to conquer all rooftops.
In a story about all black everything that features someone so particular about his blacks, hopefully, it will bother Marquis to no end that I didn’t use a constant #000000.
Need to upgrade your ninja gear? You can get the entire outfit above for $382.
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