epitome.’s Mark Bagnato Talks Expanding On The Brands Vision, Importance Of Patience, & More


Photo by JMY JAM
Interview by Thomas Agnew

Vintage shopping has become a large part of societies latest love for fashion. epitome. has taken the idea of presenting vintage style options and combined it with creating original brand pieces to represent the vision the four owners came together with when going into business with each other. 1/4 of the group, Mark Bagnato, speaks on building the brand, how epitome. caters to consumers, and more with JENESIS.

What do you represent?

Taking an idea that is genuinely sparked by passion and creating something authentic from that. I truly want each original piece we create, each clothing piece we present, every aspect of what we do to be authentic to what the four of us that created epitome. set out to do since the first day. The way that we operate relies heavily on detail, so the image of the brand that we present is all carefully decided upon, and I think that is what helps us stand out.

Our vision has always been to present our customers with the idea that settling for what is available in the current market should not limit someone’s style choices. You’ll never know if you would fall in love with a 50’s Varsity Jacket until you see and try one on, or a 90’s Hilfiger Sailing Jacket, so by presenting these chosen pieces from different era’s you present people with the idea that they can be the curator of how they want to be seen or how they want to represent themselves visually.

What inspired you to take this route of entrepreneurship?

There is a very “hand-made” aspect to how we created the brand and the business, and when Mike, Erin, Zeke and I sat down and first created this idea we felt that if we have the vision and the passion for what we’re doing, the rest will fall into place. Patience is one of the most important aspects of this particular avenue of business because our success is predicated on how well we choose our pieces, or “Gem’s”, how well we promote them, and most importantly, the individuals that have the eye to see what we see in the clothing and purchasing them.

Everything is interconnected, so we have to build and create that support and following in what we do from others, and continue to build each block of the brand day-by-day. It can sound quite daunting but at the same time, that’s one of the most rewarding aspects of our business is seeing it all coming to fruition and see people in the community and throughout wearing these obscure and amazing vintage pieces that may have never thought to wear before.

What is it about style that intrigues you the most?

It’s a form of personal story-telling. Style is a word that’s been used and adapted incorrectly to a point that some think it’s something you can purchase from a particular brand, or just copy from what you’ve seen someone else do. Style is something that should be inspired by external things, but truly chosen by you. There’s something to be said about the way that personal style is seen currently, because it’s shared through Instagram’s, Twitter, Tumblr, Bloggers, and what have you, and that has come to alter the audience to which people dress.

When you witness someone that wears something that is true to their personality, their interests, and can be who they are without having to promote and tell others about it, that is what style is about. The sort of person that not only epitome. caters towards, but who I see as an individual that ironically, stand out through the clouds of hype and over saturation.

[Recently released epitome. Running Shirt]

Beyond the vintage buying/re-selling, where do you want to take epitome. creatively?

We certainly have sights on a creative space in the near future. One of the best and worst perks of being an online store is that we can curate things behind the scenes before we present them, but many of the goals for what we want to create will take place in a physical space. Something like vintage clothing, where each piece is different, to see and experience them in-person is hard to compare to just seeing them visually in photos online, and we can do so much more for the merchandising experience we could provide in a physical storefront.

The line of original productions that we have and continue to create will also continue to expand and evolve, as we have some more intricate ideas on-deck we simply haven’t been able to create properly to this point; the eventual realization of epitome. Clothiers will be something all-encompassing to the passions and vision that each of the four of us have, we can see it pushing itself into many different directions, and we’re all for what that could eventually become…

Visit the epitome. shop at: epitomeclothiers.com

Written by Thomas Agnew