Movers & Shakers
We see you: Marcus Teo
What’s next for this globe-trotting, soirée-hopping design creative?
The people—young, old, and everyone in between—who most intrigue us.
Why we’re watching him: A self-described “stylish nomad”, Teo is a design/fashion/branding/video maestro (we’re running out of hyphenates). After serving as Executive Global Creative Director of Georg Jensen and men’s fashion director at W, Teo now has his own go-to branding company.
Pedigree: Born in Malaysia, Teo left home for an English boarding school in Singapore when he was 11. During summers, he lived in London with a cousin and her boyfriend who were major collectors of modernist furniture. “They were instrumental in shaping my design eye,” Teo told Lonny, describing their home as “a bit of a Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Bauhaus museum.” He came away with a charming English accent along with an eye for décor.
Night prowler: “I went out every night, covered the nightlife in New York City, and wrote about it the next day and sent it off to magazines all round the world,” Teo told Homeworthy of getting his start. Judging by how much we see him out and about, we’re not sure much has changed.
Striking a pose: Teo is not exactly shy in front of the camera. He is so busy documenting his peripatetic ways from Hong Kong to Ditch Plains we can’t figure out how he gets anything done.
Getting schooled: Somewhere in between his travels, Teo managed to fit in degrees from Université Paris-Sorbonne and NYU Film school.
Trading places: Teo moved from a 550-square-foot one-bedroom in the East Village to digs in a building from the 1800s near Gramercy Park, where he finally has space to display his own stellar collection. “I felt it was time to get a slice of old New York,” he told Lonny. “All of these classical architectural elements look amazing when you pull in something modern. I think that’s important—creating that tension.”
Catch him in the wild: Or better yet, don’t. Teo had a dose of PR-gone-bad when Keith McNally posted his picture on Instagram and erroneously accused him of skipping out on a check. Teo told Page Six, “I woke up to friends texting me, saying, ‘What the f - - k! Why did you run out on Keith McNally?’” After Teo posted his receipt, McNally had to apologize and re-do the caption to read, “The nice-looking gentleman in the photo tipped $100 and had the servers swooning all over him.”
Party spirit animal: The caribou (aka the reindeer), known for its grace, sensitivity and love of roaming.
Prediction: Teo, who grew up criss-crossing borders, told Glimpse: “Apart from having to learn to acclimate to new cultures and codes of conduct, I love to celebrate people.” This may be more of a prayer than a prediction, but the world could use a little loving rebranding at the moment. Have at it, Marcus!
Hero image of Marcus Teo at the Custom Made launch party 2023 at Goodman’s Bar. © BFA 2023 Madison McGaw/BFA.com