He tells us the story behind his Amethyst flower belt “The amethyst came from Uruguay, then I had it polished in Frankfurt, after that a jeweler mounted it on to a sterling silver claw setting in order to let as much light in to the stone,” he begins, “then the belt was sent to be hallmarked and gilded with 24k old gold using an electro plating technique”.
As for the leather, that is yet another matter. “This particular snakeskin came from a retired belt maker to H.R.H Queen Elisabeth the II from whom I bought all his stock. The reversible kaki suede is a super soft goat’s suede made normally for gloves that I found at a leather fair in Bologna Italy” explains Marko. The entire process, beginning with the choice of the stone, takes about two months.
Marko’s creations wouldn’t come to be without the collaboration of a cast of experts and artisans. He works with Carol Johnson-Graves, belt-maker to Her Majesty the Queen and other royals. Carol’s garden studio in Stockwell brims with skins, fabric, buckles, buttons and other hardware, and Marko spends innumerable hours there, stocking up on various components. “Every belt strap that Carol makes is of an haute couture standard. It can take weeks depending on the work involved,” says Marko. For the embroidery of Marko’s signature on the lining of each belt, he goes to royal embroiderers Hand & Locks, while he works with a jeweler
called Stuart Jenkins for the stone setting. About Stuart, Marko tells us “Stuart uses a unique medieval silver smith technique he learned from his master, who was the world expert in his craft. He can spend many hours mounting a complicated stone.”
Marko adores his collaborators, and credits them with his prolific belt making. “It is a totally uplifting pleasure to meet up with Carol, Stuart and Hand & Lock and create one-of-a kind belts. That is why I make so many!” Marko declares.