Creative director, makeup artist, fashion designer, intern, student and world traveler Marina Girgis is your one of a kind woman with a unique style that is bound to have you daring to be bold.
Girgis moved to the United States from Cairo, Egypt four years ago after the revolution in the country took place. Her family moved from their tough environment to Texas for the amount of opportunity that lies in the DFW area. After moving, Girgis searched for different jobs and first found herself as a waitress. However while she was at the mall, Girgis fell in love with Sephora, applied for work and was hired. At that point, Girgis began her journey as a makeup artist.
“I always had an interest in makeup but I wouldn’t have called myself a professional back then at all,” Girgis said.
Her time and observation at Sephora taught her many skills and flourished her passion for makeup. Around that same time, Girgis was ready to get back to school after taking a year off.
In Cairo, Girgis was studying performance and visual arts which included painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. Once Girgis moved, she realized the path she was on did not appeal to her any longer, so she decided to study fashion design at the University of North Texas.
“I’ve always wanted to do it [fashion design],” Girgis said. “I was almost about to graduate and decided I wanted to do fashion design. So I started all over, I’m in fashion design now and have about one more year left.”
Life at the beginning of Girgis’ career was an up and down slope. Getting used to the people and culture of America posed as a challenge at some time. However, after leaving Sephora to pursue her individual goals she felt a greater sense of confidence.
“I was so happy everyday to be working around makeup at Sephora,” Girgis said. “And then when I left to just do my own thing, I felt a lot of independence and power and that is something that also culture here brings you as a woman.”
Despite not having the connections, Girgis eventually found success being her own boss with the power of social media. She built her reputation by creating business cards and paying for a website. Her greatest publicity was from her Instagram page. Through the trials and triumphs, Girgis has loved being her own boss.
“You have a lot of control,” Girgis said. “The jobs where I’m not the “the boss” I’m doing as freelance. I don’t like things to tie me down too much because if I feel like I’m doing something where I’m tied down too much I feel like I’m limiting myself. I love the freedom and I know that maybe in the next five to 10 years I want to be completely my own boss; just me and my brand. For now it’s great, even though I’m doing work for other companies I don’t feel like I’m tied down except for within the brand limits.”
Girgis organized her own shoots and reached out to various companies to see if they needed makeup done. With the experience came the realization of where Girgis wanted her artistry to be seen; in shoots. Soon, Girgis landed her creative director internship at CURLS and her freelance job with the famous makeup brand, Bobbi Brown.
“I love the brand so much,” Girgis said. “Since I am their freelancer, we go around the DFW and sometimes we get to travel and do makeovers, teach people about the products and sell.”
Once Girgis started organizing her own shoots, she would search on Instagram for models that fit her vision. After collaborating a few times, she realized being a creative director was the career for her.
“Electric”, “vibrant” and “eclectic,” is the way Girgis describes her artistic aesthetic.
“I just want things to pop,” Girgis said. “I love color, even when I dress and put on makeup, I’m always trying to put a pop of color in there. On Instagram, I always use that filter that makes the colors so bright.”
Most of the inspiration for Girgis’ works are from Asian culture, from the silhouette to the makeup. Her favorite aspect is the kimonos; somehow they are incorporated into her designs.
Vinyl and 3-D nail art design are what Girgis loves to use to create texture in her concepts. The secret to Girgis inspiration is going to Scrap in Denton to find items that would be considered “scrap” and using them as her influence.
The rest of Girgis’ inspiration comes from the concepts of surrealism and cubism. Since Girgis is from an art background, looking at art movement and paintings is a normal routine for her.
With Girgis being a fashion student at UNT, she has access to the Texas Fashion Collection for ideas and resources.
“It’s incredible for inspiration for anything,” Girgis said. “All the way from makeup to design to construction; it’s just incredible. It made me dig deeper into older editorials. I stopped looking at new stuff because everything that’s old is coming back especially the 80’s.”
Girgis has been featured on Elegant Magazine, Kaltbult (Berlin), and Dreamingless (UK).
For the future, Girgis hopes to build her fashion brand ST. MARINO and have merchandise for sale after she graduates college.
Fans of Girgis and her work can catch her new shoots, a fashion video experiment and some surprises.