Mark Indelicato is most known for his role on ABC’s Ugly Betty as Justin Suarez, Betty’s sharp-witted and kind-hearted nephew. But the young actor and singer has recently begun trying his hand at fashion journalism and photography, and has grown into quite a style inspiration. Today, I have the pleasure of chatting with Mark about his exciting new fashion blog, his future plans, and the next step in his life: college.
Early this year you did a “Fashion Week Diary” for Teen Vogue Magazine and started your own style and photography blog, The Fashion Gangster. Who or what inspires you fashion and photography-wise? Can you name some of your favorite photographers and designers?
I find the entire fashion industry intriguing. The Fashion Gangster was just a spur of the moment idea that I had, and I’m so happy it has really taken off! A lot of my inspiration for Fashion Gangster shoots comes from Terry Richardson. The clean white background really lets viewers focus more on the model and the garments they’re wearing. My very favorite designers are Rick Owens and Alexander Wang. There are so many more, but it would take forever to tell you all of them!
Your photos have a bit of a 1970s flair and a crisp but edgy street style, which I love. What kind of camera do you use? Do you do your own lighting for the shoots?
Thank you! I am so inspired by the 1970’s and David Bowie, so I’m glad you can see that. I use a Nikon D5000. I do my own lighting for every shoot but it’s not highly produced at all! I just went to Home Depot and bought a giant construction light and that’s all I use!
What’s coming up next for The Fashion Gangster? It looks like you have a great circle of model friends who mesh well with your style.
Who knows what’s next for The Fashion Gangster? I really enjoy the blog and will continue to do what I am already doing with it! My models are my best friends, so it’s always wonderful shooting them.
You’ve been a working actor for almost half your life. How old were you when you started training at The Actor’s Center in Philadelphia?
I really have always been interested in performing. I was 6 when I started training at The Actor’s Center.
You were twelve when Ugly Betty began and sixteen when the series ended. What was it like growing up on the set? Growing up in the public eye?
Growing up on set was so amazing. I got to grow up around such amazing, driven people and I truly believe it was being around those people constantly that shaped me into the person I am today. The public eye is not always the greatest. Being criticized constantly when you’re in your early teens is not the best for one’s self esteem. But, it’s something that you have to take with a grain of salt and move past, and that’s what I did.
You just had a reunion with the Ugly Betty cast this month. Were you excited to see your former cast members again?
Of course! Since the show ended we have all been on different coasts, so getting together again was so great.
You’re applying to colleges right now. What do you intend to study? Any plans to return to acting after (or during) college?
I plan to study either fashion or journalism. I would love to dabble in the fashion industry and see what happens with that. I plan to act, but college and little more self discovery need to come first!
Check out The Fashion Gangster at www.thefashiongangster.typepad.com
Full portrait of Mark by Hanna Marks
All photos ©Mark Indelicato
Rosemary Van Deuren is the author of the young adult fantasy novel, Basajaun. View more of her fiction and essays at www.rosemaryvandeuren.com. You can also be Rosemary’s friend on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at @rosemaryvan.