Marc Eckō at Big Omaha 2013
|Born||Marc Louis Milecofsky
August 29, 1972
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
|Residence||Bernardsville, New Jersey|
|Occupation||Fashion designer, artist, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist|
|Known for||Founding Eckō Unltd. and Complex|
|Spouse(s)||Allison Rojas (2000-present; 3 children)|
Marc Eckō (born August 29, 1972) is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur, investor, artist, and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Marc Eckō Enterprises, a billion-dollar global fashion and lifestyle company. He also founded Complex magazine in 2002.
Marc Ecko was born Marc Louis Milecofsky in New Jersey in 1972. He was brought up with his twin Marci and an older sister, Shari, in suburban Lakewood, New Jersey, where his father was a pharmacist and his mother was a real estate broker. The siblings attended local public schools.
In his teenage years, Ecko turned his parents’ garage into a design studio and showroom, creating and marketing T-shirts with his own designs, customizing hip-hop clothing, and airbrushing girls’ fingernails.
Ecko entered Rutgers University’s School of Pharmacy in New Brunswick, New Jersey after high school. During his time in college he dabbled in graffiti and became absorbed in drawing, taking “Ecko” for his tag. In his third year, the school’s dean encouraged Ecko to take a year off and pursue his dream. “You don’t want to be 40 with regrets,” the dean said.
Ecko never returned to pharmacy school. In 1993, he started eckō UNLTD as a T-shirt company, with small investments from his sister Marci and a friend, Seth Gerszberg. He traveled to Hong Kong to learn about the clothing industry. Early clients like Spike Lee and Chuck D. helped bring attention to his fledgling business, as did a Good Morning America segment that featured his T-shirt designs. The company expanded further into hip-hop and skater styles, and began to sport a rhinoceros logo. eckō UNLTD has since grown into a billion-dollar lifestyle company, with full lines of urban clothes and accessories for young men, young women, children, and adults.
Since then, Ecko’s businesses have expanded to include a magazine for young men, Complex, video and social gaming, and venture capital funds.
When Ecko was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA); he was the youngest designer ever to receive this honor. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Emeritus Board.
Marc Ecko’s philanthropic activity has encompassed support for the endangered rhinoceros population and children in need throughout the world, including critical funding for an orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine.
In 2004, Ecko founded a non-profit, Sweat Equity Education, to increase the success of urban, underserved students by providing opportunities for real-world design and business interaction. Student teams develop designs to meet challenges set by clients, engage in problem-solving, learn to collaborate, communicate their ideas, and may see their successful designs executed and on sale in a nearby department store.
Ecko has also launched multiple social activism campaigns on behalf of U.S. students, including Unlimited Justice, which seeks to eliminate corporal punishment in U.S. schools, and Stop Dissing Me, which seeks to introduce students’ voices to the education debate.
Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out
On October 1, 2013, Ecko released his first book, titled "Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out." In this book, heavily focused on the subject of authenticity, Ecko divulges how he turned a $5,000 investment into a billion dollar brand.
- “Marc Ecko.” Encyclopedia of World Biography
- "'Gotta Be Cool': Marc Ecko's Empire". Nick Rozon. ABC Nightline. September 12, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Good Morning America segment featuring Ecko's t-shirt designs
- Marc Ecko Collection
- "It's Going to Be Big". Arthur Lubow. Inc. March 1, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Sweat Equity Education
- "Marc Ecko Launches 'Unlimited Justice' Campaign To End Corporal Punishment In Schools" The Huffington Post
- "Marc Ecko: How He Built a Billion Dollar Authentic Brand" Forbes