The time and setting that my version of Marco Polo inhabits is identical to that his real-life counterpart. I wanted to keep my version of this historical figure in the same timeframe as the design process would be something very new and different to me. By creating a small mood board I was able to pin-point the main attributes of what Polo may have worn and what his stature and facial features may have resembled at the time. The time itself that Marco Polo is said to exist was around 1254, leading into the 14th century. This time period is sometimes referred to as the High or Late Middle Ages and was marked by notable events such as the Black Death and the Hundred Years War between England and France. However as Polo would travel to medieval China, and be one of the few Europeans to do so at the time, he would all but miss these events and instead return 24 years later to find Venice at war.
When his perilous journey is put into perspective in relation to today's travelling standards, Polo would find himself almost continually travelling either by foot or on sea through a continent that was almost completely new visitors from other parts of the world. The effects of this voyage to a strange new world can be seen through the depictions of Polo, with Venetian merchant attire slowly becoming mixed with much more of an Asian inspiration. The constant travelling too would have certainly had an effect on the clothing choices of Polo and his personality also, the former and the latter being literally weathered down to a hardened explorer who was used to surviving in the wilderness.