Marla Duran was originally born in Pennsylvania and briefly attended George Washington University. Her interest in fashion led her to study independently at first, drawing at The Corcoran School of Art, weaving at a local class, and eventually becoming an apprentice at a pottery studio in Georgetown. Marla lived and worked at the studio while street vending her wares, and then moved to Paris, France for a year to study French. Her journeys in Europe brought her to England, where she assisted a potter in the small town of Cold Ashton. Marla’s heart remained in France; however, where she returned to work as an au pair for a French family.
Marla returned to the states and moved to Los Angeles, where she eventually wed and had a child. In 1981, Marla moved back to the east coast and began making and selling clothes in the Philadelphia area. She was one of three fiber artists chosen to show her work in the Allentown Art Museum. She also designed and produced a line of children's wear for Reebok Apparel. This line was sold in stores such as Paragon Sporting Goods and Filene's and featured on The Cosby Show. Marla debuted her first trade show under her own name at the Javits Center in the late 1980s.
Marla moved to New York City in 1990 and began making hand wrought jewelry. She also created one-of-a-kind shirts for men and women, selling them at stores including Joan Shepp in Philadelphia. She joined a showroom in 1993 and began wholesaling women's clothes under her own label. Her line is primarily based on item shirts using vintage inspired prints. Marla enjoys a strong following and shows her line twice a year, currently at Atelier at the Rhiga Royal in New York. She has taken workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Peters Valley, studying the art of shibori, dye techniques and discharging, which are always incorporated into her work. Marla currently has a studio in Bethlehem, PA, that she shares with two dogs, Lola and Max.