Hot on the heels of the Spring 1 drop from their latest collection, Dope Couture’s Matte Fields is on to bigger and badder things – seriously. We chopped it up about high school hustles (respect!), Dope’s evolution, and Wall Street.
Heather: What’s in your wallet right now?
Matte: I’m sad to say it’s a Louis Vuitton coin pouch I’ve had for six years, business cards, couple of credit cards, and an expired license. That’s it though – keep it minimalist in my wallet.
H: Tell us about what inspired the new collection that just dropped.
M: It looks more contemporary. Clean lines, clean stuff. The beanies are really simple and we’re taking current stuff and flipping it – you’ll see broken logos, like, shattering our own logo and that’s a statement taken a couple different ways. We’re breaking the mold of what streetwear currently is.
H: As your line keeps evolving, how are your customers changing?
M: I want to keep our current customer base and expand it. I want more skate kids, more contemporary customers, I want more hood rats, I want it all. I want everyone to buy something from our collections. What you see each month is radically different.
H: What’s your favorite Dope piece ever?
M: Does it have to have been made yet?
M: Our full grain, top-notch quality leather Perfecto jacket – and I haven’t even finished it yet! I have the first round sample and it’s got fucking ill zippers on it. They’re actually the same zippers that Balmain used when Christophe [Decarnin] was there. It was really cool seeing that.
H: What advice to you have for designers just starting out?
M: The important thing is to do whatever you do really well. If you’re into jewelry or headwear, whatever, do it the best you can and really focus on the details.
H: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
M: Wake up every morning and focus on where the money is. That was my father. I never give that advice away and I probably won’t again – ’cause that is fucking key.
H: So, when we were talking last week I asked you what you were like in high school and you alluded to some illicit hustles. Tell us about the game.
M: Well, when I was in high school there were a couple of different ‘businesses’ I had. My hustle consisted of getting Einstein bagel cards and I’d use the stamper, a star punch (I went to a craft store and got one), to punch all these cards and sell ‘em! You could get a dozen free bagels or a sandwich, so I’d just sell them in packs – like 10 cards at the same time.
The main hustle though was car stereos. If you needed one you came to me and my right hand man – who’s actually my graphic designer now. Yeah, we’d steal them..I was a really bad kid (laughs) I’m not like that anymore. Other little hustles were here and there – wherever I could make some money.
H: So what was your style like in high school?
M: I was definitely into fashion. I wore Ralph Lauren and high-end pieces like Burberry and a little Versace for the most part. It was a different time in my life. Ralph Lauren and jacking stereos!
M: Well I was in college and this is crazy because I didn’t even like think about the aftermath until now. Being a stupid kid in 2006, I was in business school at IU trading stocks on eTrade and took $700, did some day trading and I did like $123,000 in trades. [Heather laughs] Not funny cause I’m paying taxes on it now! I was trading stocks in my apartment watching Mad Money trying to figure out how to make some real cash because I was sick of being a broke college student who likes nice things and can’t afford them. Then, I saw Jay-Z in a streetwear tee and did some research and discovered the genre. In Indiana you don’t discover trends on the street – it’s all the internet. People in Cali think it’s lame, but you can’t help where you were born. I found out about the culture online and I was really drawn to it. I had been experimenting with different styles trying to figure out what fit me best, but the answer was there all along. I just had to discover it.
H: So we know you like nice things. What’s the nicest thing in your closet right now?
M: My Murakami for Louis Vuitton duffle bag. It’s super limited – you can’t get it unless you go back in the past.
H: If you had to choose a song to represent your brand what would it be?
M: DJ Cam – Summer in Paris.
H: What’s your go-to “I’m getting laid” outfit?
M: Black Dior jeans, black tee, black Dior blazer, some canvas shoes, and Givenchy chains.
H: Fill in the blank. If I wasn’t at Dope, I’d be______.
M: On Wall Street.
H: Three words that describe you best?
M: Money, money money, ain’t a damn thing funny.