BRAND: Matt Singer
FOUNDED BY: Matt Singer
HOME BASE: New York City
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Despite being merely a year old, Matt Singer's lifestyle-driven collection, which includes everything from canvas totes and oxford shirts to roll-up backgammon sets, is characterized by a sense of timelessness rarely found, even in products from brands that have been around for a minute. We can attribute this unique quality to Singer's extensive experience in the game (he spent nine years at Jack Spade) or his simple and sensible designs. But most importantly, it's his very intimate approach to product creation—from material selection to manufacturing—and exceptional attention to detail that gives the line such a distinctive feel.
On his website, Matt Singer dedicates an entire section to the materials used in some of his products, such as waxed cotton, which he explains is "a Martin Family secret that has been passed on for 7 generations" and two-ply hand-washed cotton. The designer also shares his philosophy behind choosing manufacturers, where he emphasizes passion for craftsmanship and tradition. Every step of the production process comes across as extremely personal, all the way down to his label, which features the nine planets of our solar system—yep, nine instead of the currently accepted eight, due to his "soft spot for Pluto." In short, Matt Singer has achieved in little time something special that takes many brands years to attain, if ever.
Keep reading for our interview with Matt Singer and his five winter essentials. Our picks from his collection are also after the jump...
Matt Singer's Five Winter Essentials
1. Neapolitan Bar by Chocolate Editions. You can't beat a handmade chocolate bar with dark chocolate, white chocolate, and strawberry flavored sections.
Click here to Buy It Now at Chocolate-Editions, $10
2. Olive Green canvas tote by Matt Singer. Carries all my everyday things—samples, books, laptop, running shoes, etc. etc.
Click here to Buy It Now at Matt Singer, $205
3. Vineyard Sunshine Granola from Little Rock Farm in Martha's Vineyard. It's the best granola I've ever had.
Click here To Buy It Now at Kioskkiosk, $10
4. Long sleeve oxford cloth shirt by Matt Singer. Available in a handful of solid colors and stripes.
Click here to Buy It Now at Matt Singer, $195
5. Creamed Honey from Tremblay Apiaries.
Click her to Buy It Now at Tremblay Apiaries, $6
Complex: What was the first designer item you bought or wore?
Matt: I bought a pair of amazing Jimmy'Z shorts when I was 11 or 12. That was the first time I remember seeking out a brand because their style really spoke to me.
Complex: What's your favorite piece in the collection?
Matt: The short-sleeve oxford shirt is a pop-over style (you slip it over your head) with a four-button front placket and a curved hem. It's the most versatile shirt I own.
Complex: Are there any special projects/collaborations we can look forward to in the near future?
Matt: I just finished work on a secret identity kit with the eyewear designer Selima Salaun that will come out in March. We produced the piece to support the Brooklyn Superhero Supply store and their creative writing center located at the back of their shop (behind a swinging bookcase). The secret identity kit will help superheroes young and old blend in with the civilian world. The Clark Kent style glasses come with a silhouette-shaped lens cloth and a custom case with Strive to Be Boring printed on the interior. The kit also contains a small book of creative writing by the 826nyc students. All proceeds benefit 826nyc.org.
Complex: What can we expect in your next collection?
Matt: There are new patterns and colors for the shirts, and a new line of bags that I am super-excited to share and a film about mad scientists will be added to the website's film section.
Complex: What price points does the brand offer?
Matt: I make a wide assortment of items for both men and women—button-down shirts ($195) and sturdy canvas bags ($195-$225), as well as an assortment of accessories (woven bookmarks, cotton canvas and suede belts, letterpress coasters, glass ashtrays, leather lighter covers, etc.). The prices range from $13 for a woven bookmark featuring Koko (the gorilla who learned American sign language), $50 for a decoupage ashtray featuring dogs from the Soviet space program, $195 for a cotton oxford button down shirt, $205 for the cotton canvas zipper top tote, $205 for the canvas messenger bag, $215 for a canvas brief, and $225 for the canvas weekend bag.