Today we’d like to introduce you to Matias Sandoval.
Hi Matias, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’m an artist on a lifelong journey exploring denim and apparel, the rules that follow and how to break them.
“My passion chose me, not the other way around.”
Below was written by a friend.
Matias Sandoval holds a BFA from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. About a dozen years ago, after some extensive foundation courses in Conceptual Art and Ceramic Form, he found himself sitting behind a sewing machine, determined to better understand its functionality and its limitation.
Through “deconstruction” and exploration of garment “re-construction”, he very quickly fell in love with the process of making clothing. “I’m a self-taught tailor, pattern-maker and designer.” Matias explains.
After working as a sort of artist-in-residence at a local denim laundry from 2004 – 2008, the MATiAS namesake began shipping both men’s and women’s capsule collections primarily to Japan and a handful of specialty boutiques here in the United States.
In 2008 he began crafting one-of-a-kind pieces for NBA, NHL players and really began to understand the niche in which he currently resides. Over the past decade, the line has ‘evolved’ from a heritage-inspired denim line to a ‘Avant-Garde inspired’ collection.
Since the beginning, all of the production is done in an ‘art studio’ environment where each piece is meticulously hand-tailored. No detail is overlooked.
The collection is now sold to some of the top luxury boutiques in the United States, Japan, Canada and China. Made in small, sometimes limited runs, everything is still hand-tailored in a small artist studio in Southern California. MATiAS is a Post-Heritage, Post-Modern brand of tomorrow.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The biggest struggle for me has been stepping into a very narrow and controlled sales environment where marketing and money always win. Young and naive, I thought if you have an amazing product, it sells itself.
I struggled to realize that fashion is 15% product..95%marketing and hype.
Yes, that’s 110% where anything less is unacceptable.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My unique approach to denim making and subverting the concept of what a pair of jeans can look like without compromising utility is what sets us apart from other creatives in our space.
One of our signature details is our “single panel” design, where the front and back panel of the jean is connected into one large piece, giving the wearer a sleek, seemless profile with unique detailing.
This design concept doubles as a deterrent from Knock-off artists because the production process is much more complex than your standard jeans…but G-Star did anyway.
What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Much of fashion has gone direct to consumers which has been a good thing for us. We do have amazing brand partners in many cities throughout the USA and abroad, but more and more people have been discovering us online even though we still need to work on getting to that “95% brand marketing presence” we are still allowing lore and mystery guide people to our PRODUCT.
The days of In-Store discovery need a “refresh” and I think we are going to see a much different approach to Brick and Mortar retail over the next few years.
DTC has given us the ability to react fast to consumer demands and distribute our products on our terms. I’d like to open several experience-driven shops in particular areas like Tokyo and NYC.. but until then…
- Denim $250 – $500
- Tops $100 – $400
- Jackets $500-$1200
All Photos; BEN DUGGAN Model NYC: 4 images, HUGH HARRISON Model STUDIO: 2 images, Nyang Reat