Matthew Ames has become known for his close attention to detail and craftsmanship that always strives for simplicity and purity. Simply put, Matthew’s collection is more about individual garments than overall fashion. We spoke about his collaboration with Swedish fashionlabel Weekday.
What made you decide to go into fashion?
“I’ve always had an interest in fashion because my grandfather owned a store for 40 years. After school I gained a BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. After working at the atelier of Jurgi Persoons in Antwerp, Belgium, I relocated to New York where I began working as a design assistant to Miguel Adrover. In 2004, I was selected as a finalist for the Festival de la Mode a Hyères in France and decided to launch my first women’s wear collection in 2005.”
You won quite some important awards, was it difficult for you to stay at that design level?
“Between winning the award in Hyeres and other fashion prices I had quite some time to develop myself and make mistakes. No breathing in my neck but just working on my signature. Which helped a lot during my process so I was happy that not all eyes were on me.”
Your designs are all about silhouette and shape. Can you explain?
“I want to eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the essential. My collection is about the ideal wardrobe pieces that you can mix with other items. Its also quite unisex which I find important. Obviously there are items for just men or women but most items can be mutually combined. The esthetic and shapes matched perfect with the design philosophy of Weekday.”
Tell me more on your collaboration with Weekday, how did it started?
“It actually started through mutual friends of Elinor and me. They liked my collection and contacted me if I was interested to start a collaboration. Since I had heard great stories about Weekday I thought: why not? After meeting the team I became really enthusiastic and noticed that we had a good match. Weekday are really known for their work with denim, so I thought it could be exciting to bring this into the collection in a new way. Historically denim is something very American, but now obviously has been adopted all over the world. So I think it makes great sense for this collaboration between an American designer and a Swedish brand.”
Collaborations between designers and fashion labels are really trending nowadays. Is it important for a designer?
“As a designer it can be useful to reach a wider audience. Not everybody is capable to buy designerclothing so for those who are interested in fashion it’s nice to buy something within their price range.”
Can you tell me more about the collection ‘Prairie’?
The Prairie School developed a new vocabulary for design and aesthetics that took into consideration the way people live. The collection for Weekday represents these same goals. It’s about focusing on what is integral to the design. It’s something quiet, but powerful. Most of the pieces come in denim, they are timeless and designed to stay in the customers wardrobe for many years. Clean, calm and simple.”
“I would love to present a new ‘Matthew Ames’-collection so I’m working on that right now.”