Having a keen eye for vintage clothing and memorabilia, collector Josh Matthews recently sat down with American clothing company Adsum, known for interpreting men's staples with a mix of technical outerwear and sportswear -- for an interview exploring the 33-year old's vintage pieces, how he started collecting, his thoughts on fashion and more.
Here are a few takeaways that we've learned from the conversation.
...on where his interest in vintage came from.
Matthews "I just like gear. I’ve always liked gear. But really, everything always came from my mother, Marilyn, and my brother, Trent. My mother liked to stretch the dollars, so I always ended up wearing my brothers clothes. She was always into vintage."
"People always use that word 'vintage' but it’s really not about 'vintage'. It’s about quality, taste, and timeless style. People actually used to give a damn about having a brand that stood for something. People started to move away from that in the mid 90's. Manufacturing moved. Businesses grew to the point where they started cutting out all these little costs. But you cut this out, you cut that out, and then you cut this out too; soon you’re going to be left with nothing but holes."
...on where his style came from.
Matthews "Yea, mostly from my brother. He’s 13 years older. That’s why I love Bally so much. That’s why I love Fendi so much. I’m 33, he’s 46. He always kept me close. Him and my cousin Alonzo. They had two different styles but we’re born the same year. My brother has a real fly guy look. Polo Ranger boots? He was the first one to get a pair of those. He ended up giving the Rangers to my dad and picking up another pair of the Chukka. I used to wear that with a polo sweater vest and some Gap jeans. They used to be real real nice. Your boy used to rock a sweater vest dumb hard. I ain’t gonna lie to you, a good white t-shirt and sweater vest and a pair of Polo Chukka boots... you couldn’t tell me shit haha."
"My mother too. Talking about things people are only now getting into. Fiorucci & shit. We used to go to clearance centers in Houston. New York and all the big cities would get all the regional rare shit at the first drop, but guess what, when the time runs out and nothing sold, where are you going to put it? You send it to a place like Dillards clearance center in Texas. They can house all that."
...further sharing how the vintage aesthetic provided some exclusivity.
Matthews "At the time, buying used or vintage clothing was not aspirtational for young black and minority kids. You probably already had "hand me downs", so actively going out to buy used or vintage clothes was not the move. It would be like a step back. Besides, wasn't no vintage in the "wanna be a baller" video. People were feeling the stuff I was wearing, but no one knew where I was getting it from. I would get the new stuff too, but there was even better shit out there that they didn’t even make no more. Getting used Calvin Klein jeans for 99 cents. Finding made in USA gear."
...on the quality of vintage pieces.
Matthews "I must have been in 8th grade, that’s when I really realized there was a difference in quality between what was out at the time in the stores and what people used to make. I think at the time it was Silver Tab Levis that was really big in the stores. I never forget the first time I got my first pair of made in the USA 501’s and I was like “Yo these are different. These look different. These are tight!” They looked way better with my clothes because all that stuff at the time was made baggy so it looked crazy. This was a normal fit, just a little looser and I was like “My shit look tight like this. Alright cool."
...his thoughts on style or fashion.
Matthews "I like to mix it up. Part hood part fashion with a little sportswear sprinkled in, but never hood fashion "you feel me?". That Barcelona jump suit with that M3 hat is a hot look. I like wild shit. Some people say “I didn’t know I could do that.” or something. You can do whatever you want. Fashion is supposed to be fun, so have fun."
...favorite place to eat around NYC.
Matthews "My favorite place here in New York is La Dynastia on 72nd St. It’s a Chino-Latino spot. My homie Post put me on. It’s banging. They make this Chicken Crackling. That’s real good."
For more, you can check out the in-depth interview and his vintage collection directly at Adsum.
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