MELI is a luxury streetwear clothing brand that Monty Matuka founded, as a way to promote equality and cross-cultural awareness. His purpose is to inspire those who wear MELI, and to communicate and express the confidence, community and mindfulness. When asked how he would describe his fashion and style, Matuka said he would describe it as “sophisticated streetwear.”
Matuka was exposed to and influenced in fashion from the start, he explains “My two older sisters and my mother, you know, I was shopping, bringing different gravity around me from back home in Africa, and just kind of always being aware of — like — our cultural interest.”
Matuka got interested in fashion around middle school. Fashion was something that has always interested Matuka. “Yeah… seeing the culture, how it had an effect and an impact on how we felt and viewed ourselves. So, in a sense, it was a way for me to express myself, my personal style, how I’m feeling, things of that nature.”
“it was a way for me to express myself, my personal style, how I’m feeling, things of that nature.”
As a streetwear designer, Matuka shares why he thinks street wear has become so popular nowadays. “I feel like it’s been popular for a while. But as of late, I feel like the culture has had more of a focus on the — you know — the comfortable cozy attire, relating it to hiphop fashion and culture.” He also expresses how there’s such a big impact on how trends are coming about every day. “I think people kind of gravitate towards what’s hot, what’s trendy, but then again, history repeats itself. It’s lifestyle has been something that’s been around for a while and just a matter of how people want to portray themselves and how they feel. That’s how I want to just look at streetwear entirely.”
Fashion is so powerful. It has a way of connecting us with each other, and even communicating such great messages to one another. Which is what Matuka thinks, as he explains how fashion can be so powerful. “I feel like it’s a voice. It’s a voice for a lot of different angles. It’s a voice to express how you feel, and what you believe in. It’s a voice to get messages across through your brand. Whatever values or beliefs you believe in.” To Matuka, fashion is what your personal style is and how you want to Voice who you are as a person. He also believes it is powerful to have that voice being expressed through the means of fashion.
For a little fashion forecasting, Matuka shares what he believes is going to be the next big wave in fashion. “I feel like looser fitting garments. Like, over the past few years, it’s been a lot of form fitting, tight fitted, but oversized and looser fitting garments are going to be the next big thing.” Which can be a plus on his side, since a lot of people are wearing more streetwear fashions. Another big thing that Matuka sees, a lot of fashion is going online, e-commerce, and digital.
“I feel like it’s a voice. It’s a voice for a lot of different angles. It’s a voice to express how you feel, and what you believe in.”
Many things can inspire your creations as an artist/designer. For Matuka, almost everything inspires him and his designs. “Really everything and traveling. Different lifestyles around the world. The things that inspire me are experiences,” he explains. With lots of inspiration flowing around, Matuka shares with us his inspiration for his upcoming collection. “It’s a lot of outerwear, and higher end. Three pieces that are versatile. What I mean by that is, you can wear these pieces in areas such as the office, to work out, […] traveling, and going on a date or meeting — wherever you’re going.” He explains how for the upcoming collection, it is still upscale enough to go around anywhere, but still be cozy enough to feel relaxed and comfortable.
This conversation was calm and relaxed. The nature and tone in which Matuka speaks about fashion is truly powerful and passionate. We are very excited to see his upcoming collection walk down the runway later this month.
Vist @meli_intl on instagram to see and learn more