Super soft, comfy knit tees and beachy casuals? Uhm yes, we’re #boutthat. Hear from designer and founder of MATE The Label, Kayti O’Connell Carr’s story and inspiration behind her new Spring / Summer 2016 Collection on our exclusive one-on-one! And get a special peek at her latest visuals starring Delilah Parillo, photographed by Bryan Rodner Carr.
• We are beyond excited to see your new Spring 2016 collection! What is the story… the inspiration behind your “Always Go” collection?
Thank you! This collection includes some of my favorite graphics that we’ve ever done and I am so excited with how it came together. I was inspired by the importance of travel and escaping the day-to-day grind once in a while. Sometimes I get so caught up in routine and start to make excuses for not traveling more often. Pieces from this collection include some of my favorite destination spots around the world and are a small reminder to get out there, explore, get lost and ALWAYS GO.
• Do you have any favorite pieces in particular from your new collection?
It’s so hard to pick an absolute favorite but I really love the Made In The West, Austin and Take Me To Tulum graphics. This season, we introduced a burn out tee and I love how they look and feel.
“Pieces from this collection include some of my favorite destination spots around the world and are a small reminder to get out there, explore, get lost and ALWAYS GO.”
• Delilah Parillo is your muse for the lookbook – we love her! We’re also big fans of Bryan Carr’s photography. How did the shoot come about and how was it working with the two?
Delilah is out of this world and I have been dying to work with her for a while now. Her look was perfect for this collection and she made it very easy. There is nothing better than when a model just gets it, nails every pose, and is comfortable in her own skin.
Bryan on the other hand…total nightmare! Just kiddingggggggg, he is my husband haha and I LOVE working with him! I met Bryan on the very first MATE Vintage shoot about 4 years ago and he has been shooting our collections season after season. He is beyond talented and very creative. I trust his eye 100%.
• We love how MATE channels the ultimate, relaxed California vibes. How did you first get started in launching your own brand?
I never thought I would have my own line! I was working at a finance company and started collecting vintage tees as something I did on the weekends to keep my creative juices flowin’ out of the office.
I decided to launch a website and start selling the tees I found and it developed from there. The perfect vintage tee is so hard to find and I wanted to create a line inspired by the classic feel of a worn in vintage tee.
• You founded MATE back in 2013 and have been growing the brand ever since. What would you say is the biggest challenge and the most important thing you’ve learned in the process?
The biggest challenge has been production aka the beast. I started with zero knowledge of how a garment is actually made. Things like tech packs, patterns, and construction details were completely foreign to me (I am still learning). Every season we produce there are a number of setbacks and issues that arise. Just this week all of our woven labels for our entire collection did not show up! We had to individually screenprint thousands of neck labels in one day! But, it actually turned out pretty nicely.
The most important thing I have learned is to keep pushing forward and always trust your intuition because you’re usually right.
“The perfect vintage tee is so hard to find and I wanted to create a line inspired by the classic feel of a worn in vintage tee.”
• Ok, let’s talk personal style. How would you describe it?
My style is very laidback. My go-to outfit is a vintage tee with worn in denim. I like to feel comfortable and relaxed.
• If you can raid anybody’s closet, who’s would it be?
Hands down Chloe Sevigny, she is the ultimate muse.
• 5 COOL songs currently on replay. GO.
So hard to pick my fav songs, I can never remember the titles! I’m a big Spotify fan and currently I am listening to James Supercave, Leon Bridges, Father John Misty, FKA Twigs and T. Rex radio on repeat in the office.
• 5 COOL spots in LA to eat. GO.
I love to eat. Jon & Vinny’s, Night Song, Dinette, Gjusta and Son of a Gun are my absolute favs! Dang, I am hungry now.
• 5 COOL spots in LA to shop. GO.
Rosebowl Flea Market, Reformation, American Rag, Individual Medley and Hot Cactus Store.
“The most important thing I have learned is to keep pushing forward and always trust your intuition because you’re usually right.”
• We are completely in love with MATE and can’t get enough. Where else can we find you?