If you have ever met Mathew or seen him around campus at GW, you know that he has style. “I would say i have a personal style but i have a lot of influences,” says Mathew. “I would say.. Kanye, 2 chains, Quavo.. I would like to see a style that not a lot of people are wearing right now. Like retro 90s style.” Mathew and I met at the MSSC at the George Washington University to talk all things fashion. I even got some perspectives from some people also in the MSSC listening in on our conversation. Above, Mathew wears a vintage Calvin Klein fitted cap, Vintage Nike windbreaker, A Bathing Ape tee, ripped jeans, and Doc Martins.
Does fashion allow you to express yourself? Bring confidence? Empowerment?
I would say yea.. It does allow me to express myself. It does bring confidence… it doesn’t give me a sense of empowerment because at the end of the day without the clothes, you are still the same person.
What do you think about consumerism in the black community? Historically, African Americans have been the first to buy from brands who are racist.
We buy from labels who don’t support us. None of the shit we wear is made for us. I stopped buying Jordans because we shouldn’t be dying over this its not that serious.
So did you stop buying Jordans because of Michael Jordan himself or the culture surrounding Jordans?
The culture. I would be there at 6 am to get the newest Jordans. Not anymore though (laughs).
Are black people more interested in the brands as they get older?
“You just spend more as you get older,” says Brianna in the MSSC.
“Instead of Polo, i would get Diesel,” says Mathew. “We do still shop for the brand but as you get older it fades away (the thirst for that brand fades away).”
What is your favorite thing to wear and why?
He takes a moment to think about it.
My favorite jeans to wear are light blue jeans with holes in them… any type of shoes. I like bright colors.
What are your favorite brands?
H&M, Urban, Asos, Forever 21.
As a Black student at GW, do you believe that fashion allows you to express your culture or break stereotypes of what a black person is supposed to wear/look like?
No, you have to deviate form here (GW). I just think you shouldn’t be dressing like anyone else and conforming like someone elses style. If you change any aspect of yourself, it defeats the purpose of finding yoursef in college.
What do you think about the discourse surrounding cultural appropriation?
I don’t like seeing it. For example, there is a huge thing with locs and white people are trying to claim it. I see white kids wear things that typically black kids wear.. I think ‘he’s trying to be like us’ or ‘he’s around a lot of black people.’ I’m not going to lie it does come off as kind of weird.