BE READY FOR ANYTHING (AND LOOK GOOD DOING IT) IN THIS LOCALLY-MADE MENSWEAR
Story by Kate Gadiyeva
Photos by Alex Cirka
Matteo Sgaramella is the mastermind behind the urban Canadian brand, Outclass. He started his company two and a half years ago while in his last year at the Ontario College of Art and Design, where he was studying graphic design. Outclass was originally created as a thesis project and the first piece of clothing that Sgaramella designed was a scarf. That same scarf is now his signature piece and it sells out quickly each season.
Plaid caught up with Sgaramella on the eve of the release of his Spring/Summer12 collection to learn more about the man and his brand.
Is a formal education important for a designer?
Education is extremely important. You need to educate yourself before you take anything on. Everyone should continue their education, but there are certain things that you can learn outside of the classroom. You can learn from the right mentor, and you must have the right mindset. You should always soak in what’s going on around you, and take time to reflect and learn from your mistakes.
Do you wish you studied fashion in school?
Yes, it’s something that I would love to do. Right now, I want to apply to Institute Marangoni in Milan for Masters in Menswear. I think it would make me a better designer, and it would be really inspiring to be in Italy for a couple of years.
Describe Outclass in three words?
Canadian, sophisticated, and ruggedness. It’s an oxymoron but somehow it works well and it looks good.
What does Outclass mean to your customer?
It means personal, quality, attention to detail, young, fresh, new, awesome, authentic, and local.
How does your design process work? From where do you draw inspiration?
There are many different ways that the collection comes together. A lot of it is about the way I want the look book to look and feel, and which guys do I want to have in the look book. A big part of it is also based on the fabric. I spend a lot of time fabric hunting. I buy it locally (Toronto) and from the U.S., Japan, Montréal, and Italy.
The other part is what I want to wear. I have to do something that I like. I trust my intuition before any trends or anything else that is going on.
Who do you design for?
I design for a man who is rugged but is transitioning into a sophisticated man. He is becoming a young professional. Each collection represents me and it has to be something that I like. That way it’s honest.
What’s an ideal Summer time outfit for a guy?
He should be wearing Outclass light jeans, a colourful Outclass button-down dress shirt, an Outclass linen scarf, and Common Projects shoes.
Where is this guy going?
He would be going anywhere. To work, maybe through the bushes, you never know, that’s the thing with a Canadian guy.
If you could dress any celebrity in Outclass who would it be?
It has to be someone outside of the Hollywood circle. It would have to be a musician, I would say ASAP Rocky because he is on the verge of something great.
Not Ryan Gosling?
If he has to be from Hollywood, I could see George Clooney rocking it, he has a Steve McQueen air to him, very suave.
What’s your favourite mode of transportation?
Favourite restaurant in Toronto?
Favourite bar in Toronto?