September 23, 2023


Taking The Lead For Fashion Quality

Meet Jewelry Designer Matthew Harris of Mateo

Meet Jewelry Designer Matthew Harris of Mateo

Matthew Harris grew up in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and remembers one particular essential family members rule he was informed as a kid: “Make sure you normally have great jewelry — because if a thing goes improper, you provide it.” Harris took that to heart and wore a tennis bracelet on his wrist and a diamond cross on his neck for as long as he could try to remember — getting gold jewelry was a custom of the Harris loved ones. Spoiler inform: He did mature up to provide jewelry, generating his have wonderful-jewelry manufacturer, Mateo.

But when Harris started out earning jewellery in 2009, it was out of a will need. “When I appeared for men’s jewelry, it was only unsightly cranium-on the lookout pieces, which I refused to don,” Harris says. So he headed to the jewellery district in New York City and taught himself how to put pieces with each other. He lived in New York until eventually 2019, but it “stressed him out.” Now, Harris lives in Lisbon, Portugal, the place he’s been for two many years. “I come to feel at relieve when I’m in this article,” Harris says. And as a designer, a everyday living of simplicity would make a difference. Becoming a designer was not constantly in the cards for him nevertheless. “I didn’t go to a extravagant trend college. It is been innate talent and a drop of luck,” he states. In just a calendar year, another person from Rihanna’s workforce pulled a piece for her to wear, a 14-karat gold collar necklace. Folks commenced inquiring him for a whole selection, a women’s just one. So he believed, Why not? By 2015, he made an whole women’s assortment utilizing just one unique piece: a gold bar. Now, Mateo attributes 14-karat gold necklaces, rings adorned with diamonds, and one of a kind pearlescent pieces. Under, Harris talks Mateo, investment jewellery, and drawing inspiration from just about everywhere.

Photo: MATEO

What was the inspiration behind your to start with piece? 
I moved to Bed-Stuy in 2009, and when we were moving, a screw fell out the wall, and I was like, Why isn’t a screw a necklace or a bracelet? I went to Property Depot and bought a shit ton of screws and nails. I picked up a toolbox, too, and came residence and explained to myself I was going to renovate it into jewellery. Which is how the full thought came to daily life.

Now that you’ve expanded into additional elevated parts and women’s as very well, in which else do you draw inspiration from? 
I applied to enjoy New York, but New York stresses me the hell out. It does, however, encourage me a lot. I was just there past 7 days, and I saw a female pump on to the train very nonchalantly seeking badass. I pictured what parts would search superior on her. Which is how I get impressed. I don’t need to have to be in a specific environment. I generally wander with a little notebook and I’m scribbling down notes. My household, Jamaica, demonstrates up in my get the job done a whole lot, in my personal own way. I consider when individuals feel of Jamaica they expect to see bamboo earrings or reggae-colored jewellery, but my cultural impact is a good deal much more subtle. A good deal of my parts are yellow gold, and we use a good deal of malachite, a daring environmentally friendly gemstone — equally shades are a portion of the Jamaican flag. There’s also a large amount of black onyx in my get the job done, which represents the men and women and strength of the nation.

What can make a fantastic piece of jewelry and provides that elevated character to it?
For me, what tends to make a terrific necklace, bracelet, or any piece of jewelry is wearability. If you are expending revenue on jewellery, you need to be in a position to have on it all the time and get your money’s worthy of. A good piece has to normally be timeless, so if I make anything and you simply cannot use it often, it is not in our assortment. We have some items that are a little bit extravagant, but at the end of the day, there is a simplicity about them that makes it possible for you to put on them all the time.

What is one piece of jewelry everyone need to start out with?
A little something with an original — it’s present day and private.

You also design and style actually stylish baggage. How does your inspiration vary when planning bags as opposed to jewellery? 
I’m not a usual purse designer. I’m not launching a new bag each period, so if I’m likely to make a purse, it has to both be timeless or have some impressive form about it. This is why we have not even released a new bag a short while ago. I’m not striving to insert yet another bag on the sector.