|Founder William Matte Jr.|
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with William Matte Jr., the founder of Prestigious clothing line. Will works closely with a small, select group to make quality clothes that are affordable. What's so cool about this line is that is it Vegan friendly and all made in America, from START to FINISH. Oh yeah and their designs are AWESOME!! I really love their clothes and am happy to support such a noble and worthy cause. Check out my interview with founder Will. to see what he has to say about being 'Prestigious'.
When did you first become a Vegan and why?
I first became vegan when I was around 18 years old. i had been vegetarian since I was 16 and while giving up meat seemed to be the answer I was looking for, I still felt as though I wasn't giving my beliefs the validation they deserve. There's an old saying that goes a little something like this: "veg(itari)an- cut out the crap, because animals don't need your excuses." To become vegan as I see it is a natural step one takes after giving up meat. Cow milk is not ours to take. Chicken eggs are not in existence for human consumption. We need to cook meat or else it makes us sick. Why has mainstream society continued to accept these practices? I for one choose not too. I have two brothers and two loving parents who have always supported my decisions. I have very, very few friends or acquaintances who have given veg a shot, but I stand true and practice what I preach.
How long ago did you start Prestigious and what brought that about? Did you always want to do fashion??
I started Prestigious in 2008 while I was a sophomore at Westfield State University. I had always spent all my money on clothes, studied fashion trends and have always been style-conscious. Clothes, apparel, fashion- it was all something I had a huge interest and inherent fascination with. I also wanted to find a trade, so to speak- something I could make a living working for myself doing. My father is a master technician and owns a car dealership and repair shop- he had the best job of anyone i knew because he did what he loved on HIS TERMS. I needed that for me too.
What makes your clothes so unique and Vegan friendly?
The aspect of Prestigious that makes it a brand is the coherent theme among the product line. There's a certain aesthetic that my customers appreciate that we consistently deliver. In terms of being vegan friendly, all Prestigious products, from the fabrics to the inks to the promo material- is produced with no animal products- no silk, no leather, and no sweatshop swill cotton that is 36% field mouse and prairie dog fur. Our garments are made in America, printed on American Apparel fabric (praised for their vegan-friendly array of items), and will continue to be produced as such on a small, DIY scale.
How do you come up with your designs?
Designs start as ideas and are tossed through several mental and visual filters before we decide what 'goes" and what doesn't. As far as design concepts are concerned, I work very closely with the freelancers we hire to make these printed artworks come to life. Tweak, retweak, and sometimes scrap- the process is a tedious one, but a necessary one.
I LOVE your tagline 'Hand Made By Humans' how'd you come up with that??
From the blanks to the silk screening to the harvesting of the cotton- even the sales and marketing and order packing/shipping- we are all humans with beating hearts and flesh. We are a unit, a team, and we share a vision. Humanitarian belief are what also drive Prestigious and it's why we only use certain blanks for our prints. We like American Apparel so much because of how people-conscious their production methods are. Employees get excellent wages (over 10$ an hour as opposed to Chinese or Mexican sweatshop workers making Hanes and Fruit Of The Loom for pennies on the hour). We care about the wellness and the right to perpetuate, grow and prosper of each and every living thing.
What is the thing you are most proud of about this clothing line?
What makes me proud is a happy customer. One who is satisfied with their purchase- one who understands what this brand means and why they chose to spend their hard-earned money on it. All of our gracious, loyal customers are what make me proud as an entrepreneur. If it weren't for them, Prestigious wouldn't exist.
"The most important aspect of any sales-oriented business is the customer. He (or she) can fire anyone in the company, from the CEO to the front-line sales clerk, just by choosing to spend his (or her) money elsewhere."
If you want to look and feel Prestigious check them and order Online!