MTXLA is all about attitude. Creators Fred and Lea want you to know you should "do whatever pleases you and if it bothers people, well you know what? They can always look somewhere else." It's a musical combination of LA's laid-back vibe with MTL's (Montreal's) diverse and unique style.
Q: Can you explain the background of MTXLA how did it all begin?
A: I had this idea for a few years in the back of my mind but always had a reason not to start it. Then about 2 years ago I was with Lea (my partner in crime) talking about visas to work in the US with a lawyer. The lawyer, Maureen, asked me what my dream job was and I didn’t even hesitate to respond- a small boutique with my clothing, an espresso machine and my dogs running around. So, that's when MTXLA was born. The more we worked on this the more Lea saw how creative this could get and how fun having a word on every level was.
Q: Have you always been interested in fashion? Do you have an educational background in fashion?
Lea: I’ve had jobs in the past where I was in the fashion domain, but no I never studied for it. It was always just a passion for me.
A: Fred: The interest has always been there, our computer history and our wardrobes can testify, but we don't have an educational background. I think that today if you have an interest in something and are not afraid to work hard, research, ask questions, surround yourself with the right people, you don't really have a disadvantage to people who went to school in that field. And this could be applied to a lot of environments - music, cooking, filmmaking.
Q: How did you come up with the name MTXLA?
A: Fred: Well the plan was to be MTLA for MTL and LA, our two favourite places on earth but the name was already registered. We switched for MTXLA because you can't go wrong with an X in your name, can you? And, that's when a lighting company registered the domain a few weeks before we did, so we bought thisismtxla.com and managed to take the facebook and Instagram before they did.
Take that, light manufacturer!
Q: Do you have any new designs coming out for 2017?
A: Fred: We have A TON of new designs and projects for 2017. We are only 6 months old as of right now so this year is a very important one for us as it will define who we are as a brand. We will have a drop in May and then a mini-drop at the end of the summer - probably around our 1 year anniversary, end of August. Can't wait, this should -will- be very fun!
Q: Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
A: Fred: We know it's gonna be a long road for us before we are well established. We started this with our savings and don't have a huge machine behind us as we are up against the big players - Vans, Obey, Pacsun - but we are confident we are holding onto something good in our hands. We definitely want to move to cut & sew as soon as our sales allow us to do so. We will most likely never be on a runway but we would like to add more styles to our line in the next few years - pants, jackets, more more.
Q: What are some of the themes you address in your clothing in regards to the design and lettering?
A: Fred: We are not only selling clothes, we want to sell a way of life, a brand in which people can recognize themselves. Our branding and our image is really important to us. We know people follow us because we sell an attitude, we sell a fun lifestyle and we don't take ourselves too seriously. Our tagline is "Everyday should be Sunday" and I think it resumes the idea behind MTXLA. Just do whatever pleases you and if it bothers people, well you know what? They can always look somewhere else.
Q: Who are some of your favourite designers?
A: Lea: We have a lot of love for people from different areas. Personally, I am a huge fan of Demna and all his work at Balenciaga. We really love the aesthetics of brands like Acne Studios, Won Hundred, Proenza. On another level, we love brands like Born & Raised, Palace, Dime. They may not be reinventing the wheel and as fashion-forward as the others mentioned before, but they really know what they are doing in terms of building a brand and talking to their fanbase. We have a lot of respect for that. They are true to themselves and are able to stay at the top of a street style craze that never ceases to evolve.
Q: How would you define success?
A: Fred: Success can be found at a lot of levels. The first time we sold an item to a stranger was a big accomplishment for us. The moment when I looked at everything we had done and realized that we had made it happen; despite all the hours, all the stress, all the things that didn't go as planned. I believe that was the moment when I felt really proud, it felt like a success. To me, success is also to build something from nothing, to feel fulfilled. Now we’re ready to move onto the next level, we’re ready for a bigger success.
Q: How do you separate yourself from other brands? Do you think you have developed a unique brand?
A: Fred: It is not an easy thing to stand out in the world we are. It's been the same thing for ages -inspiration comes from everywhere and from every other brand. When I decided to add a hand peace sign on the back of our hats I really liked it, I thought it was a "nice little touch." Then I began to see it everywhere. On a longsleeve at Urban Outfitters, on John Varvatos garments, on a pin by pintrill. Everywhere. But you know what? I liked it and it was nice on the hat so I kept it. Where we really differentiate ourselves is with our image, our branding, and our attitude. Another thing is that we want to stay close to people and interact as much as possible with them. That's another thing that is really important to us. We'll always be as real as we can so people can recognize themselves in us. You can't reinvent everything, it's always been the same thing but we believe there's a way to do it that's genuine.
Q: Do you have anything else you want your viewers to know about you?
A: Fred: A wise man once said something that changed our lives forever. It was something along the lines of "keep on rocking in the free world". That’s what we call, Inspiring AF.
Peace out, mofos.