The elements of streetwear is a constant evolution. In an optimistic tone, more now than ever, the fashion industry will bear witness to design tapping into the youth’s zeitgeist. And with this alertness for “the now,” our current generation has busted open that door of opportunity to innovate and create perspective through design and style of choice.
The conversation we had with creative director and founder, Matt Soltau, verified these notions as his contemporary fashion label finds comfort in “disrupting an oversaturated industry.” Soltau NYC sustains the concept of storytelling while experimenting the potential found in color and graphics.
Below you’ll find an interview researching the core of this company’s reason and by its end, our hope is that you discover inspiration and lesson from a clothing line that has elevated from nothing. The namesake brand is an exultation of vibrant minimalism. With the partnership of his brothers, Anthony and Brian, Matt Soltau continues to execute his art with conviction, allure, and purpose for his buyer.
First off, gives us a little background info on yourself and Soltau NYC. Was there any specific moment or thought that pushed you to create your own brand?
Soltau is my surname of German origin meaning “salt river”. Founded by myself alongside my brothers/partners Anthony & Brian.
So a little about me, like most I had interests in the arts since I was young, where I preferred to spend my time in an art class over any other classes. I grew up trying out most mediums of art from graffiti to illustrations to calligraphy.
There wasn’t really a specific moment as I always found it fascinating to possibly put my designs on shirts but it was around my senior year of high school that I started to look into the process of screen printing. Then from there, I had figured I would start a brand and brought my brother & cousin on board. The origin of the name for the brand is all thanks to my brother Brian (Co-founder) as he suggested it be our last name. Thank god I went with that because the names I had in mind would’ve definitely failed in today’s industry [laughs].
What has been the core values of the company as a whole?
From the contents of our clothing to the concepts of each collection, we aspire to conjure a feeling or experience with everything we do. Never compromising on what matters to us.
What were some of your initial inspirations when designing the SS17 “Lust + Leisure” Collection?
It started out with a different approach by using a brighter more colorful palette this season. The concept for the collection was Anthony’s (Co-founder) idea. And the idea that came about on the spot.
It’s about the history of our love lives and past relationships. Which we realized have all been fairly the same struggle every time trying to balance one’s free time (leisure) and appetite for women (lust). The inspiration for all the pieces came about naturally once I figured out the name “Lust + Leisure”.
How would you describe the process of creating this collection and what lessons have you taken from this launch?
With 3 colors being the basis for the design we think about how we can integrate or pair certain items together to keep it all simple and cohesive.
As for the process goes I have no exact method or order in which I work on particular items, I create based on what I’m feeling or thinking and ideas for designs come along the way.
Although their construction is simple, both the kimono and bra set took some serious time to finalize from fabric sourcing to little details on it. But the Kimono is the most exciting piece we’ve had the chance to create, with overwhelmingly positive feedback on it from style to color to fit.
Overall we’ve learned to do things way in advance to compensate for any road blocks that may arise you know and to get all the details down to the T before moving forward.
What are you most optimistic about as you continue to push Soltau NYC throughout the rest of 2017?
We’re very excited for what this summer holds, so far we have a lot of events lined up and people we are collaborating with. You can see us at Greatest Day Ever & Afro Punk to name a few. Also working with some of our favorite shops here in NYC too. Not to forget the creative direction is insane. All of our imagery this season really focuses in on quality content building a minimalist aesthetic.
As for the rest of 2017 we plan to go one step further with even more diverse cut & sew garments for both men and women. Watch as Soltau becomes a house hold name amongst the rest as we strive to be an ever evolving brand.
Head image features Laquann Dawson. Photo by @ddesigns_