Matthew Coyne Goes Commercial: Men’s Wear and Beyond

Once again, Matthew Coyne has managed to do more in one semester than many students have accomplished up to this point in their lives as juniors in college. As an art history and English double major with a minor in Spanish, not only is Coyne’s class schedule packed, but so is the other half of his life as a designer of men’s and women’s fashion. As a student during class and a designer every other minute, Coyne admits, “It’s pretty hectic to be quite honest. This semester I’ve had a bunch of classes that have put me outside my intellectual comfort zone, which is good, I am in essence paying for that,” Coyne said.  “But at the same time, it has made it very busy. I am not one to sit back and do nothing, or push my ambitions into the future because I am ‘a student’. Clothes and school can perfectly function in tandem, you don’t need to fail at one to be successful at the other, contrary to the current model our society perpetuates.”

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Coyne
Photo Courtesy of Matthew Coyne

Coyne has made advances in his growing career and on top of beginning to study for finals, Coyne has made a move towards the commercial production of his clothing.

“Well, this will be the first time I created a commercial foundation for the brand, and found a factory to produce the commercial core of what I will show on Saturday,” Coyne said.

Coyne will be showing off his new lines on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. in Hayden 109, the usual location for his events. He described what the audience should expect of the event, saying, “Loud techno, a light show, clothes and food. I’m pretty pumped for it. It’s going to be super fun and edgy.”

Coyne went on to say, “The show is almost like moving mood board, it just sets the tone for people to understand what I’m doing. In essence, the real work comes after, courting retailers and maintaining the commercial side.”

Coyne’s more defined focus on men’s wear is a step away from his previous work.

“Recently I have switched my focus to the menswear. Men’s clothing for me is highly undervalued and under designed, and it seems to be because we are stuck within a particular mode of thinking about what is masculinity and what should men wear to be masculine,” Coyne said.

“So I really want to create wearable clothes for men that are interesting and intellectual. I don’t want to create anything that’s just putting feminine clothes on men, that’s not subversive or new in 2015. Instead, I want to take the classical and traditional men’s shapes and reform them, update them and create a line of progression.”

Coyne always incorporates fellow students in his shows, saying, “So many really cool guys” will be walking in his show.

“I got a whole bunch of boys to walk, then my friend Anet, she’s always there to help me progress, she found a great group of more boys to walk in the show, then others I found in the street and asked them to walk,” Coyne said.

After all of the work that Coyne has put into his brand, senior Alexa Revans said, “As someone who has worked directly with some of Matt’s previous designs, wearing and interacting with his clothes, I’m really excited to see what he’s created. He has a really signature focus and aesthetic for all of his projects, and I’m sure that applies for this new men’s line. I know that Matt is an incredibly innovative with materials too which is why I feel fortunate to have experienced his work on a tactile level.”

Coyne also recently changed the brand name of his clothing line from “Dardanian” to “Coyne.” Coyne defended the decision saying, “I think it’s a sign of my confidence in my vision now. I am confident to put my name on it. It’s mine. I am beyond the testing the waters phase. Indeed I have some very clear ideas and motives for what I want to do, I’ve spent the last 5 months thinking about the brand, and the commercial core of the brand, how it can function as a small brand in the city. Menswear is personal to me, this is the first time I can wear the clothes. That’s another sense of ownership.”

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Coyne
Photo Courtesy of Matthew Coyne

Senior Katy Tkach said, “I know Matt’s show on Saturday will truly highlight his promise as an emerging designer.  Matt is a wholly creative, kinetic human being, and when you look at his work you can see his intense concentration on minute details of each garment, as well as their movement. His show will provide the opportunity to see his work as encapsulated in an immersion space, where music, lighting, and models bring his line to life. I cannot wait to see the result of all his hard work.”