Nicole Moore, Contributing Writer
On set for the promotional video of his most recent collection, student designer, Matthew Coyne, has a clear vision. Coyne, a senior, directs the models with conviction, demonstrating the pose he wants or explaining to the photographer the type of shots he wants. His energy is palpable and his excitement even more so.
“I don’t want the brand to be built up around me,” Coyne said, “but I do want the brand to be built around my world.”
Coyne has been crafting collections for three years now, but he did not always want to be a designer.
He discovered his passion through one of the most recognized fashion figures of our time: Lady Gaga. At first he tried to mimic her non-traditional style sensibilities by making dresses out of vinyl shower curtains and gluing wooden blocks to shoes. As he became more serious about his craft, he decided to take the time to study it more in depth.
“Some of the first things I made on the machine were really bad,” Coyne said. “I finally sat down and read all these books on pattern making and I would watch the videos on YouTube of Chanel workshops.”
Andrew Coyne has been supportive of his brother every step of the way. I was kind of clueless to the process or what it even meant,” the elder Coyne said, “but I said to Matthew, ‘If you are going to try it, try it now. You have nothing to lose.’”
His few collections were known by the name Dardanian, but he decided to change the name to Coyne NYC last year. The revamp really began during his study abroad experience in Argentina last spring.
“A lot of it was inspired by the group of kids around me there and the street culture,” Coyne said. “I was trying to examine the hopes and anxieties of our generation and tried to create a brand around that.”
The clothes were mostly a mix of black and navy with bright pops of color. Pictures of cars as well as a color block of a girl looking over her shoulder cover the t-shirts and sweats. Coyne recently solidified his retail plan and sent it out to buyers with his look-book with the help of his friends.
“I feel like I finally have a team of people around me who believe in this as much as I do,” Coyne said. He has created a team of people that help with social media, public relations and photography.
“It’s not common to come across a person with his sense of fashion; especially on the Manhattan College campus, and I wanted to provide the vehicle for him to express that vision with others,” Mahina Choy-Ellis said, a photographer and Manhattan College junior.
Coyne’s brother praises his hard work as the catalyst to his success. “Each line does better,” he said. “Each show is more produced. His work ethic has resulted in raw experience. You can’t cut corners to get that.”
“I still don’t know all the answers. I’m still learning,” Coyne said, “but it feels more personal this time.”