Designer Matt Costello from Stelloco (right). Image supplied.
Matt Costello came to the nation’s attention as a designer contestant on the first season of Project Runway New Zealand last year and 2018 also saw him launch his own streetwear label Stelloco. Matt’s positive attitude and laidback nature come through in Stelloco’s simple but optimistic pieces. He designs and creates each piece ethically in New Zealand and wants Stelloco to contribute positively and creatively to the world.
We caught up with Matt to find out more about his brand, what inspires him and what you would never catch him wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Nostalgia and childhood memories is essentially what inspired my latest collection. Trying to tap into a feeling that many can relate to through minimal designs. I recount moments from my life that brought me joy like the thrill of getting a new Game Boy game or sitting admiring the curiosities of a kaleidoscope and then draw them up into print designs. I wanted to make uncomplicated, comfortable hoodies with simple embroidered designs that have a big impact through visuals. It’s important to me because I found myself being a designer under the influence of others to be on trend and making intricate pieces to fit the fashion industry mould when what made me happy was simplicity. So I slowed right down to create something I truly enjoy which is streetwear.
What made you become a designer?
Well I bought a sewing machine years ago when I was backpacking and loved to sew quirky pockets on blank tees and wear them around as a poor backpacker. It gave an original look on clothes but cheap and easy. My dad said I was lost in life for a while not knowing what I wanted to do, he mentioned why don’t I give fashion a go and a month later he passed away which then gave me the motivation to go for it to prove to him and myself that I could do it.
Hoodie by Stelloco.
What inspires you?
The idea of creating and designing new things inspires me. Different cultures, memories, life experiences, adversity that I’ve gone through has given me perspective to create purely for the joy of it. I struggle working structured 9 – 5 jobs so having that creative outlet is really important for me and just being able to do my own thing in my own time I really value.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is a reflection of who I am and where I’m at in my life. I’ve gone through plenty of styles, some destined to never make a return. Purple custom shoes and tight turquoise pants can be forgotten as far as I’m concerned. Now that I’m comfortable in my style I can integrate it into my brand and create things that are a reflection of myself.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My green Carhartt jacket that was found buried in an underground op shop in Camden market in London. Wearing it that first day and watching Warrior staring Tom Hardy (man crush) and to see him wearing the same jacket, I tell myself it is that jacket. So long story short, the jacket Tom Hardy gifted me.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A good oversized hoodie, a great pair of funky socks, cuffed black jeans I stand by, some quality Reebok classics and you’re done.
Hoodies by Stelloco.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Any fool can make a rule.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Highlights would have to be launching Stelloco clothing a year ago in honour of my dad to then make it onto the first season of Project Runway and becoming a recognised label within NZ. Now we wait and see what the future holds for Stelloco.
What can’t you live without?
Connection with the people I love, a hug and of course coffee. Actually no jujitsu. No, not jujitsu, a good UFC card on a Sunday… and did I mention coffee?
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
A wedding dress. No, but seriously I’ve worn some bad stuff but I wouldn’t be seen dead in ill-fitting jeans.