Matthew Spade is a Blackpool based British fashion and lifestyle content creator, writer, stylist and also editor of the everyday design appreciation account @bestofpackaging. In conjunction with partnering with Matthew to create imagery for the launch of our HIP Living department, we thought it would be the ideal time to catch up and chat about his regular rotations, favourite homeware pieces and his advice on balancing a freelance career.
Hi Matthew, please introduce yourself, where do you live and what do you do?
Alright, I’m a digital content creator (in menswear, lifestyle and design) and lover of cool stuff. I live on the North West coast, up in Blackpool with my wife Hollie.
How would you describe your personal style and tastes, and its evolution over the years?
Pretty much always relaxed I’d say. My style is influenced heavily by traditional sportswear, 50s americana and then things I grew up with as a teenager; skate and hip hop culture. Comfy, colourful and hardwearing.
What does your morning routine look like on a normal day and do you have any daily rituals?
Up at 7:30 unless it’s the summer then I’ll get up around 6:30 to run. Catch up with the news over breakfast, with Hollie, then write a to-do list for the day and get on with it. I tend to go for a run around 10:30, or do an afternoon HIIT class or yoga, and I’ll base all other jobs around that. Coffee around 11am and 3pm, then I’ll be cooking dinner around 6. I’ll try to read a few pages of Monocle mid afternoon too.
What’s in your top 3 footwear rotation currently and why they made it there?
Birkenstock Boston; aka my ultimate house shoe
New Balance x Jjjjound 992 collaboration from Summer 2020; very lucky to get a pair of these.
Vans Anaheim Era in beige; these simply go with everything in my wardrobe, and fit any mood
Are there any brands you’ve discovered recently that have caught your eye you’d like to share?
The outerwear by Nanga looks like a belter, so I’m keen to get one of theirs. 18east from NYC, they’re putting out some of the most interesting, wearable menswear I’ve seen in yonks. I’m constantly looking for second hand Beams stuff, so not a new discovery but hoping to discover some gems – also Olderbrother.
You’re big on homeware and interior design, are there any home items which you use daily and have become a core part of your routine recently?
My favourite things tend to be the stuff that play a part in my daily routine. Coffee cups, bowls and jugs from brands we’ve bought from for years, like Kinto, or handmade ceramics from independent makers; the things that tell a story and wear in over time. We’ve just added a couple of pieces from Ferm from the current HIP Living collection, which fit in perfectly with our style.
Your current long term home renovation project you’ve been working on something you share regularly, with your living room being a focal point. Tell us more about this project?
The general idea was really just to have a go with as much as possible, then we realised we both loved the whole DIY process, so it continued. We bought a relatively decent condition 1930s red brick semi-detached and we have slowly been working our way around it. The back garden was the biggest thing we have done; literally starting again from the ground up (laying wiring underneath the ground was interesting…).
Then there’s more common things like re-sanding floors, fitting plug sockets and threshold bars, painting rooms to compliment the furniture, and bringing to light original details of the time period. We’re nowhere near finished, and things slowed down in 2020 due to being more conscientious with money, but we have plans for this year.
Are there any pieces or design tweaks that have helped re-imagine the room and your space as a whole?
When we got our tan leather sofa for our living room that really made things make sense. We both have a keen interest in mid-century design, but more specifically what was going on in the US at that time. And we both take a keen interest in graphic design, art, photography and cultural movements from all across the decades; our interior choices are a reflection of all that.
Tell us about @bestofpackaging, it’s a fantastic page – how did this come about and what are your plans with it?
This literally just came out of me having a big interest in packaging design. I was on holiday in Orlando and we just bought some cool looking beers, so I took a snap and started the account – then it grew naturally over the years. It’s just a bit of fun that I really enjoy doing. I don’t have any plans, but I see it as an extension as what I offer as a creative self-employed person.
Final words – can you share advice with us for those looking to break into a freelance career of any type and how do make sure to achieve the correct work/life balance?
I feel like working for myself was the only route that made sense for me in the long term – and I think if you’ve thought about doing it, that means you should give it a go. It’s everyone’s aim to stand out, it’s a busy area, so I’d say you just need to be yourself but turned up 10 notches – just like anyone in comedy, music, sport or film; the most memorable people are those who feel unique in every way. That’s a good aim to have.
My work/life is fairly blurred but I know where to stop, how much and what details to share, and when to call it quits. Routine helps, and taking interest in things totally unrelated to your work is invaluable.
Stay up to date with Matthew here.