Please, tell me a bit more about yourself: Who is Matthew Pike? (I would like to know a bit more about your studies, your passion for the fashion world, etc.)
Sure thing. I’m a 31 year old freelance creative, specialising in fashion, design and men’s lifestyle. Every week is different but you can mainly find my blogging, writing, styling creating content for brands, working on social and content strategies for brands. We have also just set up a creative marketing agency which concentrates on helping brands + PR companies work smarter with influencers and content creators.
You decided to open a fashion blog when blogging wasn’t yet that popular. What drove you to that decision?
I started by blog, Buckets & Spades, just over 9 years ago. There was a small community back then, and it was way before we could share our content on social media. I decided to create a blog back in 2008 as a means to improve my writing (as I was studying a course we needed a decent level or writing skills), but also as away of storing images. I didn’t have much memory space on my computer so it seemed like a good way to keep images I liked. There wasn’t much more to it than that – but blogging eventually grew into something much greater.
Would you say your blog evolved over the past since you first opened it?
Very much so yes. For the first couple of years I was concentrating on men’s style, but I also took a keen interest in sharing art and illustration. I was blogging four times a week, but in the past couple of years I’ve slowed things down, started to concentrate on longer, more meaningful content. As social media started to change the way we consume content I took the decision to put more effort into Instagram. I haven’t lost my love for blogging, rather just trying to adapt to fit the times.
How do you see your blog in the future? Male fashion blogs are growing in numbers every day, how would you say you ‘stand out from the crowd’?
Well, we have recently set up Three Letters Agency, and that is a reaction to how our blog has progressed. It’s a natural progression too, as we’re trying to build on what we’ve created, and start something now for the future. We are also in the middle of redesigning the blog to make it easier to read, more functional and a nicer way to show off our work.
Where does your passion for craftsmanship and workshop comes from? How do you think this contributed to giving a particular cut to your blog?
I’ve always taken a keen interest in design, so I think it spans from that. I need to know why a product has been designed in certain way, why a particular material has been used and how the end results are achieved. And if you can meet the people behind the products it makes for a much more worth while investment – both financially and emotionally. It creates a deeper connection.
Talking about fashion trends, which countries/cities do you say are more important/forward thinking within the fashion industry?
For me, when I visited Tokyo I was totally blown away by how different it was to any other city I’ve been to. The clash of traditions and technological advances is really easy to see, and you can see how that affects people in a positive way.
Personally, I am really into a lot of British, American, Japanese and Scandinavian brands, and I think those influences can be found on the streets of London. We are quite relaxed here, with fits, and materials are important – and for me, that’s why a brand such as Monobi would resonate so highly.
Do you think there is still space in the fashion market for a product that uses its quality as its main strength?
100% yes. We want to know that the products we’re investing in, regardless of if it’s clothing, food, homeware, fitness or travel, are built to last – with a purpose. Something that could be regarded as expensive could be the best purpose you’ve every made if it lasts years and serves you well. People notice fabric, but people are so aware of bad fabric and construction – it’s something we take pride in, and I can relate a lot of this sort of thinking back to my time in Japan. Strength is very much in the quality of a product.