The women behind Mathys Sinclair embody their motto, “look cool, be nice.” When I had a question about the fit of their signature Willoughby blue long sleeve – I met the nicest Thembi Hanify, who helped every step of the way. Thembi, based in New York, founded the brand with her best friend, Rachelle Sinclair, who is based in Sydney. Together the two produce the innovative, buy now, wear now line, Mathys Sinclair. The brand launched during NYFW last September and the two are simultaneously conquering the markets in New York and Australia.
How did you two meet?
We met almost ten years ago while we were both studying in Brisbane.
What is the origin of the name Mathys Sinclair?
Mathys and Sinclair are actually Thembi and Rachelle’s Dads’ last names. We wanted to have a mix of our first/last/middle/family names and we warmed to this combination the most.
The concept of “look cool and be nice” seems pretty intuitive. Why do you think we’re conditioned to behave differently?
It does seem pretty intuitive…but sadly the world can seem pretty backwards sometimes! Without getting too deep, there is this innate fear that governs commercial fashion because it’s kind of telling you that you’re not good enough as you are. That you need this or that in order to be superior and trendy. Humans have been conditioned for fear-based consumption for so long now… but it’s about time to break the cycle! On the flip side of this fear, fashion can also be a vessel for pure creative expression, which is what we love. We just want people to feel good about themselves and enjoy the product and be nice to people around them when they wear it (and when they don’t!).
What’s the best part of working with your best friend?
Knowing that you’re never alone. Sometimes one of us will feel so overwhelmed or stressed but the other one will be in a great mood and motivate and pick them up. Teamwork all the way!
Can you describe a bit of how the Corey Wash collaboration came about? Will that be a recurring theme?
Thembi had met Corey through mutual friends a while back, and as we were working on our brand ethos and planning for the first collection we were following her art and felt it would just be so fitting to work with her. Obviously artwork helps communicate a message very directly and we are definitely planning to do more of this kind of thing in the future.
Would you say that Mathys Sinclair reflects aspects of each of your personal styles?
Most definitely. We have very similar and complementary personal styles. We started out styling crazy vintage shoots together back in the day and used to wear some pretty outrageous outfits when we went out dancing. It’s a bit more toned down and practical these days, but our style is very much about novelty versus necessity, elevated streetwear, and also finding unexpected ways to be feminine. We’re not your regular, floral, lacy, dress girls, but we love an unexpected, yet feminine dress or skirt when we see or design one.
Who would be the ideal brand ambassador?
Our close friends! You can see a lot of them in the images we’ve shot so far. We draw so much inspiration from their individual style and beauty and really create the brand for them and for ourselves in the hope to find a larger community of people on the same wavelength.
Will “buy now, wear now” be a concept that you continue to incorporate into your brand?
It most definitely will. It’s a really interesting time in fashion and being a small, independent brand. We have complete freedom to play with the fashion calendar to our advantage. Buy-now-wear-now sparks and engages direct consumer and press interest, is a great opportunity for collaborations, and also essentially adds another selling point into the life of the collection.
What are the differences between Australian and American streetstyle?
Aussies are definitely a lot safer in their style, but the sense of ease is unparalleled. American style is refreshing and freeing because anything goes, but at the same time can be overwhelming because there is so much to take in!
Is there one streetstyle trend that you can’t fully embrace?
We are not really into particular trends. We have our base aesthetic and we are really going to dig in deep and explore that. We think creating brand wealth in the long run comes from this. You have to have a point of view and a signature aesthetic.
What can we expect with your next collection?
You can expect some very fun, very wearable and multifunctional pieces and some beautiful new faces and stories. We’re really excited to share it all with you.