At only 19 years old, Matt Sarafa has already begun conquering the fashion industry.
This Project Runway Jr. star recently debuted a collection at Paris Fashion Week, with pictures and video below. Matt Sarafa continues to establish himself as a globally renowned fashion designer, proving to be a force to be reckoned with. See more about his upcoming work including his upcoming line FAKE, more about his ROLEPLAY collection at Paris Fashion Week, and even find out where the star gets his own clothes.
“M:” used when Matt Sarafa is speaking. “J:” used when Joanna Faith Williams is speaking.
Interview with Matt Sarafa
J: How has your style evolved since before the show to where you are now?
M: I definitely feel like I’ve had a style renovation over the past few years. I’ve definitely grown and I like to say that my design style has been more refined. I always had really good ideas, but didn’t understand how to execute them to make them work. I actually think that being on the show really helped me grow as a designer and become more mature. A lot of the critiques from Tim Gunn went to heart and I was able to apply that to my design aesthetic which really helped me elevate as a designer.
J: It certainly was amazing to watch you grow as much as you did while you were competing!
M: I am just so thankful for all of the producers and everyone behind the scenes that put so much work into making the show and my experience what it was.
J: Have you been to Paris before?
M: I have never been to Paris before! It was just so amazing that I got to experience Paris for the first time, and that I was there because I was showing a collection in Fashion Week. It’s just so crazy and doesn’t even sound right as I’m saying it!
J: How did you feel when you first saw the venue?
M: It was beautiful. All of the architecture in Paris is just so ornate and beautifully constructed. It was really surreal. Stepping foot into the venue for the first time, I couldn’t help but think “wow, I’m 19 years old, showing a collection in Paris, my first time in Paris, and this is what I’m doing.“
ROLEPLAY Collection at Paris Fashion Week
J: Tell me more about your collection, Roleplay. Where did you get your inspiration?
M: The whole inspiration is all about gender roles and playing with masculinity and femininity. So, the two main colors were a baby blue and a baby pink. I was just playing around with the idea that we assign that masculinity to that baby blue. I wanted to shake it up and turn it all on it’s head a little bit and experiment with the whole idea of that. I’m happy with how it turned out.
J: I am fascinated by the layering of textures and mixing-and-matching of different mediums!
M: I am obsessed with all textures and different textiles. I love playing with stuff that is out of the box. One of the pieces is made of completely chain mail, so its all interlocking rings. I’ve never seen that before, and that is just what I love about fashion. You can really do whatever you want and I love doing stuff that no one has ever done before. I love taking ideas to the very next level which is totally what makes fashion just so much fun for me.
M: This piece is almost a t-shirt kind of dress. An amazing girl helped me create the head piece, very egyptian with the hood, and it is such a cool look. The dress by itself was such a cool look, but that hood piece just completed it. I like to take things to the next level. So, if something is good, I’ve got to do something that’s great and take it over the top.
J: What are the biggest design “no-no’s” that you saw coming down the Paris runway?
M: There were a lot of questionable footwear! That’s what I’ll say, and I’ll leave it at that. There were some shoe choices that I personally just would not have picked. I feel like on the runway, especially at Paris Fashion Week, that you’ve got to have a heel on! Not a kitten heel though, if you’re going to wear a kitten heel, just wear flats! I mean, if you’re wearing a kitten heel girl, what are you really doing just half an inch off the floor! All of my shoes for my show were like, 5″+, and I just feel like that is how you’ve got to do it on the runway! I love the drama as the heels click on the way down, and just how they elongate the leg, I feel like it’s just a must!
J: You are speaking my language! I live in the mountains in NC, but I still wear 4 or 5 inch heels every day, even to class!
M: YAS! Make your mark! Why wouldn’t you want to wear heels?! I mean, they’re a little uncomfortable, but like, deal with it haha!
J: Can you tell me about anything else you have in the works? I know you’re preparing to launch your upcoming line, FAKE… can you give us any hints about what to expect?
M: Ohh my gosh, I have so many things on the books in the next couple of months, and in 2018 as well! I have a couple of TV projects that I’m working on which is super exciting. I am also planning on going to NYFW again in February. Super excited – it will be another Fall/Winter line. As much as I love Spring/Summer fashion, I am all about the big fur coat, the long pant, all of that. My FAKE line is launching very soon, and I already have my fur coats listed on my website right now which are super exciting and sooooo luxurious. My tshirt line is coming out later this year, and my jewelry line has also started rolling out. When people wear my clothes, I just want them to feel so amazing and like the absolute best version of themselves.
J: Incredible. Please share your secret, what is it that motivates you and keeps you going?
M: You know, I’m motivated a lot just by myself. I have a very strong work-ethic and I’m very business motivated. I’ve never been a big partier and have always been focused on my career and getting to where I want to be at career wise. Also, my family is a huge motivation for me. They are so supportive in every single thing I choose to do. I like to surround myself with people that only want the best for me that will be positive, encouraging people, and that’s just been great for me. There are so many people out there that just don’t want to see you succeed. So many snakes in the grass, you need to get that grass mowed short!
Matt Sarafa Trivia
Favorite Highlight: “When I go out, I layer on a million of them. What I think is the most intense is the Jeffrey Star King Tutt. Use that girl with a little bit of a damp brush and it is literally like a mirror on your cheeks!”
What article of clothing could you never go without: “I think a good fur coat. No matter the season, you can throw on a fur coat and really stop traffic. It’s just an indescribable feeling when you’re wearing some nice fur”
Favorite thing to eat: “I either like really cheap and trashy foods, or I go to my expensive taste. I’m either eating McDonalds, or up there eating lobster or steak”.
Favorite quote: “You better work.”. “Those are words to live by! You really, really better work. You’re not getting any younger and you really need to be working your dreams now because if you don’t have a plan to reach your dreams, then that’s all they’ll ever be”.
Go-to weekend look: “When I’m going out, I love to get all dressed up. I have the lashes on, all the highlight, a big ole fur coat, and some nice leather leggings with some nice jewelry to make you stand out from the crowd, as always!”
If you could only wear 1 makeup product for the rest of your life, it would be: “Concealer. Although, I really want to say highlighter. I’ll cheat and say highlighter and concealer!”
Favorite medium to work with: “Anything drapey. Silk chiffon is so luxurious and the way it moves and hangs on the body is just so crazy and so flattering. However, sewing that stuff is so hard. If I’m having to sew it myself, my favorite would be cotton”
Where do you buy your clothes: “I don’t like to buy what everyone else gets at the mall. I like online stores like ASOS, Misguided, FashionNova. I also love Jeremy Scott, Versace, Valentino, I could go on and on.”
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you be doing: “Tokyo to check out the skincare that I always see on Instagram”
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