Posted by Capo, July 13th, 2011 06:07 am under Interview


In our first interview, we feature MATT FIELDS, founder of DOPE COUTURE. With a name that sets the bar high, Dope Couture has evolved from a select shop of finer skate and street wear pieces to a full grown line, of sharp designs and collaborative projects. Moving beyond a passion for fashion, the brand has its hands in special events and music. Here’s a look behind the curtain and some shop talk about snapback caps.

OSB: Indiana isn’t known for being a fashion and cultural hub. What advantages you have had being from the Mid West? How has it help shape your success?

MF: There ain’t shit to do here but work. That’s an advantage.

OSB: Generally speaking the profit margin on your own product is greater than buying and selling goods wholesale. As Dope Couture has evolved, have your felt pressure to choose between focusing on the private label or the boutique?

MF: Yes *sigh*. If I was just focused on one segment I would be shining a little more in each respective business but that’s ok. As time goes by my team will get larger and eventually I will be able to dominate both like I’d like to.

OSB: Dope has multiple meanings. It can be addictive. It can be idiotic. It can be exceptional. How has Dope Couture redefined the term?

MF: Before us there was no DOPE brand. The most obvious way we’ve re-defined the term is that Dope is now associated with our brand – with clothing. Hopefully it’s the good “Dope” that they associate us with *laughs*.

OSB: If you had to select one piece out of your current collection, which best represents the brand’s creative vision? (Explain)

MF: I would say the nice (pronounced neece) jacket. This piece was spring’s highlight. It’s made of a light-weight faux suede. It’s got high quality custom snaps. I love this jacket. I wear the blue one with a worn out heather grey tee and a pair of apc’s. It represents my creative vision for the brand by being simple, clean but bold enough to stand out. It also represents the progression of the brand as well.

OSB: What current trend would you like to kill?

MF: There is nothing that currently comes to mind. Last time I was asked this question (a while ago) my answer was Ed Hardy but people should dress however they feel. The more people that look a mess, the better we look.

OSB: What’s the most common misconception you feel people have about being involved with fashion?

MF: MAN! There’s a couple of different directions I could take this answer. I’ll comment on the misconception’s about starting your own clothing company. Uhhh, you probably shouldn’t. It’s not easy and you aren’t going to get super rich by starting a line of tee shirts. It’s more work than reward so if the work doesn’t have intrinsic value for you don’t do it.

OSB: Which weighs more? Work ethic. Aesthetics. (Explain)

MF: Shit, depends on who you are. For me, it’s work ethic. You can’t match my hustle.

OSB: There are no clear dominant producers of snapback caps in today’s market. Which company do you think will claim the throne in three years?

MF: I want the throne. We are working on some wild snapbacks. In three years we might not have most popular snapbacks but we will have produced some of the most innovative snapbacks in the game. Dope’s 3m Snapback, Wetsuit and Vintage Denim Snapback were just the beginning.

OSB: Pick your poison. Name three guilty pleasures that you refuse to live without.

MF: Dior, Chocolate, and the occasional Parliament.

OSB:. What part do snapback caps play in Dope Couture’s collection? Are they simply accessories or do they represent something else to the brand?

MF: They’re a staple to the brand. We’ve never produced a fitted.

OSB: Name three must have elements that create a timeless classic.

MF: Just off top I would say simplicity, versatility, and quality. A garment has to be simple enough to withstand trends. It’s got to be functional in it’s design and it’s got to be pair-able with a variety of other garments. Quality is an obvious necessity for a variety of reasons. The easiest way to think about whether you’ve created or purchased a timeless classic is to ask yourself: How will this look when it’s vintage? For the record I would say that most of our products are more fashionable, trendy products but as we start our Made In California cut and sew beginning this Fall I think we will have a chance to create some “timeless classics.”

OSB: Between the apparel, special events and what are you anticipating most for Dope Couture in 2012?

MF: Opening a door in a major city. That’s all the info I can give on that.

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