While many selvedge denim brands these days play up their proclivity towards heritage, one brand that advertises their use of a more modern style of heritage as primary inspiration is the Los Angeles-based MATiAS Denim. Brand owner, Matias Sandoval, is a born and bred Californian; surfing, skating and finding passion in the natural landscape throughout his youth.
The laid-back sensibility that’s present in surf culture was mirrored by Sandoval’s general vibe when we first spoke over the phone. In his own words, “We wear rolled up jeans with flip flops, we wear short board shorts, we wear bad leather jackets and ripped tee shirts. It’s just reality”. This whole sentiment is visible in every element of his brand – its advertising, ethos and design. Especially important is Sandoval’s emphasis on using the past to inspire the future, with denim being the medium.
Founded in 2006, MATiAS Denim currently offers a mix of Japanese raw selvedge, Japanese washed selvedge, and canvas work pants that are all made in Los Angeles, CA. Every item is named after the streets in his home community of Palos Verdes. All design and development is done in-house, as are all patterns and finishing.
Sandoval’s desire to start a brand followed his focus on ceramics, painting, and conceptual art that began in his youth. Eventually working as an “artist in residence” at a local LA denim factory, he fell in love with what would eventually become his medium. Given a hands-on education for washing garments and the general construction process, Sandoval was even mentored by a colleague when it came to vintage Levi’s.
Today, his namesake brand is run out of a 2,000 sq. foot studio. Containing 25 machines worked on by two machine operators and Sandoval himself, the shop is also filled with roughly 5,000 yards of fabric and 100 different thread colours. According to Sandoval, his biggest challenge is wearing all the different hats that running a brand requires.
Coming soon to MATiAS Denim is the return of more jackets, possibly a few knit pieces, and of course more raw offerings. Stay tuned for a full, in-depth review of one of Sandoval’s raw denim options.