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matthew spade

Meet Content Creator Matthew Spade aka @mat_buckets

We've known Matthew Spade for over a decade. His blog 'Buckets & Spades' started way back in 2008 as a means to sharing inspiring content and being part of the menswear conversation. Based in Blackpool with his wife Hollie, Matthew's search for good design has continued ever since, and his digital profile has grown into the highly established @mat_buckets account. We caught up with Matthew to discuss how his work has evolved over the years and to delve into his many projects.

You live in your hometown of Blackpool, on the west coast of England. We really like the way you’re celebrating your town via the images you’re capturing. What does Blackpool mean to you?

Yep that's right, we're on the North West coast, about an hour from Manchester. It gets windy up here but when the sun is out, things are good, especially on the seafront. The town has changed a heck of a lot since I was a teen, for the better. The creative community is finding its voice, and people are slowly starting to invest time in their passions, rather than instinctively moving away to bigger cities.

It's where I've made a home, created a career. While lockdown restrictions were in place I started to make the most out of my locality, and slowly with that came a natural progression into championing things which go on here, in the hope for people to see Blackpool a little differently to what the media and preconceptions may suggest. And, in my own way, I'll continue to amplify it for as long as I am here.

How would you define your style? What are you currently wearing?

I've always been interested in traditional sportswear, and I continue to get inspired by old American TV shows and films. I like the way sportswear started to be worn away from the actual sport, more from a cultural and casual point of view. I've always taken a keen interest in the styling from the screen, from decade to decade, just to see how real people wear certain styles and how particular social movements affected the style at the time.

“I've always been interested in traditional sportswear, and continue to get inspired by old American TV shows and films”

My style always feels pretty relaxed. I like to have fun mixing colours and fabrics, but always feel good when wearing blues, navy's and denim. Sportswear and functional items with traditional details mixed together. For me, I prefer summer, and that comes from the easy going attitude I have towards many things in life — stick me in a short sleeve shirt, a pair of nylon shorts, a baseball cap and some Converse, you won't find a happier guy. I very much enjoy open collar shirts.

At the moment I've found myself wearing Levi's 501s pretty much every day. I've got a couple of second hand pairs that I rotate in the hope they'll last a little longer. And as it's pretty cold here it'll be a sweatshirt — I recently picked up an olive green loopback from Danish brand Another Aspect — worn with a pair of outdoor shoes by Keen, and as I'm lacking much hair I'll pop on a beanie from NYC-based Druthers. When it gets a little warmer I look forward to pulling out some beige selvedge denim and my lightweight brown jacket from and wander — along with a grey sweatshirt, of course.

When I think of who always looks good: stylist Tom O'Dell, Tyler the Creator, Stanley Tucci, Mordechai Rubinstein, photographer Oliver Hooson... literally everyone who works for Drake's.

We’re big fans of your @bestofpackaging account what is it that draws you to nice packaging and good design?

I think this probably stems from when I was studying a heavily visual subject at university. I became more aware of visual communications through colour theory, typography, the power of narrative and consumer trends; it's something that I instantly felt a connection and interest towards. It was around that time that I'd spent a few weeks of summer in America, where visual comms in supermarkets and corner stores is so different to the UK (at the time) — they were having fun with it, mixing old styles and new stuff. I loved it and still do.

You also started selling your own prints, some of which are available to buy on Marrkt. How’s that been going?

I started creating prints from a few images in the first lockdown. It's something I've always been keen to try, but the lack of things to do at home gave me the push I needed to actually do it. I've had quite a few suggestions from people on Instagram saying they'd work nicely as prints, and they were right. I've had around 200 sales worldwide, from as close as down the end of my street to Malibu, California. It's quite surreal really.

You’ve been renovating your house and sharing progress via @theoneonthecorner. It must be very satisfying to look back at pictures of the house when you first moved in versus now. What’s next on the list?

Oh man it's been a lot of work, many hard hours and a fair few scrapes with pick axes but it's been very rewarding. We still have a little work to finish on the garden, but we're waiting for slightly better weather, then we plan to totally renovate our front room / lounge space. It's fairly dark right now, with art deco influences, but we're going for a totally new direction; opening things up to a much lighter, fresh feel to keep things more in-keeping with the rest of the house. We'll do as much as we can by ourselves — DIY show pending...

What are you looking forward to this year?

Beers outside when it's warm enough, sharing dinner with friends in new places, seeing old familiar sites, visiting stores and cafes, unexpected chats and nods on the street, taking travel opportunities, continuing renovations and home projects, and having fun with my work — creating things to be proud of. Just keep on keeping on.

Take a look at Mat's prints and selection of special pre-owned pieces from the likes of Barbour, Universal Works and Albam.