Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
Matthew Davies, founder of the up-and-coming menswear line, Twyford Clothing, explains why looking good should never feel bad.
Photographer / Tara Bartolini
Life is busy. With everything moving at such a rapid pace, it’s often difficult to find the time to fine-tune smaller details in life—like deciding which outfit to wear to a specific event or location, for example.
Matthew Davies quickly realized this while in school studying engineering. As a student, he always ended up resorting to frumpy sweatpants and hoodies—a look that screamed, “I’ve given up.” Since this was the last impression he wanted to give off, Davies decided to take matters into his own hands by creating his own line of high-end comfort wear, Twyford Clothing.
To help showcase the diversity of the Twyford brand we chose seven talented creators from around Toronto to style the pants the way they would wear them on a day-to-day basis.
Cory VanderPloeg | Sean Brown
Jesica Hurst: When did you first decide that getting into fashion was the right career path for you?
Matthew Davies: It wasn’t until my last year at Queen’s University when I really had that ‘Aha’ moment that everyone talks about. A friend of mine told me about this fashion contest at Queen’s and I decided to apply. I was selected as one of the six designers to compete—it was honestly the most fun I had at school, so I knew I needed to rethink what I was doing. I ended up moving to New York after I graduated and took some design courses at [Parsons The New School for Design], which kind of sealed the deal for me. People say once you find something that doesn’t feel like work, that’s when you’ve found what you want to do, and that is exactly how I feel.
JH: When I think of comfort wear for men, the first thing that comes to mind is baggy, non-flattering sweatpants. How does your line of comfort wear differ?
MD: Right now, I’m only specializing in pants—there are seven styles that I’ll be launching. My pants have a lot more detail and definitely a more flattering fit than what people are used to seeing. They have a slight drop crotch and a tapered leg. As I was building my samples I was always trying them on different guys and I have yet to find a guy that didn’t look good in them. Since they are more fitted, they don’t bag like your typical sweat pant with an elasticized ankle—these trim up near the ankle and there’s a nice cuff. They just fit much better.
Juan Gonzales | Charles Bierk
JH: You’ve said your garments are fit for every occasion. How do you envision your pants being worn?
MD: I just want to see people wearing them throughout the day – they’re versatile. I wear them really casually sometimes but also tend to dress them up with a blazer. I know I’ve been in scenarios where I’m running errands in my old sweats and all I can think is, “Please don’t run into anyone I know.” With my pants, I wouldn’t think twice about wearing them out. They’re comfortable yet still presentable.
Rui Amaral | Zack Vitiello
JH: Do you think you’ll eventually expand into creating other clothing?
MD: I’ve already developed designs for sweaters, and I’m also going to branch into women’s wear eventually. For next fall, there’s going to be women’s pants available, and I’ll probably introduce the hoodies then too.
JH: Why did you choose to base your line in Toronto, and not in New York where you went to school for design?
MD: If you’re going to start something in New York, the competition is crazy. Toronto is a bit safer, and because it’s so diverse, I think if it works in Toronto, it will work anywhere.
JH: You’ve yet to establish much of an online presence for Twyford. Is this something you’re hoping to do now that you’ve launched?
MD: Yes, definitely. I held off on promoting Twyford until I felt all the necessary parts were in place. I wanted to make sure as I made people aware of my line, that I would be ready to meet expectations. I will be sending out a press release later this month to start gaining exposure and will also be launching my online store.
Nowadays, your biggest form of advertising is social media and having an online presence. There are things that you can plan when it comes to social media, but at the same time, it’s pretty unpredictable. I’ll do everything I can to be interactive with customers and keep them up-to-date on what’s new and exciting with Twyford, but it’s kind of up to them to get involved and spread the word.
Matthew Davies, Twyford’s designer
JH: What is your main focus now that you’ve launched?
MD: Right now my biggest focus is to finalize my Fall/Winter lookbook and start meeting with stores. After I have an order I can go into production and then the wheels officially start rolling! Very excited for what’s to come!