Event Spotlight: 12/11/2008  

Interview with Founder Lara Matthews

Thread started as a backyard, garden party with the purpose of showcasing local creativity. Lara Matthews' inspiration and vision five years ago is now hitting full stride as more and more consumers reject major brands in search of something unique to put on their backs. THREAD Show is now in several major cities, providing independent fashion to San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vegas and Miami.

Sezio: How did Thread come about?
Lara Matthews: It was inspired by all the brilliant artists and designers I met when I first moved san diego 8 years ago. It was also fueled by my love of gathering people together and organizing a good knees up. Coming fresh off the boat from London, I noticed a lack of interesting edgy events to attend in the city at the time, so I threw all the parts together and created a platform for local designers to show the city, that san diego is more than a beach town.

THREAD started as a party in my back garden in Mission Hills, San Diego with 20 designers bringing their things to sell and about 60 of my friends and people I didn’t know turning up.  I was inspired to do it again. This time at the Cassius king gallery, then again at Mixture, then I found the Wonderbread bakery and THREAD grew from there.

Lara and brother Alex, vp of Sales and Marketing

SZ: Do you have a background in Fashion? 
LM: I do not have a background in fashion. I was home schooled in fashion by reading vogue, nylon, wallpaper, W, and living in London for 4 years just walking to work past the boutiques and stores. My background is marketing and serious appreciation for art. The only ‘A’ I received at school was for ART. I love it. I love the escape it provides and the balance it creates.

SZ: What did you go to school for?
LM: I left school when I was 16. In the UK compulsaroy education ends at age 15, I did one more year at college studying Art, English and Science, and then I left at 16 to just get going in the working world. My first job was as an underwriter for the National Farmers Union! Yikes!

I went on to advertising sales for local newspapers and magazines in London. It was at the publishing houses in London, in particular when in was the advertising director for the British Journal of Photography,  I found my event planning legs and launched an event for photographic students. The event was called Vision.

Photo by Carly Ealey

SZ: You split time between LA and SD. What's one thing SD could learn from LA and vice versa?
LM: For me, LA is more of a need than a want right now. LA for me is the need to be pushed, feel scared, be out of my realm and learn to read a map! San Diego is home for me now, its teeming with good friends, supporters and fresh air!

San Diego can learn from LA
SD could learn to think a bit bigger, take bigger risks and believe in yourself.  Things happen fast here in LA. If you have an idea you need to move FAST otherwise someone else will get there before you (if they haven’t already). You snooze you loose. It makes you sharp, and forces you to move accurately at high speed. It forces you to go deeper and push yourself.

LA can learn from SD:
Not to take yourself so seriously. Don’t get wrapped up being ‘cool’. Sit still and ‘listen’ for a min. Don’t stare at people to see if they are ‘someone’ famous.

Elevate and Collide's 'Salt Lake Dress'

SZ: Who are some designers that we should look out for at this Saturday's event?
LM: Elevate and Collide, Hellagant, Frank Dandy, Dear Cora.

SZ: What's the grassroots approach to THREAD’s growth?
LM: We sometimes cry and sometimes laugh about how minute our marketing budget is for each show. It starts with a flyer, that gets printed, posted, and plastered as many places as we can get it for free. By creating strategic partnerships that are co supporting of each other.

THREAD really has grown from word of mouth, the hand picked designers do well, they tell other designers and we get calls. Shoppers attend find limited edition pieces for their wardrobe. They leave the show texting and blogging about the event and how they were able to get cool stuff at low prices, hang out a cool event, and be part of something creative that day. People like bragging rights, they can get that at THREAD.

Photo by Carly Ealey
SZ: Is the product drastically different city by city?
LM: No, we try to maintain the authentic THREAD in each market. We may switch up timings i.e in Miami the show was an evening event as most of Miami does not wake up until after 3pm each day. Then they party to 5am! We also don’t do runway shows in all of our markets. Some of our shows are a lil more boutiquey to allow for the market needs. For example in Seattle the THREAD show is smaller with 60 designers.

SZ: Where will THREAD be in 5 years?
LM: Live and Online. Offering more resources to new designers to take them past the fledgling stage and on to the next level

THREAD Show is going down this Sunday in San Diego from 10am - 6pm. Lara and crew have styled out a 30,000 square foot tent located on the San Diego bay, just outside the Harbor Island Sheraton.

Tags: Fashion, THREAD Show, Lara Matthews, Alex Matthews


THREAD rocks! We are all really excited about this coming weekends event as it marks the last show of 2008, after 13 shows in 5 markets including Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and NYC. See everyone there! Alex Much Love
Alex Matthews made this post on 12/10/2008 at 4:52 pm
Alex Matthews made this post on 12/10/2008 at 4:52 pm
Can I rsvp for ali vega for sunday. thanks, sinetria
sinetria hudson made this post on 5/18/2009 at 5:33 pm

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