30 Jul 2018

Visiting the Majestic Athletic Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania

Creating a custom made Majestic Cool Base Jersey at the Easton, PA factory in America
Workspaces at the Majestic Athletic factory in Easton, PA Creating a custom made Majestic Cool Base Jersey at the Easton, PA factory in America

 This blog post is in partnership with Majestic Athletic + MLB.

When something curious drops into your inbox an eyebrow can often be raised. Too good to be true? A spammy scattergun email approach? But these emails can often be worth a second glance. A few months back I had one of those emails staring back at me. It started with sometime along the lines of, "...we think you'd be perfect for an exciting project we're working on with Majestic Athletic and Major League Baseball". Whoa. They got me hooked.

After several phone calls, brainstorm sessions and small bits of pre-project photography I found myself boarding a plane heading to New York, in preparation of meeting up at the small city of Easton, Pennsylvania, with the Majestic Athletic team, a production crew from London + my stalwart travel buddy and photographer for the project Jordan Bunker.

The idea behind the project was to document the journey which Majestic Athletic's iconic US-made baseball jerseys go through to finish up on the backs of professional players of MLB and the millions of fans worldwide. From the cutting room floor to the finishing room of Easton, PA, to the final product on the MVP players at Yankees stadium in New York. We'd follow the process, from start to finish.

An integral part of this brief was to also look further than the product; to dig deeper and find out more about the people that make this all happen. Who were the personalities behind each step of the production, what makes this small blue-collar town really tick and how this historical factory effects wider community.

As a last minute surprise I was told that I'd have a hand in creating my very own Majestic Cool Base Jersey. I'd shadow the whole process, from the tailoring and fitting to sewing down the name + numbers on the back. This was going to be a fun day!



Custom tailoring at the Majestic athletic factory in Easton, PA with Michael Pannuccio
 Resident tailor Micheal Pannuccio was on-hand to take my measurements for my custom Cool Base Jersey
The factory floor at the Majestic Athletic factory in Easton, PA
Matthew Spade and Button Babe" Lori J. Smith at the button sewing station at the Majestic Athletic Factory in Easton, PA
 Myself + the adorable "Button Babe" Lori J. Smith after my attempts of sewing buttons onto a one of the jerseys
Philadelphia Phillies Cool Base home Jersey and logo at the Majestic athletic factory in Easton PA

A 4:30am start on the day of filming was quite a shock to the system. But, we were there to shadow the working day of some of the Majestic factory's most invaluable workforce we were on their time. From the 6am clock-in and mid-morning precision at the cutting table, to the magically rhythmic sewing team and the all-important quality control stations seeing this US production line in action was an experience not to be forgotten.

Easton's community spirit runs deep throughout the Majestic fleet. These guys have been responsible for creating the official MLB jerseys in the factory since 1976. We spoke with Plant Manager Mark Todd about the buzz he gets when seeing the MLB players hitting home runs on TV while wearing jerseys made on his floor, and watching the charismatic "Button Babe" Lori J. Smith sew the mother of pearls on faster than you'd ever imagine. The day was filled with these short but memorable interactions; each worker connected by a passion for their job and the drive to hone their craft.

23 Jul 2018

A Short Stay at Boro Hotel, New York



It may have only been for one night but I recently enjoyed a memorable stay at the Boro Hotel in Long Island, New York. This overnight marked the end of our working trip to Easton, PA, and the start of myself and Jordan's three days of free time in NYC (lots more to share on both of those trips soon).

After checking in we parked up in the aesthetically pleasing lobby for an hour of caffeine fixes + beers, just before we headed off to see the NY Yankies play Washington Nationals as the ionic Yankies stadium in the Bronx. But let's not glace over that lobby too quickly, as this perfectly sized space was actually the highlight for me. Horizontal airbricks backed the length of the reception, giving your eyes plenty to look at while the check-in process went down. Be forgiven if your gazed wanders elsewhere in the room, as the late evening light danced across the soft green painted walls, untreated concrete pillars as if planned perfectly. The mixture of mid-century and powder-coated contemporary furniture worked a treat.

As for the rooms, well I definitely lucked out being on a high floor; the windows faced out towards Manhattan, making my early morning rise that little bit more special. My room was spacious with a huge window letting in loads of natural light. A wooden study desk and comfy chairs were all there but I inevitably didn't get chance to use. The bathroom was neat and well designed, all I really need.

Would I stay at Boro Hotel again? For sure! Being on Long Island it's a little further out the way than you'd usually think of staying, but I think it's worth the extra few miles for such a memorable experience - even if it's just for the rooftop view, which overlooks the whole of the New York skyline.

My stay was covered as part of a wider project with Majestic Athletic, which I'll be sharing soon! 
Additional photography by Jordan Bunker.

12 Jul 2018

Orlando's Slower Pace

poolside flatlay in orlando with ballast point ipa, contrarian magazine, moscot glasses and birkenstock sandals

Oh boy, it seems like forever since I've tapped some words out on here. My bad, this past two months have been some of the busiest and most rewarding of my life. I have a whole list of content that I can't wait to share, but for the next ten day we will be enjoying some down time.

So here's my super "gone fishing" message - we're currently soaking up some overly-humid rays in Orlando, celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary, with day trips to Tampa, St Petersburg, Naples and Winter Park. 

Head over to my Instagram page for daily updates!
Mat.

26 Jun 2018

Shave With Pride with Harry's

harry's shave with pride lgbtq razor campaign
harry's shave with pride lgbtq razor campaign
harry's shave with pride lgbtq razor campaign

Tumbleweeds have probably been busier than these pages lately, but these past six weeks have been super busy for me, and very rewarding. I've got some exciting stuff to share soon, but this week I'm playing catch-up with admin + tying up a bunch of loose ends before we take our annual summer holiday!

--------

American grooming brand Harry's have also been keeping productivity levels on max, with the release of their Shave With Pride campaign. In celebration of Pride 2018, June sees the release of the their latest progressive project - this incentive pushes forward the notion of equality, celebrating our individuality and freedom of expression.

The limited edition set includes  a "Rainbow" Winston razor handle, which has been designed using a unique colour-printing process, which insures every individual Pride handle is just a little bit different from the next. The bold cartoon illustrated packaging has been designed by graphic design duo Craig & Karl. The campaign is backed by several notable figures within the LGBTQ community.

Harry's will be donating all the profits from its UK sales to selected LGBTQ charities. The Shave With Pride set is available here for £24.

10 Jun 2018

Visiting San Francisco, Easton, PA + New York


These pages have been a little quiet of late. It feels like a similar situation to June 2017, minus the big Las Vegas wedding! This week will be my second trip over to the US in two weeks, both for separate projects, but both work related. If I was more organised I would have stayed over for the full two weeks, but my last minute budget just didn't allow it. You can officially call me a "super communter" at the moment.

Last week I was visiting San Francisco for the first Pinterest "In The Making" Creative Conference, and this week myself + Jordan will spending five days over in Easton, PA + New York to work on an extra special project - I'll be able to share a little more about that very soon!

My blog will probably stay quiet for a little longer, I'll be creating travel diaries for each place we stop at, but for now if you'd like to see more regular updates from me then I'll still be active on Instagram + Twitter

Speak soon,
Mat.

28 May 2018

Support Your Friends

pop trading company long sleeve tee, campbell cole o tote collection
pop trading company long sleeve tee, campbell cole o tote collection
pop trading company long sleeve tee, campbell cole o tote collection

 O TOTE c/o Campbell Cole | Long Sleeve Tee c/o Pop Trading Co. | Shorts by Uniqlo | Watch by Goodhood x Timex | Sneakers by Converse | Sunglasses by Ace&Tate | Cap by Percival

Support your friends. Celebrate their achievements, buy their products, send them constructive feedback, attend their exhibitions, share their work, listen to their ideas and issues, comment on their captions, read their blog posts, visit their gigs, purchase tickets to their shows, notice their nuances, subscribe to their podcasts, shout them dinner - build a community.

And if you're lucky enough to be gifted one of your friend's products then repay the favour by sending them something which you know they will love, just as much as you do. Congratulations to Campbell Cole and Oliver Hooson on the continued success of a product of their love, the O TOTE. I'm proud to call these guys my friends.

Photographs by Jake Millers