Matta (Mattany) the shop and brand is the brainchild of designer Cristina Gitti, whose personality and personal style make it an unequivocal 'must visit' when you next find yourself in the Big Apple. In the way that you can judge a book by its cover, you can judge a shop by its owner. The vibe, the aesthetic, the happiness of the staff and – ergo – the happiness of the customer rely on the passion and personality of the person at the helm.
Gitti is Italian and had worked her way to the top of Milan's fashion brands when she made the move to New York in 1995, in search of a more artistic adventure in fashion. Gitti’s work meant she was travelling regularly to India where she immersed herself in the culture and began designing and developing her own products with textile artisans there. The designs proved popular and she felt emboldened to start her own label and shop. In 2003 she launched the Matta store.
The space – the place – in fashion that Matta clothing sits in is comfortable yet cool, practical and wearable yet flattering. Gitti uses the bright Indian colour palette but tunes it toward western tastes and greyer skies. Gitti loves colour, it is her lifeblood as a designer and it seems like destiny that she would end up working in India, where they use colour in a great way. She also tweaks traditional Indian clothing shapes to be more fitted, and utilises Indian textile techniques like block printing and ikat weaving to offer patterns that are that much more contemporary. These remixes with western customers in mind are what make Matta clothing distinctive and delicious...
You can read this article by Jane Audas in full in Selvedge issue 77.