Cover Story: Matt Baldwin on Finding Inspiration

Fashion designer Matt Baldwin finds inspiration around his hometown Kansas City

The national accolades coming Matt Baldwin’s way are the best example of “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.” GQ, Huffington Post, Fashion We Like and others have lauded the local retailer and fashion designer for Standard Style and now, Baldwin Denim. But don’t worry: His head still fits comfortably in the “KC” caps he can’t keep in stock. We caught up with our hotter-than-hot cover guy to talk about his inspirations, his insistence on American-made fashion and where he and wife Emily (whom he refers to as “still the coolest chick I know”) like to take their three kids, Henley, 7, Rogan, 5 and Rivington, 3.

Modern design is the fundamental backbone of how I look at designing and constructing clothing. Anytime I can gain new perspective or experiences, it helps me in the design process. The Nelson-Atkins [Museum of Art] has proven to be a great place of inspiration for me in KC. Highlights during a recent night out with Emily and a walk through the gallery include a Franz Kline painting, furniture from Ray and Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia for Knoll.

Kansas City has a huge modern architecture and design/build resource in Hufft Projects. Matthew [Hufft, founder], has been a part of all our retail concepts since 2005, and recently helped me redesign and remodel our Drummond home.

 I love cohesive design and branding, and Port Fonda pushes the status quo. Everything [owner] Patrick Ryan has done––from the menu, the interior, the music and the identity package––is authentic and very much reflective of great Kansas City culture.

When he asked me to design the uniforms, I quickly knew this guy was thinking about every last detail.

When Baldwin first started, we began looking at the roots of denim and quickly made a decision that was very foundational to the company. We 100 percent cut and sew our denim in the USA, and the design is done in KC. It allows us to play our part in bringing more manufacturing jobs to the States.

What’s not to love about a European-style soccer club in Kansas City? Sporting KC is an amazing addition to our city. Both my sons have caught the soccer wave.

A Sunday tradition is, after church, Emily and I take the three kids out to brunch at Westport Cafe. The kids love a round robin of French toast and cheeseburgers with a side of mussels. Emily and I usually enjoy the beet salad and eggs Norwegian.

And there’s always a Bloody Mary in the mix.