Our Favorite Instagrammers – @rhomatt
Name: Matt Rho
Instagram Name: @rhomatt
Amount of followers: 2,385
Residence: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Occupation: This and that
Hey there, my name is Matt Rho. Lover of things that have seen some miles…particularly denim and vintage clothing. I’m kept up at night by unanswered emails…if I’m not at inbox zero, I don’t feel right. Favorite food is ramen, and the best ramen I’ve ever had is Yume Wo Katare in Boston. Besides denim, I care deeply about being a good father and husband. It’s not something I can say I achieve very often…but I’m working on it.
Why do you share your outfits? And why Instagram?
Most of my Instagram feed isn’t outfits, but rather, examples of my denim repair work. I share that work because I want to get more raw denim guys into denim repair. There’s this whole deeper level of denim evolution that can come from mending your jeans, and I want to share that with the denim community. Most guys “retire” their jeans after years of hard work fading them down from raw. In most cases, those jeans have many years of life left in them, and you can enjoy that extended life by mending your jeans, not to mention the fact that repairing your jeans gives you a truly unique, customized pair. And if you do those repairs yourself, it’s even better.
I like Instagram because there’s an open, welcoming community there. It’s easy to discover like-minded people, and people are generally much more open and friendly there than some of the other online raw denim communities.
What makes your Instagram feed so special?
I don’t think it’s particularly special, but it’s different in that it’s very specifically focused on denim repair. I do throw in some outfit or personal life shots once in a while (I think it’s important to be an actual person, not just an Instagram handle), but by and large, if you follow my feed, you’re seeing mostly denim repair pics.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Japanese and European repair traditions. Indigo traditions from all over the world, Military vintage. And water. I can’t stop looking at water.
Where does your love for denim come from? When did it start?
My love of denim started when a friend of mine, Anthony Lupesco, asked me to help him with a denim brand he had started called Shockoe Atelier (back then it was called Shockoe Denim). At that time, I didn’t know anything about denim. I came on as his business partner, handling the commercial aspects of the business, with Anthony focused on design and creative. I got steeped in denim pretty quickly and fell hard for indigo and the way it fades. That love of indigo led me to Japanese textiles, which led me to Boro, which has brought me to what I’m doing now – denim repair.
Your top 3 favorite (denim)brands?
There are so many great brands out there right now putting out amazing product, and I have huge respect for anybody making a go of it in this business. If forced to pick three, I’d of course have to mention Shockoe – I’m admittedly biased and way too close to it, but I do honestly believe Shockoe makes one of the most thoughtfully put together pair of jeans available today. And I know first-hand the hard work, commitment, and love that the team puts into their work every day. I’m also a big fan of Companion and Roy for all the lovely details they put into their work, and of course PBJ, Momotaro and Sugar Cane, for the gorgeous fabrics they work with. Other brands I love are Kapital, Blue Blue Japan, Orgeuil (Studio d’Artisan), Mister Freedom, and oh man, there are lots more. OK, that’s more than three, but whatever. Three is a ridiculously low number for this question.
6. What is your favorite accessory?
I love the Kapital bandannas because of the amazing designs. The embroidered ones are especially awesome. I also love the pink selvedge that shows when they’re rolled up. Adds a terrific pop of color to any outfit, but nothing over the top.
7. What items do you wear the most at the moment?
My own heavily repaired boro jeans (originally Shockoe Slim Originals but now patched and repaired beyond recognition), because they’re my main denim repair laboratory. Most days, worn with Merz B. Schwanen henley or Handvaerk tee-shirt. In colder weather, I’ll layer on top of that with a vest and a jacket or overshirt. I keep things pretty simple.
What is your favorite shop? And what is your favorite webstore?
Like with the brands, there are so many great stores out there. It all depends on where you find yourself. The prettiest stores I’ve ever seen are Peter Nappi in Nashville and the RRL stores in Soho and Brooklyn. Best customer service and product knowledge are AB Fits and Standard & Strange in San Francisco. Others I go out of my way to see or check out online are Blue in Green, Unionmade, Canoe Club, Need Supply, and Blue Button Shop. I also love vintage stores. Some of my favorites are 10 ft. Single in Brooklyn, Ceri Vintage in Florence, Raggedythreads in New York, and Omnipeople in Seoul.
Do you care about the production process?
Yes of course! If it’s not produced honestly and meticulously, it’s not worth it, regardless of how low or high the price is.
What are your dreams for the future?
I honestly don’t think much about the future these days. I’m just trying to live each day productively, with honesty and kindness. I think if I can put enough of those days together, things will work out in the end.