Welcome to the fifth feature from the new Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. Styled in our most recent collection, and photographed by our Editor Cal McIntyre, read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear. To shop the products Mat is wearing simply click the images.
Meet Matthew Spade, a successful fashion, design and lifestyle blogger, collaborating with brands from around the world such as Skagen Watches, Uniqlo, Burberry, and Ace & Tate. Spade has also freelanced for other blogs and magazines, a recent piece was for the clothing brand, Paul Smith. He’s one of the few who have managed to live his dream of writing exclusively on his blog, Buckets & Spades, and following his success he has also managed to set up his own men’s lifestyle influencer database and agency called Three Letters. Making a career from blogging about the things he loves, Spade has built his life around creating, designing and writing inspiring content for his readers. Openly sharing the thoughts within his own mind, Spade uses a contemporary style for his refreshing and thoughtful imagery, adding a charming blend between his writing and photography.
The blogging community is growing rapidly with 31% more bloggers than there was three years ago. In fact, 74.6 million websites and counting are dependent on WordPress as a platform to write and share content from personal experiences to starting a new businesses. With such competition to stand out, it takes a lot of time and effort to make a successful blog. Standing the test of the fast moving pace of the modern age, the fashion, design and lifestyle blog has just celebrated its tenth birthday and has written many interesting and thought provoking articles. One of Spades articles was written for Jigsaw where he discussed the brand and it’s influence into his own style. Over the years it has even travelled around the world bringing many stories to one place.
Mat is wearing a Champion grey t-shirt along with Stan Ray Loose Fit Trousers
With the sole purpose of creating interesting content, Buckets and Spades not only openly shares their own stories from Mat himself, but he also wants to hear from his audience about what they are interested in, promoting on his site that he wants people to feel like they can have a say and be a part of the blog. Bringing a community together from all around the world is an exciting adventure for the Buckets & Spades founder, with a large amount of readers per year. Spade documents his own style through his many social media accounts and blog, sharing to a collective of more than 55 thousand followers across Twitter and Instagram alone. Mat's own style is heavily influenced by the workwear trend and Scandinavian interior design and features a lot of his fashion on his Instagram where he notes he is “navy obsessed”.
From visiting Belfast, Berlin and Pennsylvania to name a few. The Idle Man is putting a brief holt to Mat's travels, to sit down with the creator to hear about his journey into blogging. Finding out where it has taken him over the years and what is in store for the future of Buckets & Spades. We met up with Matthew in Paper Mache Tiger, a fashion sales and communications agency specialising in integrated solutions for quality brands, recently opening it's first retail experience in London. The light was perfect, and the coffee was even better. Read about Pike's journey below and to shop the products simply click the images.
Where did the initial idea for Buckets & Spades come from?
I started writing a blog when I was back at uni, for two reasons. One was as a simple way of storing images due to the lack of space on my laptop at the time, and two, to improve my writing skills to help with my studies.
Did you have any idea when you created your first post that people would be interested in your ideas and that it would actually take off in the way it has?
Not at all, that’s not something anyone thought about at the time. There wasn’t many agendas around blogging back in 2008. It was purely a creative outlet, just a release / personal diary.
Mat is wearing The Idle Man Workwear Chore Jacket in White
How does your blog represent you, your personality and your lifestyle?
Pretty well I think. Not too serious, passions about people, sharing creativity and welcoming all.
Aesthetics are important as you rely on imagery for your Instagram account, what’s your process to putting an outfit together?
I have my favourites, as we all do, and I tend to stick with them. I love colour but I don’t wear much, but it makes me feel good when I wear something a little more unusual than my navy and khaki uniform. I generally have a piece in my head and I’ll work the look around that.
You’ve been running Buckets & Spades for ten years now, what’s the secret to being a successful blogger?
Maybe consistency, integrity, reliability, and honesty. I’d say all those are very valuable qualities.
Mat is wearing The Idle Man Workwear Chore Jacket in White and Stan Ray Trousers
You have written about so many different topics, places and brands, how do you decide where and what your next story will be?
Admittedly the blog has been rather neglected of late, but sometimes it’s dictated by a project I’m working on, a trip I’ve done or just something cool I saw in a magazine.
What’s your favourite item of clothing to wear?
Out of everything I’d say the humble sweatshirt. I just picked up the orange YMC one from The Idle Man.
You have collaborated with many brands like Paul Smith and Clarins and featured in many magazines, do you have a dream collaboration which you’d love to work with one day?
My dream was to work with Paul Smith, that felt pretty epic. But these days now I’m unsure. Maybe something unrelated to fashion, in design, architecture or travel.
Mat is wearing Shetland Woolen Co Sweater and Stan Ray Trousers
You say navy is your favourite colour when it comes to clothing, why is this?
Because I don’t have to think about it and it’s a way of hiding. For most that’s black but I like the traditional uniform feel that navy evokes.
What brands influence your own style when it comes to fashion and interior design?
Well I like contemporary British brands like Folk, Albam and YMC, American brands like Knickerbocker, Batternwear and Filson, and Japanese brands such as Nest Robe, Beams and Kapital. In terms of interiors my tastes are pretty eclectic - a mixture of modernism and more graphic design influences are all seen throughout our house.
Mat is wearing Shetland Woolen Co Sweater
What does the future hold for Buckets & Spades?