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MATE VINTAGE is an online store featuring a curated collection of vintage items and independent designers. Katyti O’Connell, MATE VINTAGE owner/designer, explains the process in which she chooses each piece. “Every item of vintage that is selected for MATE is carefully chosen and has to be given the “I LOVE & NEED” stamp of approval. The designers we feature are also very carefully selected based on our love of the brand’s design as well as what they represent. Additionally, we created “Collabs with a Cause.” We collaborate with a designer on exclusive items, in which a percentage is donated to charity.” We had a minute to ask her a little more about MATE VINTAGE and their new tee collection.

BB: How did it get started?

MV: MATE was born a little over a year ago. After college, I worked at a private equity firm, which zapped my creative energy and pushed me to create something on my own. I took some time to focus on what I really wanted to do and how I could combine my interests and make it a career. MATE is the balance between my love of fashion and wanting to give back. We started off by selling a few vintage tees for the first few months and used what we made to expand our product range.

BB: Where are you based?

MV: I recently moved headquarters to Downtown, Los Angeles and I love it!

BB:Your curated line of vintage is rad!! Have you always been into vintage?

MV: Thank you! Yes, vintage is the best. I think it stems from when I was growing up I became very attached to specific items of clothing and I would wear the same thing every day for months. Not sure why this was allowed, ha! I love finding pieces that are one-of-a-kind and that I feel connected to.

BB: What do you love about it?

MV: I love the uniqueness of each piece that I find, I feel like they each have a little story behind them. It’s also a great way to recycle!

BB: Can you tell us about the rad vintage inspired tees you are launching.

MV: I am so excited to launch the collection! Obviously, I am obsessed with vintage tees and I wanted to replicate the feel and body of them. There are seven designs… I was very fortunate to work with my favorite Australian artist on a few of them.  They are super soft, you will want to live in them! And they are made 100% in the USA!

 BB: What inspired your new line?

MV: Whiskey. Just kidding, well kind of…This collection is a little rebellious. When I first started conceptualizing the tees, I was taking a lot of trips to the desert. Something about being in the middle of nowhere mixed with a full moon and music that made me very inspired.

 BB: It is very cool to see companies collaborating with non profits. How did you choose the 3 you work with?

MV: The three non-profits that we have been working with, ASPCA, The Surfrider Foundation and Global Green USA represent the three causes that are really important to me: Animals, the ocean and environment. Although, I would love to expand upon it! For MATE the label, a percentage will be donated to the ASPCA.

Favorite swim line? Its bikini season already, eek! I love Mara Hoffman’s prints! Minimale Animale’s designs are insane in the best kind of way.

Any plans to travel this summer? Just booked a getaway to Kauai! My family has a place there so I try to visit every year! Ultimate relaxation spot.

Next dream spot on the list? Thailand looks like an absolute dream! I also really want to visit Cambodia & India.

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