A Q&A with Matthew Walters Founder of 100MPH
Why did you set up 100MPH?
At the beginning of my life I grew up around entrepreneurs. I used to hear of how my great grandfather used to light cigars with money way back in the day in Jamaica. My grandmother owned her own business, she even ran her own strip club at one point.
My dad was an electrician, plumber, gas man and miscellaneous so he didn’t need anybody from the outside. Anybody involved in his company worked for him and I used to see his own personal muscle bound debt collectors bring very large amounts of cash to his office.
Seeing and knowing all of these things, I had to set up something that was mine or I just wouldn’t feel right in myself.
What inspired you?
I don’t do things that feel inorganic so money isn’t a factor for me. I just want to know that I made somebody feel good, that’s all. The brand name itself and the brand identity, if that matches where you are mentally, if it makes you feel good, that’s what this is about for me.
So from the packaging to the whole presentation. It’s all about making people feel good. In that regard, I kind of consider myself an artist. 100mph was inspired by pain and my pain, is your pleasure.
What other brands do you like?
I like Nike. I like Ralph Lauren. I say all the time that if Nike and Ralph Lauren had sex, the baby would be 100mph.
What does a typical day for you look like?
Right now, it’s all the necessary but boring stuff… Replying to emails, phone calls, I’ll go to the gym around 3pm 4/4:30 and after that I’m usually splitting my time between either managing my baby brother’s music group MM, @doublemsound, writing my new screenplay for my short film The Sweep and my 100mph Clothing Line.
So I might be booking a flight out to shoot a music video, staying on top of business for the clothing line with orders, photoshoots etc and when everything else is a wrap, I get back to writing my new screenplay.
Who would be your dream customer/muse?
I saw Drake wearing the 100 emoji hat. If he switched up and started rocking 100mph, I would be very happy.
What was your background before 100mph?
I did a lot of things… I hustled. There was violence. I’ve been kidnapped twice in one day. Three times in total. Faced a long stretch behind bars for allegedly importing cocaine into the united kingdom. I had to run from police a lot of times.
I never enjoyed hustling in the streets though. What I enjoyed was exercising my creative muscle. When I wasn’t running from police or hustling in the street, I was writing screenplays about it and reading books. I got approved and was funded by Screen WM at one point.
I thought they we’re gonna help me develop my craft as a writer and give me shot, but they gave that shot to Penny Woolcock with that 1day movie. I went on to work with a production company on projects I created and we did some stuff for the BBC, the Wellcome trust and some other pieces.
After that, I directed a short film that I wrote. We premiered it at Cannes Film Festival. I was on bail when we shot the project so it wasn’t my best work. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to see the finished version.
What’s been the biggest challenge moving from the world of film to the world of fashion?
I’m not moving from one to the other, I’m planning on doing both concurrently. I feel like the world of fashion suits me just as well as film. I’m a hustler. That’s a transferable skill. I’m book smart and street smart so I don’t feel like there’s a ceiling anywhere in this world for me.
And your biggest success to date?
I think I look at success differently. I feel like having control of your own mind is success. The world tells a lot of people what to think and how to think.
I feel like when somebody has control of their own mind that’s success. I ‘ve been through a lot of things. I don’t think I’ve ever really known peace my whole life but I’m here to tell the tale. Experience can be the cruelest, the coldest, but the best teacher but I’ve got all my limbs, all 5 senses are working and most importantly I’ve got control of my mind.
I’m not on drugs. I didn’t succumb to pressure and go crazy… I feel like the manifestations are just fruits of that success from having a clear mind free from pollution and being able to think and move objectively through the world on a mission of your own choosing.
Once you had the idea, how did you go about implementing it?
I had absolutely no idea how I was supposed to go about creating a clothing line. I just knew I had a specific feeling that I wanted to capture and it was all tunnel vision from there to make it happen.
I read a bunch of books concurrently and drove across the country to meet ask question of people in the business already. Once I figured out the formula I was gonna run with, I ran with it like a hustler.
You’ve just launched your debut collection. What’s it like, and where can people buy it?
The debut collection feels good. Currently it consists of TShirts, Polos, Sweaters and Hoodies for the moment. I wanted to do a lot more but decided to hold back and give the brand room to grow.
I want to listen to my customers and give them what they want as opposed to me telling people what they want and forcing it on them like a bad pop song.
What’s your vision for 100MPH?
At my core, I’m representing for the ghetto youths. I want them to see a guy from the street who’s been through what they’ve been through put something out into the world that can stand up alongside the major players.
I got a lot planned for the brand. I wanted to create a situation where I can give people a shot. They say there’s a lack of opportunities. I want my brand to be in a position to create opportunities and jobs. For me, it goes back to being able to do good and make people feel good.
Tell us three things people may not know about 100MPH?
You have to follow the 100mph twitter @100mphOnline. In time, all that type of info will come out there first.
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