New York is tough, regardless of what field you’re in. But it’s a well-known fact that Fashion in New York is almost impossible to break into, and it’s one field in particular that is lacking in diversity. Despite the cultural richness of the city, Latinos are not very well represented at NY Fashion Week, be it on the runway or backstage. There are, however, some figures who are making a name for themselves, and 23 year old Matthew Mazur, aka Mazurbate, is one of them. Peruvian-Polish descended Mazur works for Jeremy Scott, the fashion designer and creative director for Italian luxury brand Moschino (which you may remember for putting out a bunch of looks inspired by McDonalds this past winter). At Moschino, Mazur — who was featured on Time Out as one of the most stylish New Yorkers — does everything from DJing official fashion week events and underground nightlife parties to PR to design. As Fashion Week approaches, we got to speak with Mazur about his experiences growing up and what it takes to get into the heart of the industry.
Hi Matthew! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to a Polish father and a Peruvian mother; I’m the first generation to be born here. I learned Spanish first before English due to me being brought back and forth between Peru and Brooklyn for most of my life. I went to Catholic School till 8th Grade, then Went to Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS for Fine Art (where I only did Self-Portraits) and then most recently graduated from Parsons with a dual degree in Fashion and Fine Art.
How did you get started in the fashion world?
I became obsessed with these high waisted jeans that these cool, older girls in my high school wore all the time, so I found out who they were by, and I got my first internship in the ‘fashion’ world with ‘The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly’. They were based in SoHo around 2005/6.
Tell us about your work with Jeremy Scott/Moschino.
Working on Jeremy’s team is really multifaceted. I got offered a job after I graduated Parsons last year and have been with them ever since. I started out just DJing his NYFW after parties. Within the company, it’s more like a family, I do everything from PR to DJing to Designing, so it’s kind of like everything I do in my normal life and now I just get to do it with people I admire, respect, and love.
What are your thoughts about Latin@s in general working in the Fashion industry?
Latins aren’t really represented in the Fashion industry. I also think that there are roles that Hispanics play into to breakthrough to a wider audience. For example, Latinos are overly sexualized or viewed as tokens of exoticism, when we are much deeper than the stereotypes that are given to us. With that being said, I also think using race as a crutch is not the look, if you think you won’t amount to something or someone, chances are you won’t and people will perceive you in the light that you present yourself. I always just introduce myself thinking that I’m a person just like any other, race and heritage comes after. Personality and character genuinely are what makes people like you, not the color of your skin or the type of food you cook.
Moschino 2014-15 Fall/Winter
You’re also an established DJ in the New York Club scene. How does that play into your professional life?
I’m blessed to have found a balance in what I love. I love DJing and I also love Fashion, so my day job doesn’t interfere (besides a hangover here and there) with my nightlife. It also kind of helps, because nightlife and fashion and art really, have all become kind mixed in with each other. I’ll be in the showroom and someone will come by to pull looks for a job they are doing and they’ll be like “Oh you were DJing at this party I was at last night”, so it kind of just boosts everything in the long run.
What’s on your playlist these days?
Right now I’m really just obsessed with a lot of Jersey Club, Bubbling, Dembow, Reggaeton, as well as many throwbacks that for me I can just listen to over and over again.
What are your plans for fashion week?
I’m DJing the Essential Homme NYFW Kickoff party, A Pop Party at Bedlam, and The Jeremy Scott After Party that will be insane.
What advice would you give for other Latin@s who are considering fashion as a career option?
Don’t let the thought of adversity ever come into your mind. Be Daring, Be Bold, Be YOU, and if someone doesn’t agree with that, then fuck em’ and keep it moving.
Check out more from Mazur on his Instagram: @MAZURBATE