Thursday, April 26, 2012

PM Masters: Mary Jo Matsumoto

I met this amazing designer first as a blogger and later as a fashion and accessories designer... since then we started a great friendship that has even beautifies my nails on more than one occasion. Is by any chance you have never read Trust Your Style please do so and get to know her as the talented designer Mary Jo is.

How did you get started in your career? 
I started making flowered evening bags with semi precious stone handles back in 1999. I didn’t know enough to realize how much work it was going to be, but it was also such a great ride.

What are your sources of inspiration? 
As much as I didn’t want to embrace it for the longest time, California and the open lifestyle—and I mean that in a emotional and mental way as well as physical—is probably the driving force in what I design. I love the ocean and of course art. 

Where do you work and how do you get organized around it?  
 I’m  out and about a lot because I work with lots of independent contractors and I’m in their work spaces more often than not. My own work studio consists of 3 desks—one for paperwork, one for sample-making small things and another one that was supposed to be for the same but is covered in handbag samples. 

Which is your favorite collection/project/product that you have designed?   
 My new SS12 bag line is my current love child.

Which collection/project/product out there you wish you would have designed? 
Hmm, interesting question. I’m not much for copying or imitation but Raf Simons last collection for Jil Sanders was really inspiring.

What are you listening to these days? 
I make endless playlists on Spotify, I like everything from Adele to Kanye so it’s hard to narrow it down.

What other profession you would like to have besides yours? 
An architect.  I love the big picture ideas that it requires.

When you travel what are the essential items you take with you? 
I wish I could say I was a Diptyque candles and cashmere throw kind of traveler, but I’m a last minute packer—all those years of flying around doing accessories shows taught me to have a cosmetic case filled with the essentials and I used to have a check list when I was traveling a lot, but lately I’m just winging it.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? 
The Hotel Hana Maui

What is the best business advice you can give someone?   
There’s nothing better than getting paid.

What does the future hold for your business? Any plans? 
We will hopefully be expanding our handbag sales into lots of new stores and territories in the coming year.

Dear Mary Jo... Thank you for your time and your amazing friendship!


  1. Thanks Elie for featuring me in your new series! So glad that you made it out to LA twice to meet up!

    xo Mary Jo

  2. How have I never discovered Mary Jo's amazing blog before–to say nothing of her gorgeous work! Thank you for making the introduction!

  3. Ah wow, I am swooning over all these gorgeous bags, i can see myself wear every single one. Great interview with a very talented designer!

  4. these bags are so bright and perfect for summer. it's really inspiring to read how independent designers find their success.

  5. Oh I love Mary Jo. She is always such an inspiration. Her bags, her nail polish, her sense of style. And of course her blog (which I read every day)! :)

  6. Great interview! I love the nail polish.

  7. the blue dress is beautiful :)

  8. This is very kind of you to share with us this wonderful post!!The Ritz Cove Bowler is AMAZING!!!Thank you my dear Elie!!xoxo

  9. Oh, these bags are just gorgeous! I absolutely LOVE the Ritz Cove Bowler!!

  10. Gorgeous! She has phenom style. She seems like a rad chic too!

  11. She seems fabulous!! Thanks for introducing us!!

    Have a great weekend!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  12. great post. the bag as are amazing !!

  13. SO many great bags! Loving the oversized clutches!

  14. OMG that first bag is INSANE! Really Cool!
    Thanks for sharing!!


  15. Mary Jo has lovely items. The bowler bag is quite stunning. I love the colour! xo

  16. Oh my goodness these are amazing! Thank you for the comment on my blog a few weeks ago! I hope you come back for the new reveal! OK back to the bags...the second teal clutch...BANANAS!

  17. I love Mary Jo! She's so incredibly talented and just the sweetest. Love the photo of you two ladies. You both look gorgeous! :) xoxo

  18. I love the colors on the oversized clutch!


  19. Woah! I was going to start off by saying how much I LOVE the colours of that nailpolish. But then I scrolled down and saw that gorgeous clutch. Then I kept scrolling and saw that AMAZING dress. I love it all!