Mathieu Mudie is a talented artisan who knows how to curate products and brands for people in a cool and versatile way. He discovers the essence of a city and its makers by physically exploring the world and the talent it has to offer. He is the intellect behind the retail concepts at The Source Hotel and Zeppelin Station and has built something that is truly changing the way consumers can shop. Mudie can tailor his creative eye to create an atmosphere that is both personable and refreshing.
At Zeppelin Station, there are 22 craft brands offered through the ‘Made In A City’ concept, which rotates every few months. Mudie carefully curates a selection of brands and designers from cities around the globe that he feels have the same ethos as Denver’s talent. The Source Hotel offers Eyes Open as its retail core where multiple brands are showcased to display their unique products. The ultimate goal is to bring about a community of people in the city and elsewhere. We sat down with Mudie to learn a little more about him and his ongoing accomplishments.
303 Magazine: What initially inspired you to enter into the world of fashion?
Mathieu Mudie: I started up in the industry about 15 years ago. I still work quite a bit with my life partner, Rachel, and the truth is I got into it by the back door. Rachel studied fashion design and I studied political science. She had a brand in Montreal where she did fashion design and I started helping her on a part-time basis. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and design so I worked with her slowly through each step of the process. As everything grew more successful we did more and at this point this was full-time. I learned everything mostly with a hands-on approach.
303: What were the main projects you worked on while in Montreal?
MM: We had different brands in Montreal and then retail came at the end of the process. We started to have brands and worked with people through retail production and did more wholesale. We then ended up building our own factories and hired people in. Before I moved here from Montreal we had our own production facilities with a full staff. We put retail spaces into Montreal and the last one we opened was 8,000 square feet. We had our own line and did mostly leather accessories, but we also carried a lot of garments and objects. That’s how I ended up coming here.
303: What prompted you to move from Montreal to Denver?
MM: Zeppelin Development approached me to overview all their retail in their development that did not include food and beverages. I feel there was a need for more retail development in Denver and I think we’re going to continue to see amazing design-focused spaces. I really enjoy working with Zeppelin because their vision and values are something I want to be a part of. When we came back home we decided we couldn’t continue with our partners. We sold everything and moved to Denver a month later.
303: Tell us a little about the retail concepts at The Source Hotel
MM: Everything we carry here focuses on the work behind the object. We also try to obtain as much knowledge as possible around the process of production. There’s a lot of work behind different objects and the issues and values that surround it as well. We have lines that are in the moment but they also have a strong focus on how and why the product is made.
We work with brands on a more permanent level here and so Eyes Open is our retail space. We’re also just trying to bring in creativity and find ways to bring brands in or create spaces for a brand that wouldn’t typically do it on their own. This is all a work in progress and Zeppelin Station “Made In The City” is also a part of the Eyes Open project. We focus on a different city every three months and eventually we will curate a collection of the best brands we brought in through “Made In The City.”
303: How do you find cities to go to in order to look for these different brands?
MM: Sometimes there’s one brand I really like and I stay and look around for what’s happening. Other times it’s a city that really impressed me or an occasion perhaps. Everything considered, there’s really not one big pattern.
303: How can your personal style be best described?
MM: I don’t dress the same that I did 20 years ago but I think there’s still the same idea behind it. I am aware of the things I buy and how they’re made which is one of the key things that drives me in my choices. In addition, I don’t like changing all the time and I don’t change every season. I really buy timeless pieces that will last me a while.
303: What methods do you use to stay as environmentally conscious as you can?
MM: I try to remain very knowledgeable of where things are made and also how they are made. We strive to have brands that produce in their own city which helps with the overall transportation process. In addition, we try to focus on smaller brands that control their production.
303: What is something you’re excited about in Denver’s continuously emerging fashion scene?
MM: Since I’ve only been here for about eight months, I’m still discovering a part of it. I think if you were to ask me the same question in a year it would be totally different. I’m really into what’s happening now and there’s a lot of people who work on cool stuff which really excites me to be a part of it all.
303: What else should we know about you and any future projects in the works?
MM: Since I have been here we have been really busy, which I like and we still have a lot of work to do. RiNo is still challenging to bring people to and people don’t walk around as much as other places. We’re just trying to build more around here and focus on doing cool events and projects to give awareness to people.
We’re also trying to make this space not just for shopping because we call all shop online or even go to Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Here, it’s not just shopping but it’s the whole experience. You can just come here and have a coffee or hang out which is a different feeling than looking at a space and then leaving shortly after. Here we have listening stations and you can go through records and personally talk with the knowledgeable staff. That community feeling is what we want to recreate and I like having that place as a living place.
We also have a retail pop-up next door at The Source Marketplace that will go through the holidays. It’s operated by us and we teamed up with Hygge Life based in Eagle Vail. We wanted to do a holiday market and something that is a one-stop-shop for people. One thing for sure is we’re working on an Eyes Open lifestyle line.
All Photography by Rebecca Grant