What does fashion week sound like? Well, whether you were in New York or Milan, the odds are decent that the answer was selected by multi-hyphenate power couple Matthew Mazur and Tama Gucci. In the space of a week this season, they set the tone for the hottest new brands and most established fashion houses alike, scoring the runways of Mirror Palais, Prabal Gurung and Moschino.
It started in the DMs. “He put me on Close Friends on Instagram,” says Florida-born musician and designer Gucci over Zoom. “That was me flirting,” grins stylist and DJ Mazur, a New York native. Mazur had ordered from Gucci’s clothing brand, Tama’s Corner. As it turned out, they were both booked to play at Art Basel. The next year, when Mazur was asked to take over Virgil Abloh’s annual closing set after the designer’s tragic passing, he invited Gucci. They’ve “been kind of inseparable ever since”.
Now, they’ve taken their relationship to the next level: working together. “Mirror Palais was probably the most stressful show, right, babe?” asks Mazur. Not only was it one of the first runway shows for a buzzy brand finding its feet, but as their first collaboration, “I also didn’t trust Tama yet fully with it – that’s just my own thing,” Mazur says. “Virgo!” Tama, a Leo, interjects. “Yeah,” Mazur laughs. “I’ve been doing this for so long by myself.”
But it worked: as DJs, the two balance each other out. “He’s more classic, and I’m more experimental,” Gucci says. “The things that he can’t envision the soundtrack doing, I somehow can – it’s like two sides of the same coin.” It made developing the score for Moschino relatively easy. For the 40th anniversary, with Jeremy Scott stepping down, the label had four stylists interpret founder Franco Moschino’s legacy: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Lucia Liu and Katie Grand. “Carlyne requested Matthew by name,” notes Gucci.
“Carlyne is one of my idols,” Mazur explains. “When I used to work at Jeremy Scott, I would always be around her, because I was fascinated by this living legend.” After getting a job with the designer straight out of Parsons, he’d DJ the brand’s afterparties while styling celebrity clients on the side; he now works with Gen Z icons including Ice Spice, Lil Nas X and PinkPantheress. Gucci, meanwhile, is an alternative R&B artist with a cult following awaiting his debut album, set for release early next year.
Below, Vogue gets to know the powerhouse couple.
How do you approach your personal style?
Tama Gucci: I have pink hair because I’m a Barb, mostly. I think about Nicki [Minaj] when she first came in and how she made the pink hair such an emphasis. My style is loud and kooky and out there, but also being Caribbean and queer, it is everything that I “shouldn’t” be, so I’m making it a focal point. Being Caribbean, from Miami, and a Barb: this is the product.
Matthew Mazur: I’m a little older, so I’ve had my phase of, “I have green hair, blue hair, bleach blond braids…” I have stepped into a place of being more behind-the-scenes, and now I want quality rather than quantity, clothes-wise.
TG: He went through my closet – I was obsessed with thrifting because in Miami you find cool clothes. I’ve outgrown all of them, stuff that I was literally keeping because I found it for $2 and –
MM: He’s a hoarder.
TG: [Laughs] I’m not a hoarder! He went through my closet, and we got rid of everything, and now, like he said, it’s more about quality than quantity. I have so many soft things now! The thread count is really nice.
MM: I really believe that clothes are meant to be used, too. I used to be like, “Oh, this is expensive, so it has to be treated so cautiously, and I can’t wear it unless it’s like a really nice place.” But that’s something that I learned from Carlyne, years ago; I think we were talking about a Birkin, and in her insane French accent, she was like, “No, the more fucked up it looks, the better!” We’re all gonna die, it’s just clothes.
You can see a shared playfulness in your style, that Y2K tongue-in-cheek humour.
MM: Going back to Carlyne, I always gravitated towards people that had a point of view that was playful in fashion. Our first Christmas or birthday together, I got Tama these blue horseskin Marni mules. They’re such standouts that you could wear them with anything. We’ll do a bare minimum outfit, but then it’s the accessory – the Marni mule, or my purple Bottega clutch that looks like Grimace. That binds us because we both find the humour in fashion and also like –
TG: It’s not that serious.
MM: And also the only way to survive in this industry is to understand that it’s beautiful, but it’s not the be all and end all, you know?
Matthew, how did you start working with Ice Spice and Lil Nas X?
MM: Ice’s people reached out to me before the EP and we did the “In Ha Mood” video and the “Boy’s A Liar” video. She has her own point of view, which I like. She’s not like, “What brand is this?” She’s like, “Does this fit me right? Is this my favourite colour? Is this the kind of style that I like?” That makes it easier; I can push the boundary a little within her comfort zone, which I did with the Moose Knuckles X Telfar pants – you like a Moon Boot, you like a furry boot, so we can give you that in a new form. Also, it’s an iconic Black designer, whom we both know personally. Telfar [Clemens] was one of Tama’s champions; he wears all of Tama’s clothing.
TG: It’s so cute, because Telfar uplifts.
MM: Yeah, he really does. And he’s obsessed with us being together. But working with artists, I try to listen to what they want, understand them and then try to expose them to new things. Style-wise, all Ice wanted were True Religion jeans, Juicy Couture sweatsuits and BB Simon belts. I grew up in the era of Juicy Couture – The Simple Life is what raised me, essentially, and got me interested in fashion. Lil Nas X is so fun, and so chill that I can show him things that he wouldn’t necessarily have liked before and he’s down. He’s thinking about fashion in a different way because he’s maturing as an artist, so he’s really exciting to work with.
How did Tama’s Corner begin?
TG: I was obsessed with thrifting, and Florida is one of the best places because it’s like where people go to retire, and eventually pass. It first started off as a thrift store, then evolved into making jewellery, then clothes. I’ve always wanted to make artists’ merch that didn’t feel like artists’ merch: something that you can tie back to me as an artist, but it’s not a shirt with a picture of me on it. I put song lyrics, then cheeky sayings from reality TV.
It was crazy to see it grow; you can tie in your music and identity as an artist to your brand, but it doesn’t have to be so traditional. When Matthew styled Coi [Leray], she chose it. Lil Miquela was the first [to wear it] – I remember getting so many requests for that shirt. So it’s funny in a way to see it, because other artists are wearing it, not necessarily knowing that it’s artists’ merch.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity throughout.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.