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It's hard not to love what Josh loves. Not only because of his keen eye for vintage clothing and memorabilia (exhibited by his instagram @black_zuckerberg), but also because of his palpable enthusiasm and knowledge of all of it. If you didn’t know you loved 90s era dirt bike racing (maybe you don’t even know what 90s era dirt bike racing is or what it looks like), you’ll love it by the time you’re done talking to Josh.

On a recent sunny and humid day in Brooklyn we stopped by Josh’s spot for a coffee, some conversation, and to see just a small portion of his wild collection of vintage pieces. What follows is only a selection of our sweeping talk that included everything from what got him started collecting to why Klein is the Porsche of bikes.

ADSUM: Where are you from?

JOSH MATTHEWS: I’m from Houston, Texas. I moved to New York when I was 17. I'm 33 now. Been here a long time.

Where did your interest in vintage come from?

I just like gear. I’ve always liked gear. But really, everything always came from my mother, Marilyn, and my brother, Trent. My mother liked to stretch the dollars, so I always ended up wearing my brothers clothes. She was always into vintage.

People always use that word “vintage” but it’s really not about “vintage”. It’s about quality, taste, and timeless style. People actually used to give a damn about having a brand that stood for something. People started to move away from that in the mid 90's. Manufacturing moved. Businesses grew to the point where they started cutting out all these little costs. But you cut this out, you cut that out, and then you cut this out too; soon you’re going to be left with nothing but holes.

My mother taught me what was good. Her and my father; he was a vet. So all his old marine corps stuff was nuts. The quality and the way it looked. The stuff I got from my brother was great. I just wanted more of that. My mom used to go to the Airline flea market in north Houston every Sunday and sell her stuff and then she would go to all the yard sales and estate sales around Westhimer and the nicer neighborhood around there to re-up on some very nice finds.

She was teaching me the good shit. She was into Cole Haan before all the BS. Baker furniture. Everything I know about furniture I know from her. She didn’t play games. We were washing our clothes from 8 years old. You’d mess shit up but you’d learn. “OK, cant put bleach on that.” We would iron our own clothes. I used to iron my socks and underwear. My sister always thought I took it way too far. The week before school started, I spent the whole week ironing everything.

Josh's mother Marilyn
People always use that word “vintage” but it’s really not about “vintage”. It’s about quality, taste, and timeless style.
Josh's brother Trent in the Oilers hat & his cousin Alonzo in the Bart t-shirt

So is that where your style came from?

Yea, mostly from my brother. He’s 13 years older. That’s why I love Bally so much. That’s why I love Fendi so much. I’m 33, he’s 46. He always kept me close. Him and my cousin Alonzo. They had two different styles but we’re born the same year. My brother has a real fly guy look. Polo Ranger boots? He was the first one to get a pair of those. He ended up giving the Rangers to my dad and picking up another pair of the Chukka. I used to wear that with a polo sweater vest and some Gap jeans. They used to be real real nice. Your boy used to rock a sweater vest dumb hard. I ain’t gonna lie to you, a good white t-shirt and sweater vest and a pair of Polo Chukka boots... you couldn’t tell me shit haha.

I owe everything to my brother. He was like a second father to me. Always made sure I was good and taught me a lot. Everybody knew Trent. All the ladies loved Trent. All the dudes wanted to be like Trent. He was a fly dude always doing wild shit. He’d get a motorcycle and just start doing wheelies on the freeway. 90MPH on one wheel going down a huge 4 lane Texas highway and then, just to be a dick, flip on the turn signal and switch a lane.

He was the first dude in the hood to have a Porsche. In 7th grade I used to always be late on purpose so I would miss the bus and he'd have to drive me to school. His style was always fly. They don’t make people like him anymore. It’s kind of like a shame, like damn you gave this dude looks, you gave this dude brains, you gave this dude wave and style. Damn, you gave him everything... just didn’t give him no fuckin’ height haha.

My mother too. Talking about things people are only now getting into. Fiorucci & shit. We used to go to clearance centers in Houston. New York and all the big cities would get all the regional rare shit at the first drop, but guess what, when the time runs out and nothing sold, where are you going to put it? You send it to a place like Dillards clearance center in Texas. They can house all that.

At the time, buying used or vintage clothing was not aspirtational for young black and minority kids. You probably already had "hand me downs", so actively going out to buy used or vintage clothes was not the move. It would be like a step back. Besides, wasn't no vintage in the "wanna be a baller" video. People were feeling the stuff I was wearing, but no one knew where I was getting it from. I would get the new stuff too, but there was even better shit out there that they didn’t even make no more. Getting used Calvin Klein jeans for 99 cents. Finding made in USA gear.

I must have been in 8th grade, that’s when I really realized there was a difference in quality between what was out at the time in the stores and what people used to make. I think at the time it was Silver Tab Levis that was really big in the stores. I never forget the first time I got my first pair of made in the USA 501’s and I was like “Yo these are different. These look different. These are tight!” They looked way better with my clothes because all that stuff at the time was made baggy so it looked crazy. This was a normal fit, just a little looser and I was like “My shit look tight like this. Alright cool.”

People were like “Where you get this and that from? I was just like ”Don’t worry about it, just know I got it” haha. Trying to outdo people. Getting fly to impress the girls. I was just trying to get some barks out there. I mean it’s cool to want the fellas to be like “Damn, that dude know what it is.” but man you really want to impress the girls.

A 1980s era Dallas Cowboys practice jersey made famous by players like Herschel Walker

What do you think of style or fashion?

I like to mix it up. Part hood part fashion with a little sportswear sprinkled in, but never hood fashion "you feel me?". That Barcelona jump suit with that M3 hat is a hot look. I like wild shit. Some people say “I didn’t know I could do that.” or something. You can do whatever you want. Fashion is supposed to be fun, so have fun.

What’s the story with this Bridgestone lightbox?

I was driving in California. I was looking for furniture to house knick knacks and I saw that and was like “Oh shit!”. It didn’t look like this when I found it. I cleaned everything inside and out. It was hiding behind so much.

Why is it on the floor?

I was going to hang it but I like some stuff on the floor. I don’t know why.

A Bridgestone lightbox and the a Kappa tracksuit in Barcelona colors
Gary Klein, the founder of Klein Bikes

Same here. Some of us have our beds on the floor.

Haha, I got the closest I could with the bed because I have to store stuff under my bed. I don’t like having a lot of shit but New York makes it look like you have a lot, even if you don’t.

Except bikes; I like to have a lot of bikes. I just picked up two more Kleins that will be here next week. I’ve always liked Kleins. The dude, Gary Klein, he was just a wild dude but you see him and it’s like “That’s him!? That’s the fuckin’ guy?”

All the stuff he was doing is insane. He’s an MIT graduate. He was blowing minds engineering wise. To top it off he took that mentality to the paint. That’s why the paint is always so wild. You think he would be like Doug Bradbury from Manitou Cycles. He looked the part. Super handsome. You’re like “Yea, that’s a wild boy.”

Gary Klein was like, “What the fuck?” He looks like a schlub. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

A small selection of Josh's bikes

How long have you liked bikes?

From the moment I first saw a bike, I liked bikes. I was like “I don’t know what that is, but I like it.” I remember this little red bike I had. I used to go to Hermann Park in Houston. I liked to go fast so my dad would let me go down this hill called Hippie Hill and just let me go as fast as I could. One time I hit a tree and he just told me not to tell my mom.

If you could have one bike for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It would have to be a Klein Pinnacle. You can’t beat them. Klein are like the Porsche of bikes. Even the font is similar.

What’s getting you excited right now?

I've been dipping back into an old flame a lot recently...motorsports. Speed and style, two of my favorite things. That point when someone has just finished a race, like dudes on the podium... that’s a fly ass look. They got the jacket, they got the hat on, and their talking about how they screwed someone over at the chicane. That moment in time is the pinnacle of sports for me. That’s where I live on the subject. That in-between before the race or game, and after the win.

Do you have a favorite piece?

This Hutch BMX jersey. This is a real factory piece. I used to race BMX but then my pops was like “That shit is expensive. I can’t do it.” haha.

LEFT: Josh's favorite bike RIGHT: Josh's favorite piece of apparel
"Speed and style, two of my favorite things."
Mesh Suzuki team jersey
Sean Penn as Spicoli from Fast Times with some good looks

Do you have a favorite movie for style inspiration?

Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Everything that Sean Penn wears in that movie is flame. Very very. The slip-ons. Just the way he wore it. Everything was sick. Rad is another great one.

Where’s your favorite place to eat around NYC?

My favorite place here in New York is La Dynastia on 72nd St. It’s a Chino-Latino spot. My homie Post put me on. It’s banging. They make this Chicken Crackling. That’s real good.

Where’s the spot in Houston?

Pappas Seafood House... (the one in Greenspoint). and Whataburger of course "let me get a #2".

Nike bicycle jersey

We know you for vintage, we know you like bikes, we know you like cars. What else?

I like watches. I like Rolexes and Seiko's. My favorite is the Submariner and the Pro Diver. I like the ocean. I really like swimming. Not really the pool though. It’s the oceans. We know more about space than we know about the ocean.

It’s like when you talk to people who say they love going over to Europe. It’s like “Have you been to other places in America? Have you seen other spots in your own country.” Everyone has this bougie perception “Oh, I know all about Europe.” Cool. You know all about THEIR shit. What do you know about your own shit?

That’s everybody’s problem. They’re too worried about other people’s shit and not about their own. The ocean is right here on earth man. Let's figure out a little bit more about that.

What’s next for you?

I don’t know what my plan is... I do know I would like to give people an elevated experience with vintage and good taste as a channel. That’s my problem with most vintage stores. If you’re not a digger, then the average person can't appreciate them. You unearth the gems, you clean them up & restore their luster, and put them on display for people to enjoy, right? At least that's how I see it.

"Not everybody wanna see the making of the movie man...they just wanna watch and enjoy the shit". That's all I wanna do. I just want to find the best stuff possible and deliver it tastefully and in an interesting way to all that care to check it.

Navy faced Rolex Submariner