Staff Affections: Martine and Juan on Their Summer Fisherman’s Sweater

A peek at Martine & Juan’s breezy, vibey store.

September 04, 2014

Every other Thursday, The FADER asks employees and employers at our favorite shops around the world what their most cherished in-store item is for our column Staff Affections. This week, Liz Raiss caught up with Martine and Juan to chat about their eponymous Montauk store and their go-everywhere sweater. 

How did the store come about? Martine: We originally moved out to Montauk here together with the intention of having more space to make artwork. We had always had a passion for finding stuff, for hunting and thrifting. We had continuously been talking about opening a shop. I looked in the newspaper and the first space we saw was the one. We decided to use the store as a platform for our friends and ourselves, focusing on young designers and artists.

I love that the white fisherman sweater I saw in the store. Can you talk a little bit about the production and aesthetic behind it? MartineYeah, we would say that that sweater is really like beach chic; it’s basically a spin off of a fisherman’s sweater without all the heavy knitting. We consider it a defining piece of our aesthetic. Juan: I also think that it’s like, an important part of that sweater is the color that’s actually not a color at all, its the natural color of the cotton that we use. And I think that somehow that color with that texture really works, it’s something that you don’t see very often. I feel like its sort of old school ’90s preppy thing but with the dropped shoulder.

And where do you source your materials from? MartineWe source only organic cotton from Peru. Going there was amazing, it was an absolute adventure. We went to Peru without knowing anybody or anything. Juan: Well no, we had some friends to hang out with but we didn’t know any factories or have any real connections. Martine: Then we went to the organic fair because we heard they have just the most beautiful produce and we found one guy who was selling these t-shirts. He had a lot of children’s clothing and the most beautiful organic cotton. We just asked if he would be interested in manufacturing clothing for us and he said yes. Basically, he runs the operation just out of his home. 

Can you talk about the exhibit space you have in the downstairs of the shop? What was the last show you staged there? Martine: For us the exhibition space is really the soul of the store and everything we do. Because we are also artists, and we love working with other artists, it’s an exciting space and it’s always changing. So the last exhibition we did, we held our first group show. We thought it would be great to get all the homies involved. It was a really beautiful experience for us.

From The Collection:

Staff Affections
Staff Affections: Martine and Juan on Their Summer Fisherman’s Sweater