Jerrod Carmichael
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Coveted: Hot Me$$ Bomber Jacket

Hot Mess Bomber

Matt Sarafa (photo below), the Manhattan Beach, California native who appeared on the first season of Project Runway Junior (he placed eighth), just launched a capsule collection of unisex sportswear under the label Hot Me$$. We especially love the Bad Bit¢h Bomber Jacket. We recently spoke with the eighteen-year-old wunderkind, now a newly enrolled freshman at UCLA, about the new line and his plans for the future.

How did the collection come about?
“So,the line that I launched is called Hot Me$$. It’s a very streetwear, unisex, edgy kind of collection.

I feel like it really encompasses my personal style and is the stuff I love to wear on a day to day basis. It was all inspired by the graphic design you see on the back of the bomber jacket. I love all the pieces but the bomber jacket has a special place in my heart because it’s where it all started. 

I was on Project Runway Juniors Season 1. And during the ‘Unconventional’ challenge - I really struggled with that one - one of the judges, Aya Kanai from Seventeen magazine said my model looked very uncomfortable like he was wearing a straight jacket. And, I said, ‘I know. It’s a hot mess.’  So, after filming, I immediately went back and did some sketches, making some changes to the look, and I started showing it to people - I didn’t really have any intentions for it - but people thought it was cool so I kind of developed a collection around that."

Who inspires you?
"I’m inspired a lot by pop culture. I love Rihanna, I think she’s such a bad bitch. I love drag queens. RuPaul, of course. Naomi Smalls. 

But, on the design-side, I’m inspired by Givenchy, Alexander McQueen has been a big one. I like designers that aren’t afraid to take risks and go a little avant-garde."

Where is Hot Me$$ being produced?
"Most of it is made locally, here in Los Angeles. This is where I get most of my fabrics, in downtown L.A. There are some pieces - like the patch on the jacket which come from overseas - but, all of the clothes are being made here."

Now that you’ve just enrolled in UCLA and you have college life ahead of you, do you plan to keep up with the collection?
"
Absolutely. I definitely plan on keeping up with the design. I’m glad I’ll be able to keep up with that outside the classroom since I won’t be studying that per se. That’s always going to be there. I love fashion so much and it’s really the only thing - at this point - I can see myself doing.

I’m only 18. And, I’m a fashion designer, so I’m more of a creative person…It’s just so tough getting all the financial side in order. 

But, I’m really lucky because my dad is a businessman. I struggled with him - with the gay thing, my dad and I never really saw eye to eye - but this collection, this really brought us together. I’m very creative. But, he’s really conservative and just really about business. So, he was really able to help me with that. What’s great is not only was this just about starting my own line but I got to improve my relationship with my dad."

What was the best piece of advice you got on Project Runway Juniors?

"One thing that really stuck with me that Tim Gunn told me, was to edit my pieces, but don’t lose who I am as a designer." 

You too can embrace your inner Hot Me$$ by shopping the collection at MattSarafa.com. The Bad Bit¢h Bomber Jacket retails for $125.

Mattsarafa

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