Matty Matheson launches workwear brand Rosa Rugosa



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Rosa Rugosa, launching today, is modern workwear that is durable, well fitted and Canadian-made.

Founders chef Matty Matheson and designer Ray Natale have worked in industries where trade garments are an essential part of their day-to-day routine. The long, hard hours spent honing their craft have seen each of them witness their respective workwear break down frequently. Seeking clothes that provide utility, quality and style led to their partnership. Their shared belief is that quality, more than anything else, determines the success of a concept: the strength of a lifestyle brand and its connection to those who outwardly support it. In conjunction with the launch, Matheson spoke with i-D and The New York Times about the brand’s origins and intention, as well as showcased select pieces from the line.

In 2017, Matheson and Natale connected on the belief that there wasn’t a Canadian line that truly represented what they felt was the foundation of workwear. They wanted something simple, durable and could be worn well; something that any size or shape could confidently wear. They wanted something that was made in our town.

As the partnership grew and the brand developed, they found a local factory that aligned with how they wanted to manufacture the garments; heavy-weighted cotton, double stitched, built to last. It was exciting and hopeful, but then the pandemic hit and the factory closed. It was devastating, but in that devastation, they found opportunity. The factory agreed to sell them the sewing equipment needed to make the garments. From that, the Factory of Roses was born. As a result, they have been able to oversee every step of the design and production processes, employ local artisans and outfit local workers. Notably, the staff at Matheson’s latest restaurant Prime Seafood Palace, both front and back of house, wear Rosa Rugosa.

Through the willingness of life on life’s terms, they took the biggest leap of all to create something they believed in. Clothing that would allow the wearer to shine and be themselves, to be their full potential. Clothing that allowed them to be seen, to be heard, to create. Clothing that doesn’t break down.

Beauty is the crack in the concrete and the rose that grows in the gravel. Rosa Rugosa, for work or sport.