Along with looking drop dead amazing in his underwear, Matthew Camp is a man of many talents. The California native turned downtown New York model, designer and art scene stealer is also a fashion designer, tattoo artist, and most recently—a fragrancier. His new cologne 8.5 comes packaged in a poppers bottle, just to give you an idea of his raunchy sense of humor.
After we got Matthew in front of our camera sporting a wrestling singlet for a revealing Model Talk video, we sat down with the multi-talented inked stud for some more in depth details. Matthew told us about his move to New York, his careers in modeling, go-go dancing, his work with Matthew Camp Designs, and some upcoming projects to look forward to from our new favorite man about town.
Check out our exclusive Matthew Camp interview and some of our favorite shots of the model in his underwear (because, of course)—and let us know your favorite side of the multifaceted stud!
The Underwear Expert: You’re a California boy…
Matthew: I am!
TUX: What brought you to New York City?
Matthew: I had a lot going on in California before I moved here. I was doing little fashion shows with a bunch of other people and working, getting into the arts scene in Sacramento. I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento and then to New York. Basically, I just needed a change. I felt like I had taken over this small town already, and I was ready for a bigger challenge. I really wanted to change everything, and challenge myself as much as I could, so I thought there’s no better place to do it than in New York.
TUX: What do you love most about the city?
Matthew: I love the diversity; I love how many different kinds of people are here. It really is just a epicenter of culture. I enjoy Brooklyn the most, because it’s a little less postured than some of the other areas.
I mean, you could see—this sounds so bad! [Laughs]—but you could see like this zombified heroin addict wandering down the street and it’s just so raunchy and real, and interesting. You can find that in Brooklyn, but you can also find really great apartments. There’s just an even bigger mix than in the city, I think.
TUX: How did you first get into modeling? Which came first, dancing on the bar or posing for the camera?
Matthew: I started modeling back in California. I think Steven Underhill for XY was the first modeling thing I had ever done and that was fun, I liked it. Since then, I kept getting offered gigs so I just took them. It was just fun after a while, you get to meet tons of people.
TUX: So how did you get into go-go dancing?
Matthew: I got into go-go dancing because I had gotten fired from Bloomingdales MAC counter [Laughs] and I was on unemployment. I was like, ‘Well, I kind of enjoy not doing anything and getting money.’ So, I though how can I keep doing this? I figured—this sounds so bad, I don’t know if you should ever print this! [Laughs]. Basically, I was at a club and they were like, ‘Oh, you should dance here.’ And I was like, ‘Oh no way, I’m too shy.’ But then I was like, ‘Alright totally, I’ll do it.’ I don’t know if you know Sugarland, have you ever been there?
TUX: Of course!
Matthew: Yeah, OK so that was like eight years ago when I started doing that, maybe not eight maybe like six or seven. But it’s been a while.
TUX: Bet that’s how everyone gets their start, being fired from the MAC counter at Bloomingdales.
Matthew: [Laughs] Really??
TUX: It sounds like a classic tale! So, how would you describe the design aesthetic of your leather collection?
Matthew: This particular run that I did, my inspiration was—what would I make if I didn’t have any sewing machines? How would I put this together if I [lived] a less heavily industrialized existence? So I thought I would do stuff that Native American people would do, which is get leather hides and warp them together and wrap them. That was the inspiration. It looked a little bit more S&M-y, which I like, not than I anticipated but than a normal Native American garment would look.
But basically, I want things to be super clean, and timeless, and about lifestyle. It’s not about dressing up for play or anything like that. Someone would wear this jacket because it represents the aesthetics that they like from season to season, year to year.
TUX: Tell us about your new fragrance 8.5, which comes in a poppers bottle. What was your inspiration for the scent, title, and packaging?
Matthew: Well, my name is Matthew Camp. So I feel like it’s a little bit important for me to honor that with having a little bit of tongue-in-cheek references in the stuff that I do, and a little bit of humor.
So the poppers bottle—I think popper are great. I think they’re disgusting, and that’s why I love them. [Laughs] They’re just so bad, you know? This fragrance was really good and really rich when I made it, and it also reminded me of poppers.
When I was talking about it with people I was like, I think this needs to be in a poppers bottle. It would just make so much sense, and I think it would leave that emotional impression that you want to get on somebody when you make something. They already have a story built up, an association with poppers. So by putting it in a poppers bottle it would only build on that association for them.
TUX: And how about the title?
Matthew: 8.5 is a reference to a few things. Obviously, it’s in reference to a penis size. There’s no getting around the obvious one. Also Fellini, I love the way that he portrays sexuality as so tormented and beautiful at the same time. That was one of the other main inspirations, the film 8.5.
Check out the video trailer for Matthew’s fragrance 8.5:
TUX: How did you get into tattoo design and tattooing?
Matthew: I’ve fantasized about tattooing for quite some time, probably since I was a child. It was really appealing to me for a number of reasons. I like the idea of physically scarring someone in a really beautiful way. I think that’s a really powerful interaction, and I’m sadistic so I wanted to do it! [Laughs] I like drawing and I love tattoos, so it seemed like a natural transition.
TUX: What can you tell us about the design on your right arm?
Matthew: The snake. I actually didn’t design it, I brought it to another artist, because it’s very hard to have your own artwork around you constantly, because you constantly pick it apart. I picked out a snake that I liked—do you know who Earnest Haeckel is? He’s this scientific illustrator from the 50s I believe, he had a lot of influence on architecture and a lot of art during that time was based on his illustration. They basically made these really beautiful scientific illustrations of microscopic organisms that were in the ocean. That’s what the little balls that look like flowers are on my arm. Then the snake is coming out water, which is supposed to be a Kundalini, or a representation of one.
It’s also just a snake, and I like snakes because they’re cool.
TUX: That they are! Do you have a favorite brand of underwear?
Matthew: I actually wear Joe Boxer quite a bit [laughs]. Because it’s super cheap and I can just throw them away if I want. They’re really long in the crotch so my balls can hang down—it’s really comfortable. If I’m going to be dressing up sexy, it’s probably going to be a pair of Calvin Klein.
TUX: What style of underwear do you find most sexy on a guy?
Matthew: No underwear. [Laughs] I like boxer briefs, I think those are the most appealing for me.
TUX: Your first answer works too, we’ll accept that! So, what do you want to do next? Are there any upcoming things you have on the horizon that you’re shooting for?
Matthew: I’m working on some t-shirts that should be pretty sleazy. I’m updating my website soon, so as soon as I have the projects finished I’ll be taking pictures of them and updating it. For now I’m just filling orders for jackets and cologne.
TUX: How do you stay in shape and maintain your body?
Matthew: Well, I like to eat a lot. Sometimes I forget, but usually I try to eat 2000 calories a day to 3000, which I think is normal. But it’s hard. This month I’ve been obsessed with hamburgers, and I’ve been eating like three hamburgers a day. I have the weirdest eating habits!
I just go to the gym and I want to get high basically. So I’ll just workout as hard as I can, and as soon as I feel elated I’m good to go.
TUX: So you go more based on feeling.
Matthew: Of course I like to look strong, who doesn’t? But I definitely like the way it feels more than anything.
SHOP underwear brands in this series:
Calvin Klein Underwear, available at Freshpair.com
Joe Boxer, available at Joeboxer.com
Andrew Christian, available at Andrewchristian.com
Nasty Pig, available at Nastypig.com
Matthew’s fragrance 8.5 and other original designs available at MatthewCampDesigns.com and TAGG in New York City.
Photo Credits: Edwin Pabon, Vincent Vega, MatthewCampDesigns.com