Having grown up in York, where he is still based, Matty Bovan, 29, graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA specialising in Fashion Knitwear (under the late Louise Wilson for the first year, followed by Fabio Piras for the final year), having previously spent 4 years doing his BA specialising in Knitwear (under Sarah Gresty). His 12-look graduate collection opened the final show, exhibiting his cacophony of sculptural knits, textures and wild, handmade adornments, which earned him the L'Oréal Professionel Creative Award, closely followed by the LVMH Graduate Prize 2015, for which he received 10,000 Euros and a year's placement as a Junior Designer at Louis Vuitton, under Nicholas Ghesquière. Before starting at LV, he was invited by Katie Grand (who is now Creative Consultant on his shows) to do some research for Marc Jacobs in New York; he has also worked with Miu Miu.
This September, he holds his third stand-alone show at London Fashion Week. It was recently announced that he has been awarded for the second time two-show support from BFC NEWGEN, (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2020 shows). He has previously shown three times as part of Fashion East.
This July, he launched his first ecommerce on mattybovan.com, pieces showcased within the recent launch of ‘Beautiful Teddy,' the latest in his limited edition zine series. Matty Bovan Stockists include: matchesfashion.com, Joyce HK, 10 Corso Como, H Lorenzo, and Blake Chicago, and his work is regularly worn by Georgia May Jagger, Björk, Adwoa Aboah, Rita Ora, and Tilda Swinton, amongst others.
His Autumn/Winter 2019 Collection was prompted by a letter he received addressed to his late grandmother, containing the odd claim promising to becalm the nerves of recipients with the sale of warehouse furniture. Unsettled by it's rhetoric, he photocopied the last eight words., which formed the inspiration and title for his Autumn/Winter 2019 collection: In Uncertain Times, This Is A Sure Thing! Already, sinister thoughts had been afoot. He spent six months researching the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, obsessively reading about the Lancastrian massacre against mysticism. He became consumed by folklore and myth. Visiting the Liberty Fabric archives, he selected their Tana Lawn pattern, scaling up the tiny graphics to find the wizardry in their colour blend, turning the collection into an exploration of Englishness.
Stephen Jones for COACH X Matty Bovan headware formed from Coach Signature canvas, as well as Gina for COACH x Matty Bovan footwear, and outsidzed hair scrunches and bows in Liberty Fabric prints by Katie Hillier were also prevalent with the craft element continuing into talismans held by the models. In an ongoing relationship with Coach, he pushed the idea of proportin to whole new scales for a set of fanny packs presented in his Spring/Summer 2018 show, exclusive to Matches Fashion and Coach.
In September 2018, he collaborated with artists Rory Mullen and Adam Leach to create a fully immersive site-specific installation comprising video projections, live performance and sculpture, within the Leeds room at the London Design Biennale at Somerset House. Entitled Just/Unjust, it has been inspired by a carved wooden chimney piece depicting the 'Dance of Death' in The Red Drawing Room at Burton Agnes Hall, an Elizabethan Manor House near Bovan's home and studio in Yorkshire. London's Design Museum nominated a tweed and tulle gown, topped off with a Stephen Jones for Matty Bovan balloon-festooned head piece, a finale look from his Autumn/Winter 2018 Show, for inclusion in their ‘Beazley Designs of the Year 2018' Exhibition. He has previously collaborated with Barbie, House of Voltaire, Charles Jeffrey, Port Eliot Festival, Miller Harris, and M.A.C, who continue to support his shows.