TRUSST is “a medium, a dialogue, a proposition. A visual influence reflecting the cyclical nature of thoughts and actions. A collection of shifting aesthetics and forms, timeless in nature. A venue for international correspondence; a platform for creative evolution. A community. An inspired showcase, a contemporary tool. A context for fashion and other work.” TRUSST’s self proclaimed mandate is beautiful and inspirational; it reads like a poem. But for a square mind like mine (damn law school), I have to admit it’s slightly nebulous. Luckily Melissa Matos and Andrew Ly, the creative minds behind TRUSST, were nice enough to spare a half-hour in their busy schedule to expound on the fruits of their labour.
“The concept of TRUSST: we create images and communicate them in alternative ways. To us, it’s so simple.” TRUSST was born less than a year ago through the union of two young visionaries, who had previously collaborated with reputable brands and publications including ELLE, Vogue and L’Oreal; they clearly weren't newbies. Together, they are TRUSSTclub, a multidisciplinary creative agency which operates in the fashion and media industries, and TRUSST, formerly a gallery boutique on Saint-Laurent. But trying to define TRUSST by its physical location would be doing it a grave injustice, especially given that they’re launching a virtual online shop… and have just closed down the gallery. Do they see that as a setback? Not in the slightest. Far from signaling the demise of TRUSST, giving up its bricks-and-mortar space will free it from its geographical limitations and allow it to evolve and transform from project to project. As Melissa puts it, “the space was a little cocoon where we started, and now we are ready to fly away.”
Weaving a global community, one thread at a time
TRUSST’s recent streak of creative endeavours has led to many noteworthy realizations, namely Montreal Fashion Week showcases presenting three emerging designers (Natasha Thomas, Christian l’enfant Roi and Samuel Mercure), and another featuring Ying Gao and Karl Latraverse’s transformable designs. There’s also been an exciting collaboration with Mugler’s designer Nicola Formichetti (yes yes, as in Gaga’s stylist) and Rico the Zombie (see this month’s cover story).
Melissa and Andrew are quick to admit that, although both consider Montreal their home, they refuse to limit their career aspirations to our little island. And why should they? New York, Paris, London and Barcelona are calling. The duo is restless, and constantly seeks to be challenged and stimulated in novel ways. “A picture of a pretty girl in a pretty dress is not enough for us. There has to be a feeling. We want people to relate to what we do. We want to be able to give back and communicate our vision. We want to involve the community. We want the community to be a part of what we do.” Community is a recurring theme they bring up in conversation, but it’s not just a modish concern to them. As a way to give back to their milieu, TRUSST helps young designers grow and develop their vision on a volunteer basis. Now, if that doesn’t restore trust…