When Matteo Guidicelli broached the idea of collaborating on a ripped jeans collection to Avel Bacudio, the fashion designer didn’t take the actor seriously. Thinking it was just small talk, Bacudio gave a perfunctory answer.
Guidicelli is such a fan of ripped jeans that he wears them all the time, and his friends often tease him about it.
“But I don’t mind because I love them,” said the actor, who met Bacudio through a brand he was endorsing, for whom the designer was a consultant.
Last year, they traveled together again and, on their flight home, the actor brought up once more his jeans idea.
“That’s when I realized he was serious,” Bacudio said. “I didn’t get to sleep. I started working on it right away. After a month, I presented what I came up with to him.”
On July 3, Avel X Matteo, the duo’s limited jeans collection, was launched at a party in a Makati venue, attended by their show-biz friends led by Guidicelli’s girlfriend, Sarah Geronimo.
The collection, consisting of eight jean styles for men and eight for women, is sold at P1,499 a pair, exclusively for the first three months via online retailer Shopee.
All styles have Italian names, in a nod to the actor’s heritage.
And — the jeans aren’t all ripped, Guidicelli clarified with a laugh. It was just one of the many lessons the newbie designer-entrepreneur learned throughout the process: that the market may not want all ripped styles.
“It’s nice to do things outside of your comfort zone. I’ve never produced something like this before, and it’s nice to have a new challenge, to add a new aspect to what I do,” Guidicelli said backstage.
“What really got me into it is that I love the product. I really love ripped jeans. I wear them all the time. Sometimes I want a certain cut and a certain rip, but I can’t find it,” he added.
He sent Bacudio all his favorite jeans, a mix of premium and affordable brands, as design pegs.
Later, they decided to create a line for women.
“Women are hot in jeans,” said Guidicelli, whose longtime love, Geronimo, was in a pair of white, ripped skinny jeans that evening. “It doesn’t matter if it’s tight, high-waist, loose. Girls in ripped jeans are really sexy. The way Avel made the women’s jeans was very, very sexy. They complement a woman’s form.”
And they’re not just for skinny women, the star added. “My sister has a hard time looking for jeans that didn’t make her hips look big. Our fabric is very, very soft and has a lot of stretch. It feels fresh, which is what we wanted, especially for our weather.”
Bacudio stressed that theirs is a true collaboration and that “Matt didn’t just sign off on what was presented to him. He gave his inputs, down to the labels we used.”
“I’m lucky Avel and the team allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” Guidicelli said. Even the TVC, in which he plays a rock star playing all the different instruments to underscore how light and flexible the jeans are, was an in-house concept. A treat for his fans, the TVCs show off the actor-triathlete’s ripped form—in various stages of undress.
The partners have also added a feel-good dimension to their venture: part of the sales go to Bacudio’s advocacy—a home supporting abandoned kids in Baguio, which Guidicelli plans to visit.
“What I like about Matt is his dedication. He likes what he’s doing, it’s not about money,” Bacudio said. “I think he also likes to work with me because he knows it’s going somewhere, which is my advocacy.”
While Avel X Matteo is limited, they could create a second collection or even expand into other apparel lines “if it does well,” said the duo.
After three months on Shopee, the collection will be available on aveldesigns.com and “some stores,” which they didn’t name.
What’s sure, Guidicelli said, is that they’re bringing Avel X Matteo to his hometown, Cebu.
“I guess the biggest lesson for me throughout this exercise was, to follow your heart and be passionate about whatever you do,” Guidicelli said.