Matt Baldwin spent years searching for the next best brand of jeans to carry at his Kansas City boutique. In the process, he discovered a gaping hole in the denim market—and ripe opportunity to fill it. Focusing on ultra-premium Japanese and American selvedge denim with a modern cut, he set out to create the perfect pair. What started as three men’s styles—sometimes with only 70 units at a time—has now evolved into a bona fide lifestyle brand including shirts, pants, denim and accessories. Named one of GQ’s menswear designers of the year in 2013 and coming off the recent launch of a full women’s line, Matt Baldwin sat down to answer our Style Questionnaire.

Current Residence: Kansas City, Missouri
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Occupation: Founder/designer, Baldwin Denim & Collection

Describe your style in three words.
Modern, form, function.

Who had the biggest influence on your style?
The snowboarding world is where I got my start in the clothing and apparel space. I’ve always been influenced by the street style world as well as architecture and design.The result is a mix of high performance and technical outerwear pieces in my closet and my Baldwin line.

Always dress for the tasks of the day.

If you could have one piece of clothing from your childhood, what would it be?
It would have to be my first Powell Peralta T-shirt that I got when I was in fourth grade.

What’s one thing you always remember when getting dressed?
I always dress for the tasks of the day.

What are three pieces that every man should have in his closet?
A pair of dry denim to break in and make your own, the perfect-fitting white tee, and a perfect pair of sunglasses. Those essentials can map back to just about anyone’s style.

What’s one thing a man should do to improve his style?
Find a tailor.

What stores or websites do you frequent?
My go-to sites are ted.com, burton.com, the rabbit holes of Tumblr, jjjjound.com, and Muji, to name a few.

What trend would you like to see disappear?
I am not a fan of oversized bedazzled dragons on denim pockets.

When you want to make a good impression, what do you wear?
My go-to suit: A J. Lindeberg black or navy, in a slim, modern tailored fit.

What’s one thing that is always worth splurging on?
Lift tickets.