Matt has been a regular figure in the Qld Rockabilly Scene for as long as there has been one I think (Not saying he’s old, saying he’s a stayer and true to his roots). Matt, although never one to be defined as one who belongs to this scene or that, rather, he has always held an individual style and embracing all aspects of life and culture. From being passionate about the environment to be passionate about drumming on the beaches of Burleigh at sundown with 000’s of others or then you may see him pop up at a swing dance lesson or two, whatever Matt chooses to thrown himself into you can bet he does it with conviction, passion, a winning smile and ready hugs! This is the Matt we have grown to know and love in our world and today we want to share one of our favorite Suave School for Gents Fellas, Mr February Suavecito himself! Matt is also a lover and user of all our fine Suavecito Mens Grooming Products which you can purchase on line here:
Name: Matt Keys
Managing Director of his own Company:
Habitat – https://habitat.net.au
Hobbies: Dancing, Music, Art, Fashion, Architecture, Tree Hugging
Dislikes: Not much
What’s your favourite all time inspirational quote?
“Live your life with integrity and you shall be the Light. And your Light will shine forever!” I heard this said by a reformed drug addict and homeless man as he was addressing a candle light vigil in Grand Central Station NYC on Christmas morning. I stopped and listened to his life story; it was one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever heard. Overcoming every imaginable adversity – a triumph of the human spirit.
What, for you, epitomises the very essence of a Suave Gent?
A man of honour, integrity and style. A person who respects all those in his midst. He practises kindness and appreciates the gift of life. A man who takes pride in his appearance and demonstrates old school values. Men of sound ethics and principle.
What is your idea of a heavenly day?
Kicking back with family and friends. And maybe some dancing too!
What is your idea of Hell on Earth? An extended stint in the dentists chair.
What do you consider to be the absolute key essential to being Suave?
Kindness. It doesn’t matter how well a Man’s groomed. If he holds no kindness, he has nothing.
Living, or deceased – who is your perfectly groomed role model?
Audrey Hepburn, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, Mother Teresa and my Grandma Betty. For their Grace, Dignity, Kindness and Compassion. Dr Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi. For their belief in the goodness of Humanity and their absolute rejection of violence in all forms.
What 3 items of clothing would you rescue if your wardrobe was on fire?
If my wardrobe was on fire, I’d probably just choose to go up with it. He he!! But if I had to rescue three items it’d be a vintage silk Thresher and Glenny dinner jacket, a vintage beaded silk shirt by Paul Ropp and my favourite pair of Connies.
What 3 lessons would you/will you teach your son/nephew/boy child if you could?
1. Respect yourself and all in your midst
2. Take care of women, children, the elderly and the infirm – it’s our responsibility as men
3. Approach life with love and goodwill. Don’t allow disappointments or cruelty to cloud your Spirit.
Excuse me Mam/Miss? Or Hey Lady?
Please forgive me Miss, I don’t understand the nature of your question.
Do you feel comfortable opening doors, offering right of way and pulling out a chair etc for ladies or has that time passed?
It’s not paternalistic to show respect and appreciation for ladies. Class is timeless.
Are you wary when offering an innocent compliment to a lady if you do know know them? And why?
No I do it in the street everyday, I like to pay compliments. Ladies intuitively know that these compliment’s are coming from a good place and they’re genuine. And best of all, it brings a smile to their face every time.
To dance or Not to dance?
I didn’t dance for years. A silly choice as I was too wrapped up in self-consciousness. I love dancing and would encourage any gent to get into it.
What do you think about this saying from Havelock Ellis: Charm is a women’s strength just as strength is a man’s charm.
I kind of agree and disagree. Personally, I’d say a woman of grace and compassion is most endearing to me. And a man who chooses to be kind and gentle holds my deepest respect.
Do you own or have you ever worn flip flops/thongs?
I live across the road from the beach and have a few different pairs of thongs to kick about in on the way to the surf. Would I wear thongs if headed out to see a band or for a meal? No. To each their own, I guess.
Which one of your vices, if any, do you think can lend an air of louche sophistication?
I don’t regard myself as sophisticated.
Do you think chivalry is dead?
No, it’s within all of us. We just need to show it.
Are manners still as important today?
They’re more important today than ever. They form part of overall respect for ourselves and others.
What do you define as essential/basic etiquette for men?
Manners, Respect, Personal Hygiene, the ability to listen, non-boarish behaviour, pride in appearance, compassion and open-heartedness.
Who are the fashion influences that helped define your look?
I have many influences and do my own take on each. I don’t subscribe to individual designers. I prefer styles and themes. My wardrobe has items from the 1930’s through to the 1980’s. Styles range from wide lapel 1940’s suits and silk ties, classic mid century evening wear, 50’s rockabilly, vintage western, flower child ‘60s, funky 70’s and 80’s punk.
Hat Doffing? Are you a fan? Do you practice?
I rarely wear hats so wouldn’t say I doff. Rather, a welcoming handshake and a warm smile tends to be more my style.
Who would win the girl, The charmer with Wit or the Power with Money?
The gentleman with integrity.
What is your classic favourite car?, what would you drive if you could?
When I was 16 I dreamed of one day owning a Hudson. I’m now lucky enough to own one. But if I were to pick another dream car, I’d probably wish for George Jetson’s car. Wizzing around the sky would be so much fun!