I came to know Matthias Kaupermann from SEWE, where they were showing off their goods. I immediately knew they had something unique…something different.
Based in Charleston, SC, MK is creating luxury goods for the refined gentleman. While it’s fair to call them a luxury brand, their belts are very accessible, and give a much dressier spin to the generally casual needlepoint belt ethos. Their cornhole boards are the absolute top of the heap. I’m serious. Want to step up your tailgate, or back yard party? Here you go. You’ll never play on a nicer set.
I’m drawn to all the belts, especially the Moss & Blaze. It’s completely different than anything else I have. I love the look with jeans or khakis, bit loafers, and a great oxford dress shirt. It’s a dressed up version of a fun belt. The price per belt ($149) aligns with any other needlepoint belt in the market, save the buckle…which most of you already have. If not, this gives you a good reason to pull the trigger. Per the feeling on the MK website, these belts are ‘a notch above’. I agree.
Nathan and Austin, the guys behind MK, were nice enough to give us a little color on their brand:
What’s the story with Matthias Kaupermann?
We couldn’t say it better than what’s on the Website: “Legend has it that, in the 14th century, Matthias Kaupermann, a Bavarian cabinetmaker, was strolling through his village when he noticed some children playing a strange game: they were passing the time by taking turns throwing large stones into a hole in the ground. Concerned for their safety, Matthias returned to his workshop and built the first rudimentary cornhole set out of leftover cabinet supplies and small canvas sacks filled with corn kernels. Matthias’ game has since crossed the Atlantic and has evolved into the game that we now know today. We celebrate his legacy still.”
“Today, Matthias Kaupermann is an American luxury brand celebrating heritage and hospitality with heirloom-quality craftsmanship. We are a purveyor of luxury amusements, home goods, apparel and everyday accoutrements that marry timeless, elegant designs with the finest materials and craftsmanship. We believe in creating products that develop character, tell stories and, most importantly, stand the test of time. As a brand built on hospitality, our products are inexorably linked to the building of connections and camaraderie. Just like the various timeless and tedious techniques our craftsmen use to connect materials together during assembly, we craft vehicles that drive human connection. Our artisan craftsmen revere what is excellent, honor what is true, and take tremendous care to ensure quality in each step. We understand that the integrity of the process is as important as the finished product – a product that we hope you will enjoy for years to come.”
Our namesake, Matthias Kaupermann, may or may not have ever existed, but the legendary origins of cornhole paint a picture of a caring neighbor, a creative problem solver and an innovative craftsman. His underlying “play” it forward attitude is one of the fundamental tenants of hospitality. The end of his story is the beginning of a brand built on those principles.
What inspired you to start the brand?
I fell in love with the art & science of the tailgate as an undergrad at Auburn University. It’s such a simple pursuit that brings friends and family together. For some the bond begins with simply extending a SOLO cup to a fan in need. Over the years I have seen tailgates with silver candelabras, chandeliers and full-service catering yet not one set of quality cornhole boards of the same caliber. After concluding an extensive search without finding a product that satisfied me, I decided to design and build my own. Ultimately, Matthias Kaupermann was founded on the principle of building relationships through an elevated sense of hospitality and the accessories that accompany such a pursuit. Originally I set out to make the best cornhole board, however today we’re crafting a journey measured not in miles, but in camaraderie.
Why is Charleston a perfect backdrop for Matthias Kaupermann?
Charleston has such a robust cultural scene: the history, the architecture and the cuisine combined with the coastal climate makes for a rich & invigorating social environment. Depending on the weekend one can find himself fishing in the ocean, dining with James Beard Award winning chefs, attending a black tie gala in the city, watching polo matches on a plantation or shooting skeet in the country. The complete emersion in the life and style of Charleston is what makes Matthias Kaupermann so unique. It’s looking through the lens of the Charleston lifestyle that shapes the stories behind our product offerings. For example, I was inspired to design a classic needlepoint belt refined enough to wear with a sport coat yet casual enough to wear sport fishing. Furthermore, the pineapple has become a ubiquitous symbol for southern hospitality and in no other place is that more celebrated than in Charleston. In fact, our logo is a combination of a family crest and pineapple. Charleston is truly the perfect backdrop for Matthias Kaupermann because it embodies both the heritage & hospitality that we seek to instill in our process and our products.
What kind of guy is a MK customer?
The MK customer is a discerning gentleman with a taste for the finer things in life. He appreciates timeless materials, classic designs, attention to details & quality craftsmanship. He views a purchase like an investment. Our existing customers are our most valuable brand ambassadors.
What do we have to look forward to from MK?
We’re just getting started… However, we’re very careful and selective about how we approach product design and the development process. We have plans to introduce a variety of luxury amusements, home goods, apparel and accessories for a life refined. Stay tuned because the best is yet to come!
As you have seen over on RCS’s Instagram, I’ve been taking out the Moss & Blaze belt out for a spin, and so far, so good. It is very unique, in that it’s a nice needlepoint belt with an even nicer buckle. I’ve got a Trafalgar buckle, but MK has their own available.
In addition to the Trafalgar buckle, I have a couple others that I’m planning on using – one vintage brass buckle that I had engraved, and then an old Colonel Littleton buckle. This one is one of my favorites. It will require a hole from my cobbler, but you won’t be able to see it when wearing any of the buckles. Win.
Very well done, Matthias Kaupermann. For all of us who can’t remember the last time we wore a boring belt, we thank you.