NewsPinellas County


Local T-shirt designer uses his talents to help future chefs in Northeast High School's culinary arts program

1771 Designs is know for playful Rays shirts
Posted at 4:57 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 07:23:52-04

LARGO, Fla. — Matt Shapiro loves art, loves design and loves Tampa Bay.

"So I took those passions and started creating T-shirts of the area," says the 31-year-old Largo talent.

His 1771 Designs apparel is a celebration of all things us: the wildlife (pelicans), the iconic structures (the Pier) and the sports.

His Rays shirts have become hot during the baseball team's current playoff run.

But Matt's newest design project is truly a labor of local love.

His brother-in-law, Chef Curtis Serata, runs the award-winning culinary arts program at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg.

The teaching kitchen, one of the best in the state, normally raises money through catering, on-campus sales and an in-house bistro that's open to the public.

But the pandemic has suspended a lot of those events.

"This year we're extremely limited in what we can do," says Serata.

But the program needs money, especially to help the future chefs compete on a state-wide level.

Enter the budding T-shirt mogul.

"I wanted to use my passions to help the program," says Matt.

So he's created a very cool line of chef-inspired shirts supporting his family and friends at Northeast High.

The shirts cost $20, and proceeds go to helping the program.

Matt is hoping to raise around $1,000.

For more information on 1771 Designs, go here.