Mathura Scott Hawley, a beloved Creative Director and writer, died on Sunday, December 10th, in Palm Springs, CA, at the age of 59, from complications from surgery related to multiple myeloma. Mathura was a talented storyteller who inspired brands and teams with his signature insight, passion, kindness and side-splitting humor.
Mathura was born Christopher Scott Hawley to John Wesley Hawley and Regina Hawley in Johnson City, NY. After graduating from Binghamton University in 1986, Mathura headed to New York City, where he entered the world of advertising at Wells, Rich, Greene and Carlson & Partners. He worked his way up to Senior Art Director on the Ralph Lauren account, creating iconic ads for a wide array of brands from Polo Jeans to RRL to Polo Sport, working closely with legendary photographers Bruce Weber and Richard Phibbs. At 28, he began to write and direct TV spots.
Mathura brought his signature kindness and spirit to Gap, Inc. where, as Creative Director, he revamped print and store imagery for the global brand. After a stint as Creative Director for The Children’s Place, he then opened his own studio, creating campaigns and rebranding for clients, including American Eagle Outfitters, Pepe Jeans London, CCA Global, White House Black Market, Brahmin and VH-1. A project dear to his heart was working with Bruce Weber on the launch of Shinola Pet products, made by hand in Detroit by local people in need.
Mathura returned to Ralph Lauren to help launch American Living, an original brand for JCPenney. With Bruce Weber, he dreamed up life in a small town filled with characters and adventures, and captured it over one week on the eastern shore of Virginia. The campaign kicked off in 2008, with five commercials that premiered during the Academy Awards and social media videos that were ahead of their time.
Mathura then went to VF Corporation as Senior Creative Director and built the first in-house agency at Nautica, where he rolled-out new positioning: “Inspired by the sea. Designed in the city.” He launched Nautica’s first digital campaign, Ocean2Ocean, creating more than 30 videos featuring real “water people” who embodied the values of the brand. He also helped to develop the first diversity committee for VF Corporation, establishing a LGBTQ Taskforce for Nautica/Kipling.
Mathura was then brought in as Executive Creative Director to help evolve Hanna Andersson from a 35-year-old catalog company to a digital-first, premium kids brand. He recast the creative team to an agency model, opened an in-house digital studio, and established a social strategy that would celebrate and connect Hanna’s family-oriented history with millennial parents. Promoted to VP of Brand Marketing, he called this the most challenging and rewarding experience of his corporate career.
After Hanna Anderson, Mathura focused on more purpose-driven projects and, most recently, served as Chief Branding Officer for wegotthis.org, the first non-profit gift registry for cancer thrivers and supporters. He was a lifelong supporter of LGBTQ rights, GMHC, Green Chimneys, and served on the event board for Dove Lewis Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
For all his accomplishments, being a “dog dad’ – to Puddles and then Rudy, Bruno and Luke – was Mathura’s “greatest pleasure in life.” He had every album of Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Jennifer Holiday, and a treasured autograph collection of 70’s stars, such as Phyllis Diller and Carol Burnett. Mathura was, and forever will be, a Stevie Nicks fan. Most everyone in Mathura’s orbit describes him as the funniest person they ever met.
In 2014, he took the name Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna, as a way to represent the birth of his own spiritual journey.
Mathura is survived by his brother, John B. Hawley, sister-in-law Eleanor Hawley, nieces Devon and Kaitlyn Hawley, nephew John Hawley, Jr. and ex-wife Beth A. Hawley. Donations can be made to HERE.