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An Exclusive: Restrepo Leather

By September 26, 2013 Accessories, Designers

Strictly handmade, the fine bags and small goods made by the husband-and-wife power team behind Restrepo Leather offer a taste of old-school craftsmanship mixed with fashion-forward style. After moving from the US to Colombia to launch their business, Robin and Jerry launched a collection devoted to creating beautiful, timeless pieces while utilizing handmade methods of production. two + seven  caught up with the design duo, learning more about their process and production—and what’s in store for this one-of-a-kind line.

Don’t miss this! Restrepo Leather is offering two + seven readers a 10% discount on women’s wallets. Just enter the code TWO+SEVEN at checkout! Valid until TKTKT. Shop Now

two + seven: After moving to Colombia and discovering a hand-made leather workshop, your lives were pretty much changed! Tell us about what it was like to start a business abroad.

Robin + Jerry: We were very fortunate when we started our business. The leather workshop that does all of our production is very talented and has decades of experience in the craft, so we didn’t have to build things from scratch. Plus we have a close friendship with the leather workshop, which made it much easier for us to resolve any cultural differences between the U.S. and Colombia. Probably the biggest issue we’ve had is that U.S. Customs once cut open one of our bags – ostensibly to look for illegal drugs.

2+7: As husband and wife (and business partners) do you guys ever butt heads?

R+J: Being great business partners is much like being good partners in the rest of our lives – the most important thing is clear communication. We have to make sure we’re on the same page about both what we are doing in the present and also our goals and vision for the future. Luckily, we complement each other well in terms of who is in charge of which parts of the business, playing to each of our strengths. Jerry works on new product design and working directly with the leather artisans. I (Robin) work on anything that has to do with the website, graphic design, and press. We come together when thinking about our strategic vision for the company and laying out the steps to get there. In many ways we make great business partners because we know each other so well and know when to push each other further and also when to back off.
2+7: Restrepo designs transcend trends with classic shapes and made-to-last construction. What inspires this aesthetic?
R+J: Because our bags are made with high-quality materials and the highest attention to detail, they’ll stick around for more than just a year or two. We don’t believe in fast fashion. So of course we need to provide designs that are timeless, something that you will still want to be using 15 years down the road. Colombia’s vibrant traditions and extreme natural beauty inspire our aesthetic – everything from the asymmetric curves of the Magdalena Handbag to the range of suede colors we line our bags with. We think we’ve struck a nice balance between timeless and unique.

Minca Tote

2+7: You have a “strictly handmade” policy when it comes to creating bags. Can you tell us about this process?
R+J: “Strictly handmade” is a fundamental part of our company’s identity. It’s a long process, noted for the painstaking attention to detail that is given along every step of the way. Each of piece of leather is hand-cut. Then each hole is hand-punched and sewn. Finally, the edges are hand-painted and sealed. Our most popular women’s bag, the Minca Tote, requires 15 hours of personal attention and takes about 4 days from start to finish.

2+7: What’s next?

R+J: The biggest thing on our radar is that we’ll be expanding what we offer in terms of small leather items like watch bands, belts, and wallets, since so far we’ve been focusing on bags. We also want to start offering 100% custom-made products, working directly with people to design and make exactly what they want, including crazy leather colors we don’t offer for our usual products. One advantage of making everything by hand is that we can work directly with the artisans to create anything you can imagine.

Want More?

www.restrepoleather.com

Twitter @restrepoleather

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Paper Fixation: Frances Lab

By August 27, 2013 Accessories, Designers
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From whimsical note cards to custom orders, paper goods from Frances Lab give us something to write home about. Handmade in Brooklyn by Johnna West, these screen-printed designs are made using water-based inks and eco-friendly printing methods. We caught up with the artful entrepreneur to see how she got her start, and what we can look forward to (hello home goods!).

two+seven: Give us some background: how did you get into illustration and screen printing?

Johnna West: Well, I guess my first real introduction to screen printing was in college, where I got my BFA in Printmaking. I really felt like screen printing was this great balance between a process adding it’s own personal touch, while still being able to maintain control over the finished product. I find the most satisfaction in making one of a kind products, you know, getting intimate with the details of each nuance, so screen-printing was the most natural way for me to make multiples of something and still feel like I hadn’t lost the quality and uniqueness that goes into hand-crafted items.

Illustration has been a huge part of my creative process for as long as I can remember. I find that I have as many notebooks filled with diagrams and descriptions as I do actual drawings and doodles. I’ve always felt like any process of getting something in our mind into our hand, is one of the most rewarding practices, and for me, everything starts with some form of illustration.

 

2+7: Where did the name “Frances Lab” come from?

JW: The company is actually named after my grandmother, Frances Beaudry. She was a phenomenal seamstress and an incredibly strong and independent woman. I have a huge affinity for the past and genealogy. I feel fortunate to have come from a family of wild cards, bold makers and shakers, and I feel like everything I do stems from the paths they, and all our ancestors have paved. I feel like it’s important for me to constantly remember what an honor it is for myself, and all other artisans and craftsmen, to be able to carry on making new paths and paving new ground for future generations. That’s what Frances Lab is really all about, and I’m so excited for things that lie ahead for the company!


2+7: What has been the hardest part about launching your business? The most rewarding?

JW: For me, the hardest part of starting and running this business is also kind of the best part: there are no right or wrongs and every decision has an alternative. It can be so easy to let yourself be paralyzed by the number of choices you have to make in a business. I constantly have to remind myself that that’s really the best part. Obviously, getting to do what you love everyday is wonderful and making something that others can get enjoyment from is unbelievably rewarding, but I think I’ve learned that a huge part of making that happen is really focusing on what the best decision for my company is, what will make me and my customers the happiest, and then following it through. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t—but either way, that makes every success and failure so much more gratifying than I ever could have imagined.

2+7: What’s the coolest (or weirdest) custom order request you’ve gotten?

JW: Weird custom orders? Hmm… I can’t say I’ve had anything that’s totally out of left-field yet. Getting requests for wedding invitations is always especially heart-warming. It never ceases to amaze me when someone wants us to help be a part of such a personal and memorable event in their lives.

2+7: Can you give us the inside scoop on your home goods collection? What can we look forward to?

JW: Ahhh, the home goods collection. Well, the first thing we have in the works is a series of pillows, prints and also some accessories that follow suit with our current one of a kind items. We also have some plans for ceramics and woven goods in the works. My mind is always all over the place with new ideas, and I love being able to tackle new projects, so we’re always open to what new opportunities await!

Want more?

www.franceslab.com

Instagram: @franceslab

 

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We Tip Our Hats to the Albertus Swanepoel Installation

By August 1, 2013 Accessories, Designers
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SUNO center      BAND OF OUTSIDERS right

SUNO center BAND OF OUTSIDERS right

On July 23rd,  Odin New York hosted the launch of a concept installation in collaboration with renowned milliner Albertus Swanepoel. The South African Albertus is highly respected for his elegant, beautifully made hats and has won industry acclaim as a runner up for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2008 and as a nominee for the CFDA/Swarovski Accessory Award in 2009.

CUSHNIE AND OCHS

Cushnie + Ochs' mannequin is the one with the black snake skin

Irene Neuwirth covered her head with semiprecious stones

Irene Neuwirth covered her head with semiprecious stones

Richard Chai's head is a patchwork camp design made from ripstop fabric with polyurethane.

Gregory Parkinson used nails to create eyes for his head.

To create this unique in-store installation at Odin New York’s store, Albertus collaborated with a series of other established fashion designers including Richard Chai, Band of Outsiders, Irene Neuwirth, Suno, Gregory Parkinson, Cushnie & Ochs, George Esquivel and Duckie Brown. Each designer created a custom mannequin head and Albertus topped these with one of a kind, limited edition hats that will be for sale at Odin New York for next month. The entire installation is available for public viewing at Odin New York.

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Secondhand Chic: the Designers of Fleabags

By April 16, 2013 Accessories, Designers
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Best friends and business partners Shira Entis and Alex Bell have it in the bag—in their Fleabags, to be precise. This dynamic duo (Shira is a fashion designer; Alex, a lawyer) dreamed up the eco-friendly handbag line after craving a convenient carryall with style to spare. Utilizing vintage and organic materials, they made it happen in an environmentally friendly way. The high quality designs are comprised of re-purposed fleamarket finds—hence the name—among other green materials, right here in America. We caught up with the Brown graduates in an exclusive interview—just in time for next week’s Earth Day!

two+seven: As a fashion designer and a lawyer (respectively), what was the aha moment that lead to the creation of Fleabags?

Shira + Alex: We’ve known each other since going to Brown and had always talked about starting a company together, but we didn’t know what it would be. In 2007 the Anya Hindmarch “I am not a plastic bag” craze hit New York City. The totes were available in limited quantities, and Shira bought three and sold them on the Internet (for shame!) for a pretty good profit. We realized that there was a market for designer canvas totes that could be both practical and fashionable. And, because we’re both flea market junkies, our inspiration was to make a carry-all for a market trip that was sturdy and that also looked really good.


2+7: Fleabags has quite the celebrity following! What do you think attracts a-listers (and of course, the everyday fashionista as well) to your bags?

S+A: Our bags are reminiscent of vintage classic styles but have details that we hope make them feel relevant and fresh. And, while they’re utilitarian, subtle design differences give them an air of exclusivity that celebrities often want. They also are more feminine than a basic tote, so they can be worn and incorporated easily into an overall look.

2+7: As friends working together, do you guys ever butt heads?

S+A: We’ve become like a married couple. We’re mostly on the same page, but we also take turns letting each other win. We never fight but sometimes we disagree. And, we still spend time with each other outside of work — it’s about to be flea season! So that means we’ll get some weekend time together.

2+7: What do you each keep in your personal Fleabag?

S+A: We both keep Traveler’s Clutches inside our bags. Otherwise, it’s a day’s worth of necessities — gym clothes, snacks, all the small things you need throughout the workday and for the transition to night. That’s the beauty of Fleabags: there’s plenty of room for it all!

2+7: What’s next?

S+A: We’re about to roll out a weekender-style rucksack that we designed in collaboration with Orly Genger for Jaclyn Mayer and we’re really excited about it. It’s roomy and sturdy with a waxed canvas shell but it’s also lightweight. The masculine base is juxtaposed with OGJM’s tomboy-chic climbing rope closure that stands out with bright orange enamel ends. We think it hits that sweet spot of something classic made new. As for the future, we’ve always dreamed of doing shoes… but only time will tell!

Want more?

fleabg.com

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Instagram @fleabg

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Etsy Shops Worth A Look

By January 31, 2013 Accessories, Designers, Fashion News, Womenswear
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From one of a kind gems to kooky cat sweaters, we love the super unique pieces offered by these eclectic Etsy shops.

Danielle Emily

Owned by: Danielle Altman

Selling: Jewelry

Based in: Montreal, Quebec

Why we love it: From simple designs to statement pieces, Danielle Emily jewelry is handmade with the option for custom orders!

About: Passion, creativity and dedication were the driving forces that lead to the creation of Danielle Emily Jewelry. Founded by Danielle Altman in 2011, this unique and exciting line of jewelry combines Danielle`s passion for color, love of jewelry and energetic flare for life. Danielle Emily jewelry is all handcrafted and designed in Montreal. The jewelry combines crystals, semi-precious stones and different metal finishing’s all to express your individuality.

Pretty Snake by Joseph Aaron Segal

Owned by: Joseph Aaron Segal

Selling: RTW

Why we love it: Cat sweaters. Need we say more?

About: Welcome to the World of JAS! Pretty Snake is a fun spirited ready-to-wear collection created and produced by fashion designer Joseph Aaron Segal. Look for Joseph Aaron Segal on this season of Project Runway, Thursday nights at 9pm on Lifetime.

AlmostDone

Owned by: Nat

Selling: Jewelry

Based in: Gdańsk, Poland

Why we love it: A playful cure for your attention deficit!

thewheatfield

Owned by: Katie Daisy

Selling: Paintings, Cards

Why we love it: Cute, Fun and totally unique creations!

About: Welcome to The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy! Here, you’ll find creations inspired by simple & sweet country pleasures such as… hiking in the woods, bathing in the creek & napping in a sea of prairie grass. I invite you to come along!

SoulPeaces

Owned by: Heather Lecy-Martin – owner, maker, designer, curator

Selling: Jewelry

Why we love it: Soulful jewelry that’s a little rough around the edges!

About: Just on a whim back in 2004, Heather decided to take a metal fabrication course. As soon as the torch it my hand I was hooked and started dreaming about how I was going to build a workshop in the garage.

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Home Sweet Chic

By January 28, 2013 Accessories, Designers, Trending
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You look fab, and your home space should too! Here’s some of our of-the-moment musts in home decor. A cozy throw here, a hand crafted candle holder there: make your living space worth living in with unique, personalized touches that mirror your own sense of style. Here’s a few two+seven favorites!


1. Personalized Birch Wood Candle Holder by Urban + Forest, $24 etsy.com

2. Gramercy Wingback Chair, $800 potterybarn.com

3. DVF China Vine Bedding Collection, $60-$230 bloomingdales.com

4. Tribal Print Throw, $148 leifshop.com

5. Sunshine Pillow, $198 anthropologie.com

Cover image from architecturaldigest.com

 

 

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Day Nine of Gifting: GIVEAWAY!

By December 21, 2012 Accessories, Designers, Fashion News, Giveaways, Jewelry
mishakaudi

two + seven and Mishakaudi are doing a bit of our own gift giving! Enter for a chance to win the Honora necklace.

Here’s how to win it:

  • Comment below and tell us how you’d style the ring of your choice for your holiday events. Don’t forget to include your email address!
  • Like Mishakaudi Jewelry on Facebook and two + seven on Facebook, and follow us on twitter too! @Mishakaudi and @twoandsevenon7
  • Winner will be announced at the end of the 12 days of gifting – via email and Facebook!

 

 

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Day Seven of Gifting: GIVEAWAY!

By December 19, 2012 Accessories, Designers, Fashion News, Giveaways
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two + seven and End of Century are doing a bit of our own gift giving! Enter for a chance to win this knotted Cheek-ie ring.  Here’s how to win it:

  • Comment below and tell us how you’d style the ring of your choice for your holiday events. Don’t forget to include your email address!
  • Like End of Century on Facebook and two + seven on Facebook, and follow us on twitter too! @endofcenturynyc and @twoandsevenon7
  • Winner will be announced at the end of the 12 days of gifting – via email and Facebook!

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Day Five of Gifting: GIVEAWAY with Nina Nguyen!

By December 17, 2012 Accessories, Designers, Fashion News, Giveaways
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two + seven and jewelry designer Nina Nguyen are doing a bit of our own gift giving! Enter to win the sparkling Mulberry Bracelet.  Here’s how to win it:

  • Comment below and tell us how you’d style the bracelet for your holiday events. Don’t forget to include your email address!
  • Like Nina Nyugen on Facebook and two + seven on Facebook, and follow us on twitter too! @NinaNguyenD and @twoandsevenon7
  • Winner will be announced at the end of the 12 days of gifting – via email and Facebook!

In case you still have gifts to get – shop Nina Nguyen TODAY!

 

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Day Two of Gifting: GIVEAWAY!

By December 13, 2012 Accessories, Designers, Fashion News, Giveaways
IreneWood

two + seven and History + Industry by Irene Wood are doing a bit of our own gift giving! In honor of the holiday season, we’re giving away the one-of-a-kind Orangina beaded cuff bracelet, retailing at $55.  Here’s how to win it:

  •         Comment below and tell us how you’d style the bracelet for your holiday events. Don’t forget to include your email address!
  •         Like History + Industry on Facebook and two + seven on Facebook, and follow us on twitter too! @historyindustry and @twoandsevenon7
  •        Winner will be announced at the end of the 12 days of gifting – via email and Facebook!

In case you still have gifts to get – shop History + Industry TODAY!

 


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Day One of Gifting Fun

By December 12, 2012 Accessories, Designers, Events, Womenswear
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For the knock-out, party-going fashionista, this Timo Weiland dress hits the gifting sweet spot. Decked out in a delightful print, this mini makes the perfect gift for her or you.

The Purple Nebula Danielle Dresss, $392.00 at timoweiland.com

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Brooklyn Designer Mociun’s Home Decor Collab with ASH

By December 11, 2012 Accessories, Designers
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On November 29, designer Caitlin Mociun unveiled a seemingly unlikely collaboration with ultra-cool design studio ASH. The design studio enlisted the gem genius to reupholster hand-picked vintage chairs and decorative pillows. The home accessories are outfitted in a creepy-cool toile print depicting a sci-fi pastoral scene as well as black-and-white psychedelic patterns.
“I’ve wanted to see my fabrics on furniture for a long time,” Mociun told ELLE.com. “Teaming up with a great interior design company like ASH made that easy, and I love the results.”
Shop the goods and see exclusive photos of the collaboration here.

 

About Mociun:

Originally hailing from the sleepy town of Nevada City, California, Caitlin Mociun is known for her elegant and eco-friendly apparel and accessories.

Want more?

www.mociun.com

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store.mociun.com

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