Constantly pulling inspiration from NYC and Mexico City, Rebeca Mendoza and Ryan Clements, founded Rye, a line of luxe leather must have accessories. For their most recent collection, Rye collaborated with embroidery artisans in Rebeca?s native Mexico to create exclusive artisanal styles. We recently caught up with the design duo just before they jetted off to Mexico for the story behind the brand and their guide to the Lower East Side and Mexico City.
Describe your brand.
Rye is collection of accessories inspired by understated elegant luxury. We work with strong shapes and compliment them with rich materials staying true to the simplicity and functionality of the pieces.
What are some of your endless inspirations?
Films for color inspiration, National Geographic photography for color as well and specifically nature. For shape inspiration, we look at particular artists like Noguchi, Lee Ufan, often times art that is architectural and linear.
How does travel inspire your collection?
Travel is the biggest source of inspiration there is, you are more open and experience things more vividly. You see things in a different way from different cultures and it makes you think different, everything from food, architecture and history.
Images Courtesy of Rye Bags, Vogue Espa?a and @nausheenshah
Speak about the collection made with artisans in Mexico.
Mexico was a natural place to begin, as it is both inspiring and familiar. The embroideries for the bags are from San Andr?s Larr?inzar, a town in Chiapas, Mexico. There is a rich history of embroidery in this region with each family employing their own techniques that have been passed down through generations.
Collaborating is such a of the design process, can you speak about the role it has played in Rye?
We?ve done the Shop Latitude collaboration with Mexican artisans as well as a project with Bibhu Mohapatra for his resort and Spring 2015 collection. He worked with weaving artisans in Laos and we created unique shapes for the collection from this incredible fabric. We?ve also collaborated with our friends RARO to make a series of videos that focus on a play of textural and natural elements such as wind, light and water.
Your collection continues to grow, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
We?d love to work with the Huicholes, an ethnic group that does beading (chaquira) and embroideries. In Mitla, Oaxaca, artisans weave textiles and horongons (ponchos) from wool and we?d love to collaborate with them and possibly work with leather, instead of wool. We are interested in taking it further to countries like Morocco and Turkey.
Share some of your favorite spots for eating, drinking and shopping in NYC and Mexico City.
Dimes ? So good for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 143 Division Street, NYC
El Rey ? Delicious and healthy, 100 Stanton Street, NYC
Takashi ? Incredible Japanese! Perfect for late night dinners, 456 Hudson Street, NYC
Barrio Chino ? A neighborhood staple that is always good, 253 Broome Street, NYC
The Ludlow ? Still fairly new so it is still super relaxed and serves delicious cocktails! 180 Ludlow Street, NYC
Edith Machinist - The coolest vintage shop, 104 Rivington Street, NYC
Coming Soon ? We love their unique selection and it always smells so good! 37 Orchard Street, NYC
Top Hat- Great for gifts, 245 Broome Street, NYC
Covadonga ? An old school cantina with great food. This was one of my grandpa's favorite places. Puebla 121, Colonia Roma, Mexico City
De Mar a Mar - A small place with great seafood! Spectacular ceviche! Niza no. 13 Esquina Oslo, Mexico City
Taqueria Los Picudos ? The tacos and volcanes are excellent here! Moras 230 Co. del Valle, Mexico City
Salinger - Cool d?cor and ambiance, Alfonso Reyes 238, Condesa, Mexico City
Maison Artemisia - Cocktails with Absinthe, Calle Tonala #23, Esquina Durango, Mexico City
Puebla 109- Carajillos! Puebla 109, Col. Roma Norte, Mexico City
La Ciudadela - Great for Mexican textiles, objects, masks, lamps...
Mercado de San Juan ? A fascinating food market that has everything
What is your most desired passport stamp?
Jordan and Japan
Best trip so far?
A Kenyan safari and Morocco, which is a place that I felt so connected to.
Favorite form of transport?
Always in your suitcase?
Rosewater and flip flops
Favorite hotel that you wouldn't mind staying in forever?
Emelisse Hotel in Kelafonia, Greece
Most beloved souvenir?
A Maasai tattoo and a beautiful filigree silver ring from my Grandmother and a silver choker from my brother, both in Mexico.
Ultimate escape fantasy?
Opening a little restaurant on a beautiful beach somewhere or more immediately bathing in the waters of Pamukkale, Turkey.