September 29 2016
MAUDE HELINE SHIRT
Maude is a Brooklyn based designer who brings her French sensibility to Brooklyn. The perfect white shirt is always useful and I’ve always had a thing for poplin. This shirt is designed with great details, from the lace inset to the amazing backside cut out.
These are the perfect pair of denim to wear over and over, in a fit that is comfortable and versatile. They are worth the investment, as they break in beautifully and instantly, quickly becoming a go to jean choice.
DOUCE GLOIRE WRAP
I bought one of these scarves at Bon Marche in Paris a few years back and was determined to bring the line to Roztayger ever since. The cashmere knit is super soft yet sturdy. Use it as a scarf or a wrap, also great for travel or daily life.
ANNE GRAND CLEMENT POUCH
Beautiful and sturdy – her pouches are like small works of art. But don’t put them away in your drawer, these are meant to be seen. Use them well – eye candy that is also functional is the best kind.
MARYAM NASSIR PUMPS
Winter white looks fresh lately for year round. It’s a neutral – which makes it easy to integrate into your wardrobe. The shape of the pump is a classic so you won’t regret your purchase next year.
CLARE V BAG
I love that the Henri is a mix of soft shape but firm leather, the perfect balance for a casual bag.
May 12 2016
Since it's been just over 5 years for us at Roztayger, we wanted to take a moment to bring all of our clients up to speed through a simple interview with our Founder Elizabeth. She searches high and low, all around the world to find the best products she can, those which reflect quality and reflect a celebration of craft above all else– irrespective of trends. Along with this interview we've shared some of the imagery from Elizabeth's Work/Travel/Life experiences, as these are the foundation for all decisions in regard to Roztayger.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself; who you are, your style preference, greatest influencer, and favorite quality in an individual.
I grew up in California but have lived in NY for 18 years now. Having been lucky enough to travel a fair amount in my youth due to a family that loves seeing other parts of the world, I have always been intrigued by other cultures. As corny as it sounds, I really love to connect with like minded people and sharing music, art, food, culture and design is a way of doing that. I would say this Is a big part of who I am and what drives me.
I have always loved mixing feminine elements with menswear looks. A good example: the Le Yucca brogue. For years I looked for the perfect men’s brogue for women. Many designers make them now but in my mind only Le Yucca does the perfect balance of feminine and masculine design elements. The fact that they are ridiculously comfortable and great for your feet is just an added bonus.
My favorite quality in an individual is hard to narrow down to one. Honesty and loyalty are first and foremost. Kindness and empathy are also imperative - add a touch of creative quirk and you have my dream person to hang out with. Finally, they have to love good food and be willing to share.
Q: What precipitated the inception of Roztayger?
For many years it was my hope to open a retail store. After graduating college with a degree in Art History, I was not necessarily set up to do much in the way of practical career path but I always loved and enjoyed beautiful works of art and the stories/context behind them. It’s not a huge jump from studying art history to working in design oriented fashion. I started off working in local boutiques in Berkeley - merchandising, display, and helping clients find products that resonated with them. I got very close to opening a store in SF a few times but in the end I got cold feet. Sometimes when you know too much it can be inhibiting, as this is not an easy business. I moved to NY in my late twenties for a job in wholesale. I worked in an accessories showroom, learned more about the industry, worked with many talented emerging designers. I co owned that showroom for a short time as well but ultimately the nagging desire to open my own creative outlet kept coming back. I had had kids, settled down, continued in wholesale but finally in my 40’s decided it was now or never. Do it and try whatever the outcome; fear of failure became less an issue than fear of regret later.
Q: Was there anything in particular that prompted you to completely develop your retail shop online only?
I decided to go online only mainly because Chappaqua, where I live with my family, does not have a large walking and shopping area. As well, initially being online only allowed me to be around for my kids with a flexible schedule. I do love helping customers in person and I often feel frustrated with online sales as they do not easily allow for you to get to know your clients or to help/suggest things personally. I do try to reach out as much as I can and answer all the client questions about product directly via email or phone. In this way I have gotten to know some amazing people and I cannot tell you how much I Iove that! Plus, now I can buy with a more specific person in mind and I am privy to their comments and the impressions of the products they received.
At some point the plan was always to consider opening a small physical store that I could work out of. This is something I hope will come to be within the next year or two.
Q: How has the shop and its offerings evolved since launching?
Initially the idea was to only buy bags for men and women with small goods, focusing on unisex offerings that were minimal and modern in nature. I had been exposed to so many amazing collections over the course of my career that it was so easy to find product. Over the last 3 years I have found that adding in other categories helps to keep things more interesting. I have filtered in shoes, socks, hats, scarves, jewelry, cashmere separates and key luxury items. I try to stay away from products that involve a serious fit consideration. I veer towards easy basics that have a quirk or twist that makes them subtly unique. It could be material, context, or some other design detail. Categories are evolving but I don’t see ever delving fully into clothing collections top to bottom. Many other online stores do this quite nicely. I’d like to say in my own lane.
As most people are aware, online can tend to feel a bit saturated in terms of clothing and accessory retailers. What are some of the ways that you choose to set the shop apart?
I try to carry a few better known designers who work with my concept and then bring in others to keep the mix unique. The Roztayger niche is about design driven classics with a light handed touch of fashion or quirk; some collections I have are only available through Roztayger in the US. Some of this is a conscious decision and some is just the right fit for me. I would say the balance of known and unknown. As you build your client base they come to trust you – and know even if there is a brand they may not know of personally, they trust that it is on the site because it’s met my personal test of quality, usefulness and uniqueness. Bottom line– if its worth it. I am fully aware that my products are not inexpensive but the idea has always been that you invest in quality and in return, you have that piece in our closet for many, many years.
Q: In your words, who is the Roztayger woman or man?
My client is (generally speaking) 30 and over, educated, discerning, with a mind of their own. They often work and travel a lot. They may enjoy fashion and they definitely follow elevated design but don’t have time to read or follow a world of blogs, magazines etc. They want a filter. They want to stand out but in a low key kind of way. They don’t’ like overly apparent logos and instead appreciate simple details, materials and the context in which the product was made. In the end they know what they like, what looks good on them and they dress for themselves – not to impress others.
Q: How do you select the brands that are featured in the shop? Are they simply a selection of your personal favorites or do you follow certain criteria when buying?
I buy from many varied places: local NYC shows, Paris shows, from client recommendations, from outreach or from designers directly. It’s very organic I don’t buy anything I don’t connect with on some level personally. It has to make sense in the mix. It needs to be cohesive to the brand vision.
Q: Where do you see Roztayger in 5 years? Any plans to go into brick and mortar down the road?
I do hope to see continued growth in the coming years as I have in the past. Retail is not terribly predictable and economic conditions can change quickly. I hope that people continue to find me and connect with what I am trying to achieve. So far the growth is steady and in the right direction.
Yes, I do hope to open a small local store and am currently researching this idea further. It has to be the right space. I am not in a rush but I do look forward to being able to connect directly with clients on a regular basis.
Q: Anything else to share in closing?
I would just like to thank my customers and vendors for their loyalty. Their relationship in business is everything and I work hard to maintain positive experiences. Many people have been with me from the beginning. I feel a lot of gratitude for their support in allowing me to live out my creative dream. It’s not an easy business but I do still love it after all these years.
I’d like to thank my family as well. My husband does the web development (aside from his regular job) and my children (George 14 and Sofia 12) are now old enough to do hard physical labor on behalf of Roztayger. ☺ I have been lucky enough to have talented people help me build along the way with branding, graphics and marketing. They know who they are. I could not have done this alone.
Lastly I can’t forget to thank my lovely grandmother Rosalind Jeffer (Rosalind Tiger = Tayger). Aside from her name, she truly was a big part of the inspiration to believe in myself and finally strike out on my own. Always a strong example of grace, dignity and style she supported the Arts and women in general in their quest for strength and self-actualization.
April 01 2016
Each buying trip to Paris is filled with memorable highlights and I am lucky enough to be able to go a couple of times a year. Growing up the Jeffers had a longstanding tradition of calling favorite trip moments out. At the end of a family trip my father would always ask, “What were your top 5 highlights?” We would feverishly compare amongst ourselves, reminiscing on the events we experienced and the things we saw, the favorite meal, the favorite site….our favorite personal interaction with someone we met along the way.
In Paris I rent an apartment through Airbnb in the Marais, near which is a small local restaurant called Pramil that I have gone to a few times. It never disappoints. It’s within walking distance from the apartment, reasonably priced and the food is top notch. I joined a few friends who were ready and willing to share a selection of small bites, (my kind of people.) I ordered a cauliflower “cake” with tamarind sauce to start and a sautéed scallop dish with eggplant and pasta for my main. One friend enjoyed a warm pumpkin soup with a scoop foie de gras ice cream.
The day we arrived I was suffering from jet lag, so I traipsed over to Le Bon Marche and got a chance to see the Iris Apfel installation. Though a minimalist at heart I am big fan of Iris and all she represents. I love a woman who adheres to only her own rules as long as it suits her. Like Iris I believe we should dress only to please ourselves and as a way to enhance our sense of strength and character.
The next day I had a photoshoot with blogger Elle Fure as well as her hubby and photographer John Nugent in the Left Bank. I have truly missed these guys ever since they moved from NY to Oslo 8 months ago. We made a plan to meet in Paris and do a mini shoot with just a few pieces. Needless to say we had a ball and got some amazing shots.Elle has a way of putting together the coolest pattern combinations (much like Iris – and I envy that.) Afterward we had an amazing lunch at Ralphs.
New Designer Discoveries
I happened upon a brand new bag collection while I was seeing Le Yucca shoes in a small showroom. It’s an Italian bag line called Vittorio d’Ottavio. With incredible shapes, very clean and architectural with a selection of tactile, soft, and lightweight leathers.
Look for this line to land at Roztayger in July/August.
March 03 2016
i ro se (pronounced ‘e-ro-say’) is a small Tokyo brand, founded by designers (and brothers) Gen and Dai Takahashi, that brings together elegance and a spirit of playful creativity. This is manifest in products that charm with seemingly simple forms that come to reveal a greater complexity; always clean and deeply functional. After training as a leather craftsman Dai-san got together with his brother to begin this conceptual yet heartful label that draws both upon the pair’s singular aesthetic and their shared childhood love of origami and forging unique objects from whatever materials they could find around the parental home. These days the pair’s creations are produced by highly skilled craftsmen in Asakusa, a Tokyo district with a long artisanal tradition, and so i ro se’s ingenious designs are always underpinned by the highest quality construction.
Briefly tell us about the history of i ro se up till now.
i ro seのこれまでの歴史、簡潔に教えてください。
→2003年に設立。2006年にイタリアの合同展whiteでaccessories collection A/W 受賞。
Founded in 2003. Won accessories collection A/W award at White group exhibition in Italy in 2006
Please describe the atmosphere in your studio when you are busy designing new products. For example, is it very lively with music playing, or are you quiet and meditative? If you listen to music, what style or artists?
There is always a lot of stuff in the studio like sawing machines, various tools and piles of leather pieces. Yes Music is always playing and we have people come in and out all the time so feels like there is a lot going on in the studio.
Please can you both tell us your very favourite i ro se product, and the inspiration or story behind its design.
原さんも、大さんも、個人で一番好きな i ro se のご商品を教えて頂けますか？また、そのご商品をデザインする背景、それともインスピレーションの原としてのことも教えてください。
→Gen：seamless aurora key holder 、Dai：seamless short wallet
For this seamless series literally we don't saw and just fold one leather piece. It is very simple but stylish and yet most practical, also idea is playful. That is exactly what we have been looking to make and we are very happy with it.
What i ro se product are you using today? And can can you tell us what's inside?
高橋さんたちは今日、i ro se の何のアイテムをご使用になるでしょうか？また、中身は何でしょうか？
→Gen：sack shoulder bag / black バッグにはseamless シリーズを入れてます。I have the same seamless collection inside the bag
Dai：sack rucksack / black バッグにはseamless シリーズを入れてます。I have the same seamless collection inside the bag
Can you give us a hint about what you are working on now, or a hint as to the theme of your next collection?
Currently haven't started the collection yet, we are busy with production
As brothers and co-designers, how do you divide i ro se work between yourselves?
Each makes designs, show them to each other, make a quick mock up with sample paper and leather, then together we discuss the sample and go from there. Or sometimes we come up with ideas while we are talking to each other.
Your work is has elements of conceptual art to it - do you think 'product' can sometimes be seen as 'art'?
i ro seさんのご商品には、コンセプチュアル・アートのような様相が見えると思いますが、「商品」を「アート」と認められる場合はあると思うでしょうか？
We didn't really consider us making " art" while we produce. We just get inspirations from every day life, we just pick up what we think is the fun idea
We can see the influence of origami in your designs. To what extent would you describe your work as 'Japanese'?
i ro seさんのご商品には、折紙の影響はたまに見えますが、高橋兄弟のデザインはどの程度「Japanese」と思えるでしょうか？
Yes origami is a big influence. What we played with when we were kids gave us a lot of influence. I guess we never really lived out side Japan so that makes our product very "Japanese"
Finally, what kind of work would you be doing if you hadn't created i ro se?
最後に、もし二人で i ro se のブランドを始めなかったら、現在はどのようなお仕事をやると思うだろう？同じような企業？それとも、全然違うようなお仕事か？
→Gen：インドカレー屋、run the Indian curry restaurant
Dai：マンガ家 comic book writer
• Shop Roztayger's Selection of i ro se Here