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Designer Dialogue: Oyuna Tserendorj of Oyuna

April 23 2015


Famous for it's fierce warriors and vast, intimidating landscapes, Mongolia, it's safe to say, doesn't immediately conjure up images of premium cashmere. Nonetheless, this ancient country gave birth to one of the softest and most luxurious textiles the world has ever known. Today, no brand captures the nomadic spirit and exotic origins of cashmere like Oyuna. Led by Mongolian-born creative director Oyuna Tserendorj, this line of understated luxury is both a study in heritage and ultra-chic defense against the cold city streets.

When and why did you decide you wanted to work with cashmere?

I came to London and was wondering what to do here. I grew up wearing cashmere. It looked like there was not much interesting happening with cashmere for home, so we started with the Home collection and then launched WW later.

Talk to us about your Mongolian heritage and the role it plays in your designs.

I guess the ability of Mongolian nomads to strip down everything superfluous and just concentrate on the core meaning of things has carried over into my aesthetic. Also, growing up in socialist Mongolia, you learn to deal with all kinds of situations, e.g. turning disadvantage into advantage or making do with what’s available. That mentality is inherent in my designs.


With cashmere pieces becoming increasingly accessible due to mass production (think Uniqlo etc.), how do you envisage the material retaining its luxurious, premium image in the public eye?

Cashmere is like any other material or object. Take a simple loaf of bread or a glass of wine: One can find really bad bread or one that tastes just like life, with so much love put into it.


List three adjectives that best describe the Oyuna brand:

Simplicity. Comfort. (Personal) Luxury.

Which of your pieces found in Roztayger's selection do you love the most and why?

The Daya Travel Blanket in soft grey is a great, versatile piece—lightweight and luxuriously warm at the same time.


Are there certain pieces in your collection that you wear daily? If so, what are they?

I wear a cashmere black coat from our AW13 collection all the time. Outdoors and indoors. It is knitted, but it does not look knitted. It’s constructed as a woven tailored garment, but offers the amazing comfort and lightness of knitwear. It travels so well and transforms into a small, light bundle. Anyone who starts wearing our cashmere knitted coats will get so used to the comfort that I think it will be difficult for them to go back to rigid and heavy woven coats.

Name three things you cannot live without.

Nature. Wine. Cashmere.

If you could pick anyone in the world to wear your work, who would it be?

The girl next door.

Cashmere is a fall and winter classic. How do you interpret this material for spring?

We interpret the lightness and softness of cashmere into featherweight cashmere-silk mixes, cottons or linens for summer.


If you weren't a clothing and accessory designer, what would you be?

An industrial designer or architect.

Shop the Oyuna collection at Roztayger HERE.


Spring Favorites by Eliz - Part II

April 17 2015



1) Bleu de Chauffe: Scott Bag. The Scott Bag harkens back to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s world and mode of carry. If you are a lover of writing and a bit of a nostalgist, you’ll LOVE this design. It’s currently sold out, but I have more coming soon. The fact that the Scott is handmade in the French countryside only adds to its allure.


2) Southern Field Industries: Rucksack. Masculine, yet refined (as the Japanese do so well) with key functionality combining contrasting materials inside the bag and drawstring security.


3) KIKA NY: Briefcase #2. The latest from KIKA NY is clean and slightly retro, but still retains that distinct artisanal feel which is classic KIKA.


4) Steve Mono: Dylan Brief. A super supple leather and clean-lined brief out of Spain. Luxurious in look but also incorporating all the desired functional aspects one would expect from a working brief.


5) Bonastre: Messenger Bag. The chicest leather messenger I have seen lately. It would work equally well on a casual basis or with a suit that is paired with sneakers.


6) Glendon Lambert: Necktie. I am working on getting my hubby in one of these. Beautiful fabric and color mix. It’s nice to see something slightly unexpected in neckwear without it looking too crazy/novelty.


Spring Favorites by Eliz - Part I

April 16 2015

It finally feels like spring today in New York. Good riddance to the most bitter winter in recent memory! Time to start shedding some layers and soaking up outdoor ambiance and some much needed UV rays. So, the moment has come for me to showcase my favorite spring accessories. I hope you’ll find something you like. Stay tuned for my favorites for the fellas coming up next!



1) Anne Grand-Clement: Pouches. I am besotted with the playtime print. I’m not sure photos do these exquisite accessories justice, but I simply cannot tear myself away from them. When I’m not using my pouch, I lay it on top of my bureau and gaze at it as I pass by. These pouches are just stunning—like jewelry. But don’t worry, they can be used daily without fear of snagging or getting sullied etc.


2) Bonastre: Handbag Scar. I do love all things Bonastre, but this season the Handbag Scar has won all my affections. I’m obsessed with its unique and almost futuristic take on a classic handbag shape. I bought it in terra to counteract the coldness it might convey in black. It looks equally cool with jeans or a suit.


3) Atelier Marchal: Doll Bag. While I have never loved chains in particular, this one is just the right shade of metal and creates a lovely foil to the perforated bucket shape. We are seeing so many buckets right now in the market, but none like this and the leather is, in typical Marchal fashion, super soft and supple. Classic with a subtle rock n’ roll edge.


4) Rosanne Pugliese: Emerald-Cut Earrings. These are perfect for everyday and the cut of the stone has always been a favorite of mine. Vintage but modern and terribly feminine at the same time. I love the blue, but I think the green amethyst could be a tad more versatile.


5) Meli Melo: Sian Shopper. A new shape for Meli and a great price point. It’s so lightweight and easy! It looks great tucked in or out and holds its shape for easy organization. Available in black as well as burgundy and camel this fall.


6) Antonello: Large Capriccioli Tote. Elegant, summer-y and entirely unique. Beach bag gone super sophisticated.


The Bags That Make The (40-Year-Old) Man

April 10 2015


In January I had three life-changing events occur: I turned 40, started a new career, and decided to grow up. Well, the last point remains to be seen, but I at least began to adopt the manner and dress of an adult. After years of wearing the same colored T-shirt (you should know by now where I worked), my new job presented the opportunity to finally wear the shirts and blazers I had accumulated in my 30s in anticipation of this moment. Thank God for not having gained (significant) weight!

Another opportunity my new job presented me with was travel! In three months, I’d been to parts of the country that were hitherto just points on a map. I make all these admissions now because it makes it easier to share the real opportunity these life changes presented: the excuse to update my accessories and daily carrier.

The daily carrier feature I’ll save for another day.

So how does one update ones bags to reflect the image of a 40 year-old in higher education with travel responsibilities and a penchant for the understated? Simple. One sets a few ground rules and one gets a credit card with a higher credit limit. And travel miles.

1. The first rule is to acknowledge that whatever one buys from this point on may potentially be an heirloom for posterity. In other words, select and buy bags that transcend time and taste.

2. The second rule is to carefully select a color palette and materials. Waxed cotton? Sturdy canvas? Pebbled Leather? Saffiano leather? Nylon? Keep in mind that while one isn't restricted to only one category, these choices have an impact on durability and wardrobe.

3. The third rule is to select brands that take as much pride in quality as you do.

Rules one & three are mandatory, rule number two is optional.

Here are the bags that should form the foundation of your collection when you’re in your 40s.

The Leather Folio. No matter how proud you are of your alma mater or of the brokerage firm where you did an internship during college, a pseudo-leather document holder with a huge school/company logo on it should be the first thing you discard when you cross the bridge to the other side of 35. Seriously. At this stage in life, it’s less about where you went to school and more about what you actually bring to the table. Like that solid proposal you and your staff created for a client. The fruits of your labor deserve to be ported in the fruits of skilled labor—like Bonastre’s handcrafted folios. Plus, paring down what you bring to meetings to the bare essentials—pen, pad, iPad—tells the client: “no baggage.”


The Vintage Satchel. Let’s face it, crossing into middle-age is filled with days of looking back at one’s youth. No (acceptable) bag an adult male can carry so closely resembles a school bag like the satchel. It’s the kind of bag one inherits, meticulously cares for, and passes to one’s progeny. And unlike those logo-laden messenger bags that were au courant until a decade ago, satchels look better with age and signal to prospective partners that you’re young at heart but still responsible (in other words, a good catch). The Gabin and Scott bags by Bleu de Chauffe give you the option of either canvas or leather. You’ll look timeless with either.

The Slim Brief. Because no other bag a man carries pairs as well with a four-figure suit. Congratulations, you’re officially in it’s-okay-to-spend-the-cost-of-a-compact-used-car territory. You’ve earned it through hard work, smart investments and not spending money on video games every month. I hope to God you weren’t thinking of slinging a dirty backpack strap across that Super-150s draped shoulder?! Shoulder straps are reserved for your corduroy and flannel blazers. Carry a slim brief in your left hand and be prepared for a power handshake with your right. Your sleek silhouette will thank you. Try the Soft Leather Brief by Porter or the Lucid Ninety by Tsatsas.


The Leather Duffle. In January, I flew into John Wayne Airport with the telescopic handle of my carry-on broken. This sad event occurred while I was running through Newark Airport to catch my connecting flight. The gentleman who sat across the aisle from me cast a quick glance at his Luminor Panerai, extracted a sleek leather duffle from the overhead compartment and exited the aircraft, no doubt to pick up his vintage Maserati from the parking garage. That’s what good luggage and a nice watch can earn you—a vaunted place in the imagination of onlookers (including airline personnel with the power to upgrade you to First Class).
Check out the Leather Duffle Travel bag by Lotuff Leather.


Now, a well-crafted bag can only be enhanced by the quality of what it carries and the soul of who carries it. Your 20s were experimental. You were just coming to terms with yourself in your 30s. In your 40s, you have to make it all count.

Writer’s Note: Should you only own the styles and types of bags listed above? Certainly not. You shouldn't limit yourself to my choices. But whatever you decide to add to a collection, or however you deviate from my suggestions, put an emphasis on understated quality and superb craftmanship. Subtle details say more than brash logos. I should also state that I have not yet spent the price of a used compact car on a suit.


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