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Designer Dialogue: Gonzalo Fonseca of Steve Mono

May 22 2015


No one does leather like the Spaniards, and no one does modern meets classic leather bags like contemporary Spanish brand Steve Mono. Founded and designed by Gonzalo Fonseca, the Steve Mono line combines an artisanal construction process (made entirely in-house) with a modern, utilitarian sensibility. There is a reinterpretation of the old that translates into timeless everyday accessories, made more interesting and personal through their sustainability over time. The man behind the brand reveals more what Steve Mono is all about.

Describe the Steve Mono aesthetic in one word.


Talk to us about your brand. How did it all start?

In 2007. I worked before as a graphic designer, and I was always thinking about the kind of bags/portfolios I needed for my work and travels—that was the beginning. My first collections were just for men, but women also liked the bags, so I decided to create a women’s line with the same inspirations and concept.


What is the most important thing you consider when designing a handbag?

Utility. I love pieces that you can use in different ways.

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

The Marvin Brief, for it was like a new beginning last season. This piece was the first one of a new complete series. Clean, light, but outright.


Who/what are your biggest design influences?

Industrial and furniture design from the ‘40s and ‘50s.

If you could pick one person, past or present, to wear your bags, who would it be?

Katherine Hepburn.

What sets your bags apart from others on the market?

Customers tell me they are very recognizable because of the leather, softness, straps and the brass snap details in some styles. I also use black and brandy vegetable leather for the men’s line and color nappas for the women’s pieces in special combinations.

What bag are you currently carrying and what's inside?

The Marvin Brief in black vegetable calfskin. Inside, there’s one James Portfolio/iPad case in black, a 07/2 wallet in brandy, a solid brass key ring and one coin case in natural leather…almost a complete samples set!


What's next for Steve Mono the brand?

Leather sandals.

If you weren't an accessory designer, what would you be?

A Carpenter.


What's one thing our readers would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m not Steve! My name is Gonzalo.

Shop the Steve Mono collection at Roztayger HERE.


Designer Dialogue: Yucca Murase of Le Yucca’s

May 13 2015


There aren't many shoe designers who know how to marry the substantial quality and sturdiness of men's shoes with the feminine scale of women's footwear. Yucca Murase, however, has mastered this art. Indeed, it's not hard to see why the Japanese designer's Italian-made line has become a cult classic. Combining the old and the new with exquisite attention to detail, Le Yucca's shoes are the epitome of quiet luxury. Here at Roztayger, we revere the woman who has managed to straddle the line between masculine and feminine and deliver a product as deliciously unconventional as it is wearable. We sat down to chat with Yucca to find out what it's like to walk in her shoes.


How did you come to design shoes? What drew you to this particular medium?

In my mind, the shoe and the foot are the same thing. Shoes should be so comfortable that they become indistinguishable from the feet. It was important for me to experience this level of comfort, as well as to create beauty to match.

Your designs have developed a cult-like following. What do you think it is that sets your shoes apart?

My shoes are sobering in the sense that they are designed to match any style and thereby enhance the identity of those who wear them. Le Yucca’s create balance in every way.


It's rumored that you have some pretty famous customers. Can you reveal any names?

Unfortunately, due to the contract, I cannot.

You went from working for athletic shoe brands like Nike and Bridgestone to launching your own line of refined and highly unconventional footwear. How did you make this leap? What happened in between?

I quit the sport sector because I dreamed of being able to see my own shoes on people. And I had to design my own line because I simply couldn’t find shoes that I liked anywhere. The techniques that I learned designing athletic shoes were invaluable, however. Even today, I apply a lot of the same techniques to making Le Yucca’s.


Aside from your own work, which shoe brands/designers would we find in your closet?

Jon Lobb.


Name three things that inspired your first shoe collection.

1. It should bear no resemblance to any other shoes in existence.
2. The collection wasn’t designed to be sold, but it should be easy to sell.
3. The designs should capture the feeling of what makes life better.

Who is your biggest design influence?

Hermès – until a few years ago.

What are your plans for the future?

To travel around the world in a sailboat!

Shop the Le Yucca's collection at Roztayger.com.



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