Meet Maxx & Unicorn
How one vintage wallet spawned an entire company.
Nathan Gryszowka launched his line in a day. He uncovered a wallet from the forties at a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, antique shop, better known for Asian furniture than men’s accessories. He was so intrigued by the design of it —it was much more like origami than your standard, stitched-up bi-fold—that he decided to try to replicate it, imparting a little modern sleekness that the source material lacked and crafting his piece from a single piece of skin. “My original wallet happened overnight—it was kind of the product of insomnia,” Nathan recalls. “I showed it to Shana Tabor, the owner of In God We Trust, which is just around the corner from my apartment, and it was for sale in the store in like 48 hours.”
Granted, the training that got Nathan to this place took a lot longer—he created his first prototype from leather leftover from his time at FIT. He is currently a senior designer for Ralph Lauren Black Label, and he has also worked on outerwear for RL (“That’s where I really learned how to work with leather and weather pieces.”) and has also done time at J. Crew—career stops he shares with other guy-fashion aces Tim Hamilton and Todd Snyder. Lest you worry that the dude doesn’t sleep, he also works damn hard to not work too much. “My wife and I do a lot of traveling—we’re doing a tour of American cities,” he says. “We do our best to draw a line and enjoy it.” —erica