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Nathan Gryszowka Shares What He Looks for in a Leather

BY alisha prakash 01/13/2012

Nathan visiting one of his NYC suppliers, Libra Leathers.

For Nathan Gryszowka, the creative whiz behind the refreshingly simple wallet line, Maxx & Unicorn, design is a constant: Each of his bi-folds is constructed the exact same way, using a single piece of leather and an impressive folding technique he developed. But this guy isn’t resting on his laurels. To make each design special, he pays a lot of attention to skins and their varying characteristics. Here, he lets us peek into his leather-sourcing process and talks through the stellar hide he chose for his Of a Kind edition. 

46 m u co.
"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of M&U Co.


“Leather can be very hairy on the back side. I’m always looking for a very compact, flat skin, and it has to fall within a certain millimeter parameter in terms of thickness in order to construct the wallet.”


“I get brightly colored kid skins from a vendor in Boston—it’s a very different type of tanning process. The leather I used for the Of a Kind wallet is a buff cowhide. It’s a deep, dark navy color, heavier than our standard leather cowhide, with a really soft and polished finish. I was thinking of denim and sliding wallets into the back pockets of my jeans. As you wear this wallet, it’s going to fade around the edges, like your jeans would.”


“To start the aging process once the wallet is completed, we give it a dump in warm water, which makes the dyes a little erratic. Then, we give it a little squeeze, and that redistributes some of the dyes as well—so you’re going to see a little bit of rumple in the wallets. This is not meant to be pristine and sharp and clean. It’s supposed to take on character and grow with you.”


Stripe Valet Tray


Blue Grid and Oval Tumblers
. 100 OF A KIND .
Blue Grid and Oval Tumblers BY Chloe May Brown
$ 31
Lido Two-Way Earrings
. 35 OF A KIND .
Lido Two-Way Earrings BY Jefferson NYC
$ 104
Curved Bar Diamond Necklace
. 35 OF A KIND .
Curved Bar Diamond Necklace BY Gabriela Artigas
$ 349
Cecilia Ear Jackets
. 60 OF A KIND .
Cecilia Ear Jackets BY One Six Five
$ 99

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