When Brook Stroud (right) was a senior in college, an uncle invited him and his younger brother, Alex, to join him on a trip to South America. Together, the trio spent a week fishing, camping, and cattle-herding at a ranch alongside the property’s well-seasoned gauchos, and then they headed to Buenos Aires. “We kept seeing the same colors and patterns and fabrics in the stores in Buenos Aires as we’d seen on the gauchos,” Brook explains. Intrigued, the brothers bought a slew of wallets and belts with woven accents as souvenirs.
It wasn’t until the following summer—when Alex returned to the Argentine countryside alone—that the idea to actually make something of their new fascination surfaced. “Alex definitely had the ‘a-ha’ moment,” explains Brook. “He figured that instead of just bringing belts back, we could actually work on designing a line ourselves.” The brothers’ aim? To create a hardwearing, B.A.-inflected take on New England’s preppy ribbon belt standard.
The resulting line, which they launched in 2012, is La Matera—named for the spot where Latin American families traditionally unwind together after long days at work. And while the belts are produced in the United States, Brook and Alex are holding onto their international roots. Up next, the Strouds plan to add a range of wallets handmade in Italy—which sounds muy bueno, molto buona, and all-around really awesome to us. —mattie kahn
BEHIND THE SCENES
Here’s a packing list. Now plan a trip.
There’s some Fitzgerald—but not the one you’re thinking.