spotlight: moses nadel

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When a friend of yours is a leather maker and designs the clutch of your dreams, there is no other choice than to tell the world about it.  I fell in love with this bag on sight.  A blend of boho and edgy, it has major style crossover appeal, and can take your most basic ensemble up a notch.  An obvious eyebrow raiser, one of those items where you will easily hear a steady stream of, “Where did you get that bag?”.

While the industry is shifting back towards the craft of “making”, emerging designer Moses Nadel is ripe for the picking with his line of leather pieces.  Each carefully constructed by hand, Moses pays attention to detail and uses the finest hides and fabrics.  His product, not only beautiful and with an impeccable design sensibility, is also durable, well-made and sturdy.  I’m holding the Emblem Tassel Clutch which can be customized, Moses adding personal details that will make it unique.  Anything you want, he can create it for you and bring your vision to life.  Investment pieces are built to last a lifetime and the leather will only get softer and better with age.  My other favorites from the line are the Bleeker Cinch Backpack and the Greenwich Excursion Tote.

There is something really special about owning an item that is crafted from someones blood, sweat and tears rather then a machine.  So much of American manufacturing has leaned on mass production for maximized profitability, but the quality of an item both on an emotional and tangible level cannot be beat when it comes from the creative soul of someones two hands.  Getting back to our roots, we are in an exciting time of reigning the industry back in and Moses Nadel is part of that revolution.

I had a Q & A with Moses because I wanted to hear more from the man behind the brand.  Check out the interview below and head over to Moses Nadel to view the full line.  Mention Your Soul Style when placing an order and receive 15% off!

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YSS: How would you describe the Moses Nadel style/aesthetic?

MOSES NADEL: Our work is defined by an original classic aesthetic as well as considerable attention paid to the details of design and construction. Our materials are individually selected as much for subtle imperfections as for exceptional quality and beauty as part of a design process that involves extraordinary attention to elemental purity, aesthetic simplicity and an exquisite level of custom detail. So in essence, each piece we create is made with love and built to last a lifetime. 

YSS: Who is the Moses Nadel customer?

MN: The Moses Nadel customer has an appreciation for originality. They are motivated to explore beyond mass market, understand the value in custom work and limited edition collections and enjoy supporting and discovering smaller up-and-coming designers and artisans.

YSS: How did you get into leather making?

MN: I was out in the southwest and I started sewing and exploring sculptural work using recycled awnings and different materials. Being completely self-taught and loving to work with my hands, there were a lot of avenues to explore. For me, leather seemed to be the obvious evolution. I was interested in an art form that’s product was functional and I also wanted to work with materials that had inherent characteristics and beauty. Nadel in German means needle, so in retrospect, my path couldn’t be any more appropriate.

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YSS: How long is the process of making a leather item by hand?

MN: Designing and making are totally different. Having a creative vision and refining an item to meet my desires can take any number of hours. Making an item that’s already been defined has it’s own challenges, but generally takes as much time as I have to give and as much time as it takes to meet my standard of quality.

YSS: Who/What inspires you?

MN: I’m inspired by my day to day experiences, the people I meet, the places I have been, and most importantly, where I am headed. The unknown can be scary, so remembering my mantra “Carry what you love… and love will carry you” inspires me to stay in the moment and enjoy the creative process.

YSS: Who are some of your favorite handbag/leather designers?

MN: I dig Wendy Nichol. She has it all worked out. She has a beautiful workshop, a beautiful product and a killer formula. I love classic Louis Vuitton and I also love finding vintage leather — some of the more obscure pieces that carry a lot of stories.

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YSS: Who would be your dream collaborator?

MN: I have done some amazing collaborations in the past with other artists and boutiques. I always look forward to co-creating. I’m confident that the right people and the right things come into your life at the right time, so I am open to whatever is around the bend. 

YSS: What is your favorite piece you’ve ever made?

MN: I loved making the “Cotton King.”  This bag really marked a pivotal step in my evolution. National Geographic had a cover story that featured an Incan mummy shrouded in cotton, wearing a feather headdress. I embellished the concept of the mummy and paid homage to a divine story. The intensive hand-tied net combined with the elaborate appliqué and waxed hemp made such a great statement about my love of detail and material and past and present techniques. I unearthed my vocabulary.

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YSS: If you weren’t a leather maker, what would you be doing?

MN: I was having a lot of fun traveling around the world working as an archaeological photographer, so I could still be doing that and living in the southwest if I hadn’t fallen in love with leather, bags and sewing and the prospects of NYC. 

YSS: Where do you see the brand in the next 5-10 years?

MN: We make really beautiful things, try not to create waste and are always evolving. There’s nothing like spending time with something well made. I love the durability of leather, the limitless nature of design, and the life long refinement of technique. Staying true to these key pillars and continuing to reach clients, will hopefully help to grow the brand. At this point our audience is very small and we’re using technology as a tool to curate a bigger audience. I envision a more diversified collective with accessories, outerwear and home, a band of talented and eager employees with an appreciation for craft, and loyal customers that we trust to guide our expansion. 

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To see the full line and to place an order, head over to the Moses Nadel site.  Be sure to follow along on Facebook, TwitterInstagram & Pinterest for updated information and your daily dose of inspiration.

Wearing, camisole: ARITZIA // pant: ZARA // shoe: J.CREW // sunnies: RAY-BAN // clutch: MOSES NADEL  

photos via Jeff Thibodeau  

staycation: NYC

sincerely jules

Despite the return back from our southwest adventure last Monday, today feels like my first day back to it.  Getting into the swing of things has been difficult since Dina was off all last week too.  I’d been vibing off her extended vacation and using it to my advantage.  With that being said, I decided to put off reality for a few more days and we lined up activities chock full of art, culture and cuisine for our remaining time.

And so our staycation began in our home city on Tuesday with a leisurely brunch at Lafayette, one of my new favorite spots to dine.  A Paris meets New York City vibe, the food is right-on.  I had the brisket burger which is not my typical mid-day light fare, but figured why not since we were still in vacay mode.  Dina had the steak tartar, roasted carrot salad and mouth watering deviled eggs that I will surely be ordering in the future.  I’m looking forward to the (hard to find in this city) outdoor space for those inching closer warmer days.  For a quick latte and a scone, the restaurant houses a small french bakery for take-away.  We got last minute tickets to the opera La Sonnambula for that evening.  I’ve never been, but have always wanted to.  Lucky for us, orchestra seats became available and we scooped them up.  Grateful for the experience, I can’t say I’ll be a buying a membership at the Metropolitan Opera House anytime soon.  What’s a stayacation without visiting the spa?  I scheduled a massage at Great Jones and Dina checked out the new thermal baths at AIRE.  Both relaxed, decompressed and unwound, we met up later that evening and took in an early movie.  The Grand Budapest Hotel was a visual feast!  Wes Anderson is a creative genius and the attention to detail with cinematography, storyline, wardrobe, props, etc. was next level.  A quick bite after at Ribalta, a local joint with a gluten free pizza option!  Rare find.  On Friday we hit up the Museum of the City of New York to see the “City As Canvas” graffiti exhibit, featuring Martin Wong’s collection.  A quick train ride up to 103rd street, I recommend the visit.  Such an authentic exhibit which represents much of what the street culture in NYC felt like in the late 70’s and 80’s.  The museum had other worthy to visit exhibits including “Rising Waters” which documents via photographs the events before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.

Over the weekend, we spent time with family, hung-out in Washington Square Park and took in one more delicious meal at Perla on Saturday night to celebrate Dina’s new job.  Today is day one at Google and I am the proudest wife on the planet.  No doubt she is going to kill it.  Although I’m going to miss our endless days of adventure, I’m feeling EXTRA EXTRA grateful for the time we’ve had.  I know how lucky we are.  It’s not often that you get to spend this type of uninterrupted time with the person that you love.  It has been an epic three weeks from Utah to Telluride to exploring our home turf in New York City and I’ve cherished each and every single moment.  The reality of getting back to work is off and running and both of us are ready to dive back in, feeling more rested, replenished and inspired.

Never forget to take the time you need to breathe and reboot.  Sometimes we’re all are on autopilot, and allow ambition and the pressure of success and making money to take the focus away from other important aspects of life.  But by stepping away and giving yourself the space to gain perspective, you will always come back with a new level of appreciation, loving yourself and the people around you (and even your job!) more than before!  Happy Monday!  xx jenny

NEXT UP:  A recap of our adventures through Utah & Colorado + an epic spotlight of Katelin Sisson, co-founder of Yoga for Bad People!

photo via Sincerely Jules

behind the scenes

photoshoot - 7The past few weeks I’ve spent most of my time styling for Mix Apparel, the Australian based company I consult for.  While on set yesterday, I remembered how grateful I am for my job.  It’s almost a year since leaving corporate America and although I’ve had moments of doubt and uncertainty, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to make the change.  Because I get to collaborate on such diverse projects, I learn something new and am challenged on the reg.  I have also met some of the loveliest, most creative and inspiring people I’ve ever known.  I’m reminded when I scroll through my inbox how most of these relationships didn’t exist just one year ago.  It’s mind-blowing what can happen when you switch paths.  My world has opened up to a whole new level and the growth is immeasurable both professionally and personally.  Even on days when I am scared and wavering (which can happen from time to time), I know I’m doing what I love, what I choose – stretching myself and expanding so that I can land exactly where I want to be.  Early on I would cry to Dina, saying how alone I felt, how I didn’t know if I was strong enough to continue and question if I had what it took to be successful.  I was looking for validation and wanted reassurance that it was the right decision.  In time I realized no one can do that for me – it needed to come from within.  None of it mattered until I believed in myself.  And that took me time to find too.  I wouldn’t trade those difficult moments out for anything.  They have proven worth fighting through.  It’s not simple choosing an unpredictable path, but if you have a passion for something different, embrace your inner courage and do it.  Grab every ounce of strength and decide to take control of your destiny.  There are times of discomfort and it won’t be easy, but the reward is living your fullest, most nourishing and best life.  You only have one – make it what you want it be.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at our kids shoot from yesterday at Industria Studios.  Candy, Amy and Mark, in some of the photos below,  are just a few of those amazing new additions to my life.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend filled with tons of soul and lots of style!  xx jenny

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gettin’ art’y

mel bochnerThis past weekend we hit up The Armory Show here in NYC, which showcases modern and contemporary artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries.  Every March for the past fifteen years, galleries from around the globe come together to present at the four day event.  This was my first time attending and it was AMAZING!  I loved EVERY SINGLE SECOND of it!  Aside from the occasional visit to local galleries or perusing museums while traveling, I don’t spend too much time studying fine art.  The appreciation is there, but I was never exposed to the history, influences, periods, techniques, etc.  I just know what I like.  When a photo or painting can take me on an emotional journey resonating somewhere deep, the artist has got me hooked.  It’s a powerful exchange.  And sometimes it’s just about an interesting geometric pattern like Mark Hagen’s acrylic on burlap, which was one of my favorites of the day.  I would have purchased it in two shakes of a lamb’s tail if I could.  While navigating through endless aisles on a quest for the next intriguing piece, I can’t forget to mention the epic people watching and fashion too.  Those art’y peeps have got some serious style!  It was inspiration overload and I really could not get enough!  My creative senses were in full bloom.  All in all, a fulfilling day that peaked my interest to learn more about the art scene!  I can’t say I’ll ever be an expert, but am open to some further education.  I am finally taking that photography workshop I spoke about here this coming Saturday and perhaps next up an Art History class?  A few more of my favorites from the show…

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Artists (from top): Mel Bochner (Oh Well), Mark Hagen (Untitled), Juan Genoves, Jose Parla (blooming city marks), Tracey Emin (Wanting You), James Hugonin (Binary Rhythm), Shilpa Gupta (Eye Test), Tim Noble & Sue Webster (Fucking Beautiful), Ed Templeton (clockwise from top left: girl eats, girl smokes, kissing kids, walking girl), Unknown, Tomas Saraceno (Untitled), Peter Halley (unknown), Kris Martin (Somebody), Chuck Close (Self Portrait)

homes & spaces

6aa1845b90789fc498370e456884492cDina and I started the semi-serious conversation about moving because although we love our apartment, we simply need more space.  I avoid this chat like the plague because despite the excitement of a new home, it’s stressful and nerve-racking at the same time.  New York City is a tough market to find a dream situation and one way or another, you are compromising somewhere (unless you’re SJP & Matthew Broderick).  Whether it be natural light, a doorman, neighborhood, closet size or layout – you are not going to find everything you want in one place.  It’s the nature of the beast.  That being said, the decorating is all yours!  My ever-growing home pinterest board is full of inspiring spaces and I can’t wait to implement some of these amazing ideas!  Along with the ones mentioned here and here.  Happy weekend!  Hope you stay cozy in your home!

And happy love day to you and yours!  xx jenny

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photos via:  2 modern // sf girl by bay // poppy talk // style by emily henderson // refinery 29 // sulia // style files // blood & champagne // cush and nooks