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Sparkly, Furry Bags a Minimalist Could Love

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Introducing New to Know, where we fill you in on the recently-launched lines destined to make waves.

All images courtesy of Rye.

The right hide at the right time can change lives. Such an encounter led to accessories design consultants Ryan Clements and Rebeca Mendoza launching their own bag line, Rye. "We found an amazing leather and we couldn't really use it for anything that we were working on at the moment, so we decided to buy it and make something just for fun," Rebeca told us of the accidental birth of their line. "We came up with an idea, made it, and friends started asking about the bag. We decided to make a few variations, and before we knew it, we were building a collection."

The process didn't take long, either: The first sketch was done last August, and the line was out by December, comprised of streamlined silhouettes designed to morph from backpack to shoulder bag, crossbody to clutch. On September 1st, the duo will drop their second collection, which you can see for the first time here on Racked. Get a sneak peek at all the textural goodness Rye is offering up for the coming season (so perfect for party season) and get to know the designers after the jump.

The brand's ability to create bags that are special without looking over-the-top is what sets them apart. While the bag silhouettes are happily simplistic, they earn the eyes-widening-with-adoration for being married with leather—and sometimes fur—qualities that are beyond average. Case in point: crystal-covered lambskin sounds like a Swarovski encrusted nightmare, but within the confines of a restrained rectangle becomes elegant and even cool.

In addition to their core line, Rye operates a one-off operation called Lost & Found, which peddles styles like a multi-colored mink backpack. "The Lost & Found collection is our opportunity to make fun, one-of-a-kind pieces without the complexities of production," Rebeca explains. "It's a very romantic idea from us to our customer. We do it all in-house." At this point, all of Rye's bag are made in New York City.

The two still work as accessory design consultants, and admire "the strong point of view of J.W Anderson, Andra Neen, Building Block, and Simone Rocha," says Rebeca. Despite roots in the world of bags, running their own line has presented a new set of challenges: "Even though we have worked with numerous brands, we never had firsthand experience with the importance of brand social media. We're still trying to define our voice, but sometimes it's overwhelming with all the platforms out there. We love Instagram and Tumblr, but Twitter is still a bit of a mystery to us."

The designers have their own e-comm site and retail online at Aha Life, as well as in boutiques like Satine in Los Angeles, Lazy Point in Amagansett, and Sioux in Mexico City. "We would love to see our brand at places like Creatures of Comfort, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Barneys, Bird, Tenoversix, Kirna Zabete, Joyce, Lane Crawford, Liberty, Net-a-Porter—the list goes on."
· RYE [Official Site]