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timo wallets are cheaper than designer ones, but your friends will want to steal them.

June 09 2008

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Stella McCartney and Rogan Gregory might have the eco-clothing thing covered, but what about accessories?  Timo Weiland, Wall Street rat turned designer, makes a splash this summer with his slim wallets crafted from recycled materials.  Made popular by downtown scenesters like Charlotte Ronson, the wallets are affordable and cool.  I sat down at Soho's Mercer Kitchen with Timo to discuss. 

Your wallets seem to fuse artistry with fashion.  Is there any artist in particular that you look to for creative inspiration?
I love, love, love Julian Schnabel- he's a jack-of-all-trades. I look to Chuck Close (he is actually sitting upstairs, did you see him?!).  And I work a lot with Icelandic artist Frosty Ganot- he's an up and coming graffiti artist. In October we're doing a capsule collection with him. 

Any particular reason to start with wallets?
I used to intern for Commes de Garcons, who I love, but everything was too bulky and so I decided to design a wallet to fit with my aesthetic. 

Your collection is known for being eco-friendly.  Which comes first- functionality, fashion, or being green, and how do you find a balance between them?
First and foremost, we were born out of functionality, out of my need for something really small, but the ideals of the company are aligned with being green so we would never be anything else. Fashion is wearable art.  It's a huge part of the pie but it's not mutually exclusive from being functional and green. 

Any plans on branching out to a larger collection?
Neckware, messenger bags, clutches, totesĀ¦ Most will be highly graphic, but our clutches will use python.  Bottom line: we're open to everything; we may even do furniture pieces that are very utilitarian. We love high design simplicity.

You are a color fanatic; what color is your soul?
I'm a zesty lemon gold. 

If your wallets were music, what would they be?
Fresh electro-mix-mashes, ambient electro- it's both in and out of your face.
--ANNE-GEORGIA GREENBERG

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