It's always a riot to sit down with shoe designer Maco Custodio, whose sense of humor never fails to entertain, and which—fortunately—carries over to his work. Ever hankered for rhino-snouted peep-toes? What about three-heeled platforms? Or sharp-horned sandals, perhaps? His last collection, Dino, had all of these and more, and left us in awe of his amusing out-of-the-box creativity that you would be hard-pressed to find in any other shoe designer.
Lately, however, we've noticed that Maco has been playing a different game with his leathers. Most notably, we were enamored by the leather collars that our March 30 Days, 30 Ways style warrior Janina Dizon-Hoschka sported a number of times. A quick call confirmed that Maco has indeed been busying himself with a new accessory line, which includes not only the leather collars, but all sorts of bags, clutches, and cases as well. This was clearly a cause for excitement for all of us in the office, accessory lovers that we are. So now, we bring you the latest from leather enthusiast Maco Custodio: a selection of leather collars in a plethora of colors, fancy bow ties, box bags, envelope clutches, and more. Click on the photo gallery to see all that he has to offer. But first, read on to find out more about his newest endeavor!
What prompted you to add accessory design in your resume?
It all started with pieces of scrap leather from my made-to-order ladies' shoe line that I needed to dispose of. But I couldn't simply throw them away, so instead I thought of using them to make something useful, something I can sell. I first made a leather bow tie, then the box bag, then a friend asked me to make him a clutch for his tablet, and so on... Or maybe unconsciously I just really wanted to put pay tribute to the animals by using their skins as something somebody will appreciate.
Are you still actively designing shoes or have you put it on hold?
Yes! I'm actually coming up with something really soon. I think designing for an accessory line such as bags, wallets, and belts only proves that I want to show my range as an industrial designer. And sometimes I have this habit of getting bored easily, so I always want to do something that excites me.
Do you see accessory design as a permanent expansion of your brand, or is it a temporary one?
I really don't know. But I kinda like doing it. It excites me! Imagine, everything can be pretty much made from leather. I think leather is a medium I'm comfortable in manipulating. I'm not saying I'm a leather expert, but I'm learning the ropes. You only get to learn new stuff only when you try doing it.
Tell us about your new collection of bags and leather accessories. How are the boxy shapes of the totes and clutches representative of your aesthetic?
Ever since my college days, I've always been a big fan of the Bauhaus movement—the form follows function credo. What you see in the bag's construction is totally different from the women's shoes. It's more rugged, more raw, and it has the old, stylish look because of the material and construction, but the shape is very basic, very contemporary, very now.
Are the items largely for retail, or do you accommodate made-to-order pieces as well, if a client wants to customize the colors and material of his or her item?
I must admit that majority of the business, especially in the fashion industry, comes from custom orders. I love customizing items with my clients! It's something not everybody wants to do because of the process, and the hassle of exploring new things. But as someone who's new to this, I love doing it. If you want to learn new things, don't be afraid to explore new possibilities.
What other accessories can we look forward to from you?
Let's see. I haven't really finalized everything, but since this is something new, I want to explore a lot of things.
What can we expect for your next accessory collection?
Watch out for something unexpected! With the bags and other leather accessories, I just go with what my friends ask me to do for them. Like a belt, or trying to replace their leather wristwatch straps. It's not as expensive as the shoe line, but I just always go with the flow.
Click on the photo gallery to see Maco Custodio's line of leather accessories.