In an industry increasingly dominated by computer assisted design and illustration, Roberto Calasanz is a meticulous draftsman carrying on the fine-arts tradition in fashion illustration we associate with Alberto Vargas and Antonio Lopez. Drawing on diverse cultural idioms and nearly two decades experience as designer and illustrator in the New York fashion scene, Calasanz has launched an innovative line of hand-crafted accessories and home décor that combines forward design with a commitment to traditional leather-craft techniques.
Leading purveyors of fashion and décor—Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Donghia, NAUM—come to Calasanz for the disappearing art of the precision line-sketch and flawless gouache illustration. The fine craftsmanship Calasanz brings, both as illustrator and as designer of smart-tech urban sportswear, extends to his evolving line of accessories and home décor. Rooted in extensive travel throughout Asia and the Middle East, Calasanz has built his line on an eclectic design concept, one that fuses the Afro-Caribbean aesthetic of his native Dominican Republic with classical Islamic design and the natural Arabesques of plant morphology. Inspired by the rich leather-working traditions of Morocco and Turkey in particular, Calasanz’s new line of hand-cut, whip-stitched and burnished leathers adopts low-tech methods of production for a functional, earthbound approach to high-tech, ergonomic design. Irregular botanical lines, organic shapes and textures, solid construction and minute attention to detail distinguish these unique accessories for body and home. From leather bags, cuffs, and jewelry to natural-leather lampshades and table settings, each Roberto Calasanz accessory is stitched, etched, gilded, or distressed entirely by hand.