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Voyager Journal
Just in: Hobonichi Arts & Science Techo Diary

Being a staff with lots of ideas, inspirations and simple forgetfulness, we are always looking for the perfect planner and notebook to guide us through our daily lives.  Now we share with you one that is both beautiful on the outside as it is inside. Made with a craft that is like pure poetry, we bring you Hobonichi's Arts & Science Techo Diary for 2017, a collaboration between the Japanese website Hobo Nikkan Itoi (Hobonichi) and the Tokyo-based brand Arts & Science.

A traditional Japanese techo is not an ordinary planner. It is also used as a sketch book and diary to record your daily life.

Simple interior design to log your every rendezvous.

Crazy ninja quotes that will remind you of what it means to be a human being.

Handy information pages giving you tidbits on Japan and the world with beautiful illustrations. 

Japanese letters for techo are stamped on the cover to invite you to log your life.

Dialogue Series No.11 / Good West Co.

I met Amy Silberman through one of my dearest friends in SF a few years back and instantly fell in love with her.

Amy is one of those people that you just automatically love the moment you meet her; her bright energy, her transparency and her realness shows with every smile. And her bags are just the exact expression of her heart and soul. Timeless, classic, clean but with great attention to detail. Elegant, classy and effortless.

I have the luck to know her and have been seeing the progression with Good West through out the years and now, I couldn't be happier, more excited and more proud than to host her and her beautiful line as our September Pop Up at the San Francisco shop.

 

 

Marta: Hi Amy! I am so excited to finally be doing this together! We have been talking about it for years and finally we were able to mark it in our calendars and make it happen! I can't wait for everybody to fall in love as I did with your bags but let's start from the beginning how did this whole adventure start? How was Good West Co. born?

Amy:  I knew how to sew from childhood but about 14 years ago, after teaching myself a bit about making bags, I found an apprenticeship in San Francisco and really learned the craft.  
Good West began a few years ago when I was freelancing and made a simple canvas tote that I wanted but wasn't finding out in the world.  After that I kept coming up with ideas for bags I wanted and couldn't find.  I missed working with my hands, having that tactile process of imagining something and then creating it, so I pulled out the machines and cutting table and set up a mini workshop in my apartment.  I thought it would just be a fun side project, but a few people asked me about the bags I was carrying, and then friends encouraged me to put a website together and create a line.

M: I love that most very practical and function oriented designers or curators always start because there is a need they want to fill and we can't find it anywhere, I believe that is the essence of design, or at least it should be! Did you always know that you wanted to work in something related to design or creativity?

A: I grew up wanting to do something creative, mostly in the photo industry, but I was always altering clothes and making things that I wanted rather than buying them. And I've always been a bit sentimental about objects, with a fondness for old worn-in leather and canvas pieces.  I think those two elements, creativity and a love of well-worn objects, is at the heart of Good West.   

I remember loving my mom's old coach bags, my grandfather's leather packs, my dad's old army duffle bags.  They were really beautiful because they had been used and worn-in.  I think that use is what made them look amazing and it's sort of the whole point, to fall in love with something, carry it everyday and create a patina over the years.


 

M: That is my favorite thing about well made leather goods, and a big reason why I loved your bags in the first place is because you were carrying one of them, that you have had for years and it was just so beautiful, you could see the life that bag had had in best way possible! I am always super curious on how designers brain works and what inspires you to start a new collection or a new design. What are the first steps you take when designing? Do you start by a color palette, or a textile, or a pattern? What is the first inspiration that sets all in motion?

A: I usually get inspired by something I see, whether it's a piece of clothing or an image, and an idea pops into my head, like a bag shape or handle style.  That becomes a starting point for thinking through the details and creating a larger collection.  I always have a sketch pad with me, as it seems to happen a lot when I'm out.  The hardest part is to edit things down and not try to fit it all into the current season.  I'm learning to leave some designs for future collections.  



 

 

M: I am the exact same way but I think It's not a bad thing, though, I think it is what keeps us going, always new ideas, always new things we want to do, it is that passion that becomes the motor of our life and of our work. I am also always about the concept and what the heart and soul of a brand is...how would you describe in a few words what your brand is? What are the fundaments of it? And what keeps you motivated to continue doing what you do?

A:  Timeless, clean design with a sense of ease and attention to detail.  It has to look good, feel good and work well to carry all your stuff.  I'm drawn to raw leathers and solid brass that age well and form a patina over time.  I generally stay away from anything overly fussy or precious.  I want people to use their bags as everyday staple pieces that last through trends.
 
M: That is just the exact description of what we try to do here at the shops, timeless is probably the word I use the most because it truly is so important. Things that you would never get tired of, that you want to wear today and in 20 years. That same outlook, besides how incredibly beautiful your bags are, is what made me want to have you in the shop and do this pop up together, but I always wonder why did you chose Voyager for a pop up and us for hosting and carrying your beautiful line? 

A:  Because you guys are awesome!  Everything in the store is so well curated and you have a really clear vision.  It's amazing to be in such good company.  Seriously, who wouldn't want you carrying their line?

M: Awwww Amy, you are just so sweet! The feeling is mutual, girl, you know that!!

 

 

M: Ok, and now to finish just the classic question of where do you see the line in 10 years, or more than that were would you want to see it? What is in the future for Good West as a brand and Amy Silbermann as a designer? 

A: I like the idea of being well respected and curated in my favorite shops.  An open workshop space within a small storefront is also really appealing.  I want people to be able to see what goes into each bag and how much care and consideration is given in their creation.  Connecting with people who use my bags, and passing on the traditions I learned so many years ago would be great.  

As for the line, I think it will evolve on its own.  My views and ideas are going to change and grow, and what I create will as well, so there will just be a natural progression of things.

M: Progression and change is the best, and I can't wait to be there to see it all grow and evolve! Thanks so much Amy! 

Please, all, come by our POP UP at the SF Shop until the end of September!

 

 

 

And come by this Friday, September 24th to meet Amy, grab a cocktail, dance to the tunes and shop Amy's beautiful bags and special collab pieces!

More info HERE

More on Good West Co.

All picture courtesy of The Morrisons

Dialogue Series No. 9 / Pali Swim

 

There is always something special for us about San Francisco based brands, it might be a similar way of understanding things or just the simple sharing of a wild spirit that always makes pop ups with local artists a bit wilder than others. Martha and Naomi, met in San Francisco, both working at their second job and dreaming about what could be. 

Pali Swim is their collaborative venture. Pali Swim is a swim, surf & chillwear brand based in San Francisco, California. Their first collection of expertly crafted, actively minded swimwear launched in this past Spring and is made in Northern California.

Marta: Hii!! I am so excited to hear more about your story guys! How did all start? How did you two became Pali Swim?

Martha: It all started at Levi Strauss and Co. where Naomi and I both worked in Merchandising and Design. We honestly weren’t really friends until one day when I asked if anyone wanted to take a pottery class. She was psyched on it and we started spending every Tuesday night making fairly bad bowls and cups. Spending time outside of work lead us to realize how much we had in common from fashion, to humor and most importantly, our love of the ocean. About a year later and within a day of each other, we both quit Levi's. We spent a few months traveling together and separately to Bali, Australia, Japan, Hawaii and New York. We talked about what we liked from every market place and what we thought the world is missing in swimwear. After our eat, pray, love moment, we returned to SF and said screw it, let’s just try this! 

 

 

M: That is so perfect! And a great time to do it! I think there is a lot of us with that big corporate background that wanted to break free from it! That said the experience you get working with so many people at such an enormous company I think it is priceless! I know you always loved fashion design but did you always know that this was what you wanted to do? Did you always know that swimwear was were your heart was?

Naomi: As a kid in New York City I was completely fascinated by all things California surf. Maybe it was the Pet Sounds record that my brother and I listened to on repeat on our Fisher Price turntable or the fact that I spent my summers in the available lake, pool, ocean, playground sprinkler etc. but It surprised no one when I moved to SF after college. My career has taken me in a lot of directions from art to food to fashion and Pali Swim just feels like a natural progression. 

Martha: For me personally, I’ve known I wanted to design swim since I was 9 years old. I grew up in Hilo, HI on a Pali (Hawaiian for cliff) overlooking a local surf break. I woke up and fell asleep to the sound of the Ocean, and would be swimming in between. The water is my happy place, and everyone deserves to look good in their happy place! After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, my love of chillness and hate of winter quickly brought me back west. 

 

 

M: I love getting into the designer's head and trying to understand why they do what they do, so this question is always my favorite! What are the first steps when designing a new collection? Do you start by a color palette, or a textile, or a pattern? What is the first inspiration that sets all in motion?

Martha: Pali really stemmed from our love of being active in the water and the lack of cute swimwear for that. Whether you are surfing, swimming, tanning or jumping off waterfalls, we wanted to create a line that you could do anything in and remain both comfortable and stylish. We took that stoke of being in the water and combined it with our knowledge of trends and fashion. 

Naomi: That said, rather than looking toward other active or swim designs for inspiration we take elements from ready to wear apparel such as a seam line on a dress or the cut of a sleeve on a sweater and work from there. Most of this process takes place on a shared Pinterest board or via text. We send each other a lot of media from a bra strap detail on a coworker to a video of a woman who's best friend is an eel. Somehow it all comes together. 

M: The bay area also and more than that California is also something very important in your inspiration process and the way you do things, right?

Naomi: Making our products in California has been important to us from the beginning. Being able to go to the factory and work closely with them on fit and pattern has been so special.  

Martha: We also want to work with a new Pali Person every season. A Pali Person is an artist we collab with that shares our love of the water and brings a unique artisan approach to our brand. This season’s Pali Person (and my big sister) Sasha Duerr is an Oakland based Natural Dyer and Author who has shown us the endless bounty of nature’s beauty through natural color. 

M: I can see that nature is a constant both in your designs, your style and your concept too, right? How would you describe Pali Swim in a few words? What is the bigger idea behind it?

Naomi: Pali Swim is active, classic, and funny. We design unique, functional pieces that aren’t fussy or something you need to worry about in the water. We take fashion seriously but not ourselves and try to incorporate humor into everything PS puts out into the world. From our product descriptions to our Instagram we are creating a carefree, funny, tropical oasis of sorts. 

Martha: I think what motivates me to continue PS can be summed up by my experience at the Russian River this weekend. Halfway down the river, I took off my straw visor, got out of my float and begin to climb up a tree to jump off of. Three women floating by yelled “You’re suit is beautiful”. I responded with “Thanks! It’s Pali Swim, come to our pop up at Voyager next weekend” and then cannonballed into the water. I really hope they show up! 

 

M: Awww I sure hope they do too! That spontaneity and that freedom is something that I value so much, and it is one of the things that keeps us doing what we do at Voyager. That said, why did you choose Voyager for a Pop Up? What excited you about us and made you decide to let us carry the brand?

Martha: It’s a dream come true to see Pali in a local store we’ve always loved and respected! We think Voyager gets it. It’s such a well curated shop that carries beautiful, unique, well thought out designs but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. I loved walking into there a few weeks ago and seeing a random face glued onto a plant. You get it, fashion and humor can go hand in hand!

M: Aww, thank you so much! I am so excited to be able to host and see local brands grow, It is a real treat for us to be part of the process ! 

 

 

M: And now to finish, the classic question of how do you see the line in 10 years, but I want to know more about where you would like to see it? 

Martha: In ten years, I’d like to see Pali Swim as well respected brand, loved by ocean enthusiast across the globe. We don’t need to be the next Roxy but I'd like to have a store front/studio to work from so my roommates won’t have to live with hundreds of swimsuits. Although in 10 years, I hope to have replaced my roommates with a pool. Eventually, we want Pali Swim to expand from just swimwear into a full lifestyle brand, tiki mugs included.

M: YES! Save me a couple of them! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, so excited about the pop up this weekend and about Sasha's performance! 

Please all join us at our San Francisco store, this Friday from 6 to 9pm, for drinks, tunes, beautiful life natural Hibiscus dying and the best swimwear for the Indian Summer to come!

 

More Pali Swim here

More on the party here

All pictures courtesy of Pali Swim

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