Dana Hurwitz and Vincent Barile are the Brooklyn based designers behind the label Bond Hardware. Specializing in pieces created from found objects and re-purposing things from the local hardware store. Starting with rethinking what neckwear can be they’re also expanding to rings and other designs. Dana’s currently at the Pratt Institute while Vince studies at the Art Institute but they still find time to work on their collaboration. Learn more about it, what makes them tick and how cool their Dads are below.
How did you two meet?
Dana – how did we meet?
Vince – we actually met because I subleted one of her friend’s room. We met the night I moved in. We all went out together then …
D – Well, really how we met he was sitting on my lap in the middle of 8 people in a taxi and we got really close really fast.
V – I liked her ring.
D – and I basically moved in with them. And now we just keep on all moving together.
How did you come up with the idea of Bond Hardware?
D – we were fixing up the apartment and Vince, he’s a visual display artist, he’d kind of take over the interior design aspect and we’d end up going to Home Depot and the hardware ended up on our bodies, which was fun.
V – It was a conversation that we had – I’m very inspired by menswear, that’s my main focus when it comes to fashion, I’m definitely inspired by women’s fashion as well but today men’s fashion has become so feminine that I’m interested in adding that masculine piece that can take down the femininity of that style.
D – And we started with a piece called the double clip which looks like a bow-tie if you hold it right so we started playing with that. We lean towards this “grandpa’s sweater”, buttoned up , sexy, matronly kind of trend that was right for us and were trying to figure out a way to dress it up. I had had an Aunt growing up who always wore broaches at the top of her blouse, but it was a little too feminine for both of us so we started playing with metal.
Where do you find your inspiration?
V – We find our inspiration in found objects. Dana and I will be walking down the streets of Brooklyn and we’ll find things on the ground, like scrap metal.
D – and especially near construction sites you’ll find weird objects and it will be hard to find them online and look up the technical term, like this is a crescent sash lock. And we’re the only ones who go into hardware stores and say we need a brass bright finish crescent sash lock and they laugh at us, they know we’re not using it for our house but it was a combination of finding things on the ground and looking at neckwear options –whether bolo ties or really classic things that you can switch out like an ascot– as well as looking at the people who gravitate towards a dressed up, buttoned up shirt and what they used.
There seems to be a period feel and/or historic reference going on. Who or what periods are you inspired by.
V – Currently we are inspired by Magritte
D – The man in the bowler hat. That sense of anonymity, a uniform dress. But then the way people react to it, I think with the way people react to aesthetics in general is with memories or personal reactions of theirs so their response is more like a punk kind of London vibe because of the nature of the hardware itself or other pieces will evoke other kind of feelings from people that see it so I think that kind of adds to our own inspiration because then we start looking to those things that they bring to our attention and that adds to a kind of new Magritte or whatever.
Do you think being in school for fashion design is helpful?
V – Well, the good thing about Dana and my relationship is that I’m in school for graphic design so I’ve always been interested in fashion but the way that I handle fashion has always been a little bit different. I’m more intrigued by typography, which is my favorite study right now.
D – I feel like we’re yin and yang. I can’t design logos to save my life and I love the logo that Vince was able to come up with and the website layout and the installation we had at our launch party and the things that I really lack in, Vince really excels in. The production/nitty gritty fashion state of mind is something I’ve been taught and am now trying to apply practically to Bond Hardware. What started as a fun project for us we’re now sharing with people who are responding to it –so as it calls for more growth and attention we will hopefully be learning things in school that will add to that and let Bond Hardware grow as much as the brand dictates.
Dana, are you majoring IN fashion design, as in clothing, and how does that relate to accessory design?
D – I was birthed into the fashion industry. My dad’s been on the production end of fashion my whole life. He was at Liz Claiborne in the ’80s so he was around very mainstream corporate fashion where his job was always sourcing production and the relay between designers and customers. That gave me a bigger view. I need to tune in to my creativity, find the customer and design for them but at the same time always think how to make it affordable for the kind of customer we’re trying to reach. We want to have it actually attainable for them. I think my background has played a huge role in that and has given us the resources to reach into as well as the expertise and the mentors who are invaluable in this venture.
V – Well, my Dad’s actually a construction worker so it definitely plays into what we create for sure! I’m a set designer but what my dad was doing, he was just building roofs and securing them so I was inspired to do kind of the ironic sense of what he was doing. Growing up I was always very fashionable, into fashion… I went to Catholic school so I was always looking for the weird things to do. I started working in retail at 16 but got into displays because of my art background – I was a fine artist and painter and I drew a lot. Everything just fell into place so actually having my dad be an inspiration, because of his industry and what I’m inspired by, it’s really been really fortunate.
D – And neither of our dads when they see this say, “ooh I want to wear that with my button up shirts” but they both recognize that there’s something that tickles their fancy that’s kind of interesting or thought provoking so I think we’re both kind of bonding with our dads but in very different ways which is very cool.
How has social media helped your business -if it has?
D – Social media plays a huge role in who our customer is. For us the most important thing is our friends are definitely our customer and we’re definitely our customer. And we’re all on Facebook. Our customer isn’t a millionaire and we wanted to make the Facebook page, it’s how it actually started, a one-stop shop so we have the shopping app there so it is actually all contained through twitter and Facebook that kind of allows for anybody to view it because part of the reason we make things like we do and we’re working with found objects is so we can keep the price point under $100. Nothing’s over $100 so people can kind of layer the stuff and be excited about what’s coming out next. Like the rings are really stackable and they’re $15 each.
When you’re not busy working and creating what would you say are your top three places/activities in New York?
V – I definitely love my bed, that’s for sure because the hectic workweek, I love to take a load off. I love just hanging out with my friends. The third would be…ummm…
D – I’m curious what he’ll say…
V – this is a tricky question…
D- I’m addicted to yard sale-ing so you’ll probably find me in the Salvation Army or there’s this guy on Greene and Grand in our neighborhood who salvages at the old brownstones with odd-size specialty antique doors and windows but he has the most amazing found objects that he sells for a dollar, two dollars whatever, this guy named Freddy and he’s just open all the time, a row of a stoop crew just sitting out on the sidewalk, things to find on the street, people to haggle with …
We cook a lot, we cook a lot…
V – we do spend a lot of time with each other. I guess that would be my third, is Dana ..
No big fights or conflicts?
V – No. I think the great thing about Dana and me is that if we ever were to have an argument we see each other’s point of view and in the end and we assess the situation. We don’t bring business into our friendship cos our friendship means a lot to each other.
D – And I think at the beginning of a stressful situation, there’s a lot of build-up about how it’s going to go and stuff and you get through things successfully together and you have something to be proud of together, it kind of it reaffirms any hardship you were having trying to accomplish what the end goal was. And I don’t know, I think something that is really important that we’ve learned is not to go to bed angry. If we’re having a hard during the day we talk about it before it grows into something or gets left unresolved. It’s been really not hard at all.
V – It’s been great.