Sydney-native Belinda Pasqua knew it was time for a major career change after being fired from her corporate fashion job.
"The idea for the The Sway came a few months later, when I realized I wanted to design in a sustainable way and use reclaimed and recycled materials," explains the designer, whose collection of tough leather biker jackets and durable handbags are fashioned entirely from salvaged leathers.
Now based in Bushwick, 38-year-old Pasqua produces everything from classic asymmetrical-zip "moto" styles to quirky "shag" leather bags, which incorporate tiny squares of reclaimed leather in a touchable, fur-like texture. "Most people think it's a live animal!"
In order to get the most yardage from unevenly-cut leather pieces (often discarded by various tanneries and manufacturers), Pasqua also employs a tricky triangle-patchwork technique, attaching identical triangles to create a cool quilted texture.
The collection's punky appeal is furthered with heaps of metal hardware and grommeting. "One of my jackets, the 'Bondi Biker,' has over 1,000 metal studs," she boasts.
Between top-notch materials and the intricacy of her techniques, each The Sway piece is built to stand the test of time. "I like things that don't date in style and quality," Pasqua explains. "Something that you can pull out years later and still look and feel amazing."
$180-$990 at TheSway.com.