Start-up accessory brand Beltology is taking things up a notch as they launch their first collaboration with graffiti artist and sometimes restaurateur and nightlife impresario, André Saraiva. The limited-edition collection, Beltology x André, launches exclusively in Barneys New York’s retail locations and online June 2 during the retailer’s thedropLA@barneys events.
Beltology founders Andrew Heffernan and Anna Lundberg were local fans of Saraiva’s now shuttered Café Henri in New York when they approached him with the idea.
“We were looking to collaborate, but we thought he might be too big for our brand. But when we started telling him our brand’s story and talking we could see that he represents so many things we want our brand to represent: colorful, fun and carefree, plus he is so incredibly charming,” Heffernan explained.
The result is a limited-edition capsule collection of five new colorways of Beltology’s signature stretch woven belts, each belt has a pin with custom artwork by Saraiva and features a leather-wrapped buckle and foil stamp of his graffiti artist alter-ego “Mr. A.”
“I found my perfect belt many years ago in Paris and I always wanted to design my own in that style. My girlfriends always used to steal mine,” Saraiva lamented. He noted that after years of searching for a replacement, partnering with Beltology was an easy fit.
Heffernan and Lundberg met at Parsons, while both studying fashion and marketing, and in 2014 launched Beltology using Italian stretch woven webbing and leathers, but crafting each belt in New York’s Garment District through a partnership with one of the city’s oldest family-owned belt manufacturers. Up until now, the accessory brand used a direct-to-consumer model, but the collaboration marks their foray into wholesale.
Saraiva, who is working on a book for Rizzoli that will focus on his graffiti from the mid-Eighties through today, enlisted a few friends from within his orbit to help with the launch, using photographer Carlotta Kohl to shoot the official campaign for Beltology’s web site and social channels, and restaurateur Luc Levy, who will host an event on June 18 at his soon-to-be-opened Brooklyn outpost of Café Gitane to fete the collaboration.
In what may be a nod to Saraiva’s girlfriends stealing his beloved belt, the collaboration is designed to appeal to both men and women, and Heffernan and Lundberg hinted that a full range of women’s belts are in the near future for the accessory brand, with Lundberg noting she has been waiting to make a range properly suited for her gender.