When Brook Stroud (right) was a senior in college, an uncle invited him and his younger brother, Alex, to join him on a trip to South America. Together, the trio spent a week fishing, camping, and cattle-herding at a ranch alongside the property’s well-seasoned gauchos, and then they headed to Buenos Aires. “We kept seeing the same colors and patterns and fabrics in the stores in Buenos Aires as we’d seen on the gauchos,” Brook explains. Intrigued, the brothers bought a slew of wallets and belts with woven accents as souvenirs.
It wasn’t until the following summer—when Alex returned to the Argentine countryside alone—that the idea to actually make something of their new fascination surfaced. “Alex definitely had the ‘a-ha’ moment,” explains Brook. “He figured that instead of just bringing belts back, we could actually work on designing a line ourselves.” The brothers’ aim? To create a hardwearing, B.A.-inflected take on New England’s preppy ribbon belt standard.
The resulting line, which they launched in 2012, is La Matera—named for the spot where Latin American families traditionally unwind together after long days at work. And while the belts are produced in the United States, Brook and Alex are holding onto their international roots. Up next, the Strouds plan to add a range of wallets handmade in Italy—which sounds muy bueno, molto buona, and all-around really awesome to us. —mattie kahn
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Hare+Hart Knows Buenos Aires
And now you do, too.
As we imagine it, Jennie Engelhardt and Emily Harrison of Hare+Hart spend all of their time eating medium-rare steaks, cracking open bottles of Argentine red, and tangoing until sunrise. But when the design duo is in Buenos Aires—they both also do time in NYC—they have to get work done, too, as they produce all of their line’s elegantly simple leather goods just outside the capital city. Here, the nine places you’ll find them when they’re not hanging out at factories. —lydia woolever
The bar at Milion.
Emily: “It’s a bar in a huge, old, three-story mansion in this chichi neighborhood—like the Upper East Side—called Recoleta. Argentines aren’t huge drinkers—so it’s not like the New York cocktail scene—but they make these amazing basil cocktails here. And there’s this beer called Quilmes, which is definitely cheaper to drink than water.” (Paraná 1048)
Jennie: “This is a special-occasion parrilla, or grill. Emily gets their bife de lomo (tenderloin), and I like their ojo de bife (rib eye). We usually share an order of mollejas (sweetbreads) and provoleta (grilled provolone). We’re definitely not vegetarians.” (José Antonio Cabrera 5099)
Jennie: “Medialunas, or ‘half-moons,’ are the Argentine version of a croissant. They’re smaller and sweet—they have a little bit of honey on top. They’re everywhere, but the best are at Domani. It’s a block from Emily’s apartment, so we go there and do work a lot. It’s like a weird sort of IHOP or American diner.” (Salguero 3006)
Bosques de Palermo
Emily: “Bosques de Palermo is this big park with grassy areas and paths and lakes not far from my apartment. Jennie goes running there; I walk my dog.”
Jennie: “People are always having maté with each other in the park. It’s like tea-slash-marijuana. You drink out of the same straw and pass it around like you pass a joint. If people invite you to share maté, it means they like you. It has more significance than just sharing a drink.”
Jennie: “This place is hilarious. It’s trying to be really fancy, but it’s also trying to be very American. It’s like a nicer Chili’s. They have nachos and french fries, but my personal favorite is the fingers de pollo—the chicken fingers. We go for happy hour a lot. The Argentines love it so much—from fancy, older people to these trendy, mulleted hipster kids, all hanging out at this suburban American chain restaurant in Argentina.” (Del Libertador, Av. 4625)
Emily: “We both just love shoes. Palermo Soho is a neighborhood near my place that has great boutiques Jennie’s been in Buenos Aires less than 24 hours, and she’s already been to Mishka, our favorite spot.”
Campo del Fiori
Emily: “After steak, Argentina’s big food is fresh, homemade pasta. It’s a staple. We go to Campo del Fiori for this amazing pre-fixe lunch. You get a drink, appetizer, fresh pasta, and then a dessert, all for like 12 bucks.” (Venezuela 1401)
San Telmo Antique Market
Jennie: “Every Sunday in San Telmo, this neighborhood downtown, there’s a huge fair with all these arts and crafts and antique vendors—jewelry, furniture, clothing, trinkets, these amazing lights and chandeliers from all centuries. I got some really cool old glass apothecary bottles there. It’s hard to transport stuff back to the U.S., but it’s a great place to just walk through and look around.”
Emily: “This is a silly, fun club where we go dancing. Argentines aren’t big drinkers, but they’re big partiers. They’re really into techno. You don’t go out until 2 A.M., and everything’s open ‘til sunrise.”