First store in NYC on East Village, Manhattan in 1999
ro saw the light in New York City in 1999.
Our relationships to the objects that surround is changing. Desire — that ultimate driver of our impulses and the economy — has changed and with it, the way we interact with the world. We desire objects of beauty, but we also desire to make smart purchases. We desire to do good for the world, our acquisitions a representation of our ideal selves. I SHOP THEREFORE I AM, Barbara Kruger once said.
The designer and creative director Mary Ping understands this feeling intricately. It’s been a guiding principle of her work throughout her career, and it stands front and center with the re-launch of ro. Originally founded in 1999 the label was known for its clean, sleek silhouettes and superior workmanship. Now, a new collection honors that aesthetic and remixes it with a clever approach to shape and construction. And just like quilts become heirloom pieces that are passed down from generation to generation, ro bags are meant to last a lifetime, and create new lives for themselves and the wearers of the next generation.
Call it design with a purpose. Every piece of leather cut and assembled to create a ro bag has been carefully considered. The Gusset bag, the first design created for the collection, is a roomy tote with short handles and a shoulder strap, available in supple calf leather or Japanese Selvedge Denim. It’s anchored by a folded triangle of material that rises up on the front, a construction technique used to create depth in an object, it is usually not seen, hidden on the inside. Here, its practicality is instead highlighted, “putting the depth in the front.” An apt description for ro’s overarching approach to design.