Two years ago, Von-Röutte founders Gus Agra and Marina Tokarski set themselves the challenge of making unisex accessories that were both functional and beautiful.
“We want to challenge the stereotype of something being either masculine or feminine,” Agra says. “We want both genders to use our products. Our question when designing is always, could we both wear this?”
Von-Röutte officially launched last year, with a tightly edited range of bags and wallets designed to seamlessly transition between work and travel – such as a comfortable and stylish backpack that could fit a laptop, and a travel-friendly wallet that fit a passport and money.
“We create products that follows the Nordic design values: functionality, clean design and simplicity,” Agra says. “For example our Card Sleeve wallet fits in your back pocket. Travellers can fit a credit card and cash in the pocket, and you can take a walk and not bring a lot of things.”
Agra and Tokarski both moved from Brazil to Australia seven years ago, after they met in Sydney while studying for their masters. While Agra is a designer by trade, Tokarski was formerly a biologist.
“A lot of things I learned about sustainability as a biologist, I can use now,” Tokarski says. “The part of the business I really love is looking for the best materials.”
So far, those materials include organic canvas on the backpacks, leather, and a technical mix of cotton and suede, which is used to line the inside of Von-Röutte bags. Each piece is constructed by hand by a team of 20 people in a factory in Vietnam.
Von-Röutte will offer various product drops and different colourways every few months, but doesn’t plan on cluttering the market with anything it deems unnecessary.