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Out of Office

Anyone who’s lived in New York will tell you about its capacity to shrink fields of vision.  Suddenly, one’s whole world becomes reduced to the streets, parties, blogs, food, bars, and people (both known and unknown) of the great city - and that city alone.  Somewhat disturbingly, the importance of anything happening outside of the five boroughs (the marriage of some British royals, or a German election, say) diminishes into a matter of only mild interest.  The best milkshake flavours at Momofuku’s milk bar on the other hand are worthy of lengthy discussion.

This is part of the city’s warped magic, but for New York-based designers Kapono Chung and Diana Frame, who met at the famously fast-paced agency Mother, it was also the catalyst to start something fresh.

“Much of the impulse to leave our full time positions was the feeling that we wanted to interact with more places and people outside of NYC,” says Diana.

“We get stuck in a little bit of tunnel vision here in New York because it’s so crazy and so fast. But we realized that there are these other pockets all over the place where there are these crazy-creative things happening.”

 Summer accessories label Out Of Office was their ticket to ride.  Born out of a desire to make more, experience more and explore more far-flung destinations, the couple created a laid back, summer-loving brand and utilised their respective skills in graphic design and production (as well as a mutual fearlessness of new challenges) to create some feel-good accessories to match.  

Banana print Japanese denim tote bags, slick leather caps in mint and soft grey, and thick monochromatic cotton towels made in New York are just the start of their collection.

“I think Out Of Office is a way to explore and laud the movements in Rio, Tokyo, South Africa, and even more off-the-beaten-path places,” Diana explains. 

Kapono was born in Hawaii and Diana spent a good part of her childhood there, and so it’s no surprise that the designs on their beach towels are inspired by the aquaphiles’ tropical travels.  Their Cacimba towel is named after one of the big waves in Brazil for example, while the Girl from Ipanema also makes an appearance.  

In the past year the pair have visited Australia, Jamaica, Italy, Miami, and Hawaii.  No wonder they’ve called their company Out of Office.

“It is literally what we do out of the office - for now making bags and travelling as much as we can.”

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Check out Out of Office's Tavares, Cacimba and Ipanema beach towels.

With help from Working Not Working and Of A Kind