Though the city is bursting with energy and ambition, designer Nic De La Paz's strolls through the busiest streets of NYC sometimes reflect the masses' tendency to follow fads. To do something fresh, and combat such style stagnation, the Brooklyn native founded Botánica, an accessories brand directly inspired by the vivid style of her father Eliette Anthony Alvarez. Following up on her debut "Rosary" collection, the label's recently released (and heavily admired) second season offering sidesteps the theme of religion in favor of focusing exclusively on De La Paz's father, and his richly textured wardrobe.
The "Don Eliette" collection—which has a rather strong vintage Versace vibe—includes an 18k gold ring, two bracelets and a pair of sunglasses. Drawing on the jewelry her father acquired between New York and Puerto Rico in the '60s, '70s and '80s, De La Paz hopes to make rare statement pieces that feel both contemporary and timeless. "My dad is in everything that I do," says De La Paz, "[his fashion] had a huge influence on me as a kid. He was always very much about quality and having nice things, and keeping them nice." To ensure quality and a long life, each piece is made by hand in NYC's diamond district.
In the coming months De La Paz aims to release her third collection under the Botánica label, once again eyeing religious iconography but this time with her sights set on the Middle East—a standout piece is the Arabic nameplate, an unconventional take on the immediately recognizable piece of jewelry worn by many New Yorkers. De La Paz's sole intention is to create lively, conversation-starting jewelry for men to express themselves.
Visit Botánica to view the current collection of unique, handmade pieces ranging from $260 to $630. And keep an eye out for the forthcoming collection online as well.
Lookbook images by Antwan Duncan, all others courtesy of Botánica