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Words by Mr Peter Henderson
“Sourcing crocodile skin is similar to finding a diamond. It's like how you get big chunky stones that are dark and you cannot see well, then you get ones that shine a lot but are tiny... there is so much natural variation, so the best ones are rare and valuable. We only use grade-A skins, which are the softest and have the fewest imperfections”
Mr Santiago Gonzalez

As president of his mother's firm, Nancy Gonzalez, a renowned producer of luxury leather goods for women, Mr Santiago Gonzalez didn't want to be seen carrying another label's bags - but equally, he didn't want to use women's designs. So he started creating masculine luggage and accessories for himself, made to Nancy Gonzalez's exacting standards and from the same exotic skins. For 12 years Mr Gonzalez built up what he calls his personal "system" of accessories, from travel bags to technology cases, constantly refining them by adjusting details such as pockets and handle lengths to meet his exact needs. For someone who is travelling for 200 days a year, it is safe to say that the amount of research and development behind each of the products is immense, ensuring they are every bit as practical as they are stylish. "The items have been tweaked, and tweaked and tweaked for years," Mr Gonzalez explains.

It was not until 2009 that Mr Gonzalez was persuaded to put his personal collection of men's accessories into production. "We were going to call the line Nancy Gonzalez Man," he tells me over the phone from St Tropez, where he is based this summer. "But then we realised that no men would want to buy bags branded 'Nancy' so we decided to use my name instead." The label's launch party, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, was attended by luminaries from Hollywood and the art world - all of whom, Mr Gonzalez emphasises, are personal friends of the brand and not simply drafted in by publicists. But even if you strip away the glitz of the event, the products stand up for themselves because of their superb craftsmanship and quality. Click through the gallery above to read more about the brand, and to see a selection of the items MR PORTER is stocking this season.

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