Welcome to our blog, a hub of inspiration and beauty, a meeting place for history, fashion, art and inspiration… imagery and words that make us think,  feel, and ultimately inspires our souls to create beautiful, meaningful and exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art. The ancient philosopher Epictetus once wrote:

“Know first who you are, then adorn yourself accordingly” 

Nicoletta Revis
Founder, Director & Designer 

Unique Leather Finger Wear

We are super proud to present to you a unique collaboration between designers Buffalo Girl and Republic of You. We figure two artisans are better than one, so together we designed a gorgeous range of hand-cut, hand-stamped and hand-dyed leather rings handcrafted in the Buffalo Girl studio in Byron Bay, Australia. Using beautiful European leather designed to soften over time, these simple designs are standout pieces with three of the four designs depicting traditional Native American Indian symbols.

Native American Indians are deeply spiritual tribes people whose lives are dominated by rituals and beliefs which are closely connected to their sacred connection with nature. These beliefs are reflected in the various geometric symbols they use, and these symbols communicate their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation. The symbols are generally portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs, with the meaning for each varying greatly from one tribe to another and also across different tribal regions.

Some symbols convey immediately identifiable secret messages to other tribe members distinguishing particular clans, others are specific to individual families and passed down from one generation to another.  Other Native American symbols have more practical purposes such as recording important events, providing directions, acting as warning signs or indicating good hunting areas or areas designated for a specific purpose.

Native American geometric symbols are depicted on numerous objects such as their clothes, tepees, and horses just to name a few. An individual’s belongings are decorated with art and include symbols depicting achievements, acts of heroism, various spirit guides and notable events of his or her life. Continue Reading →

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt

The Dark Side of the Lens

Possibly one of the most visually moving collaboration of videography combined with unpretentious poetic diaglogue I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. The Dark Side of the Lens by Mikey Smith is an intimate six minute portrayal of one mans undying passion for life, Mother Nature and his craft.

Winner – Best Cinematography, Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2011.
Winner – Action Sports Category, Vimeo awards 2012.
Winner – Best Cinematography, 5Point Film Festival 2011.
Winner – Grand Prize – Chamonix Film Festival 2011.
Winner – Best short – New York Surf Film Festival 2011.
Winner – Digital short of the Year, Surfer Poll.
Winner – Relentless Short Stories 2011.
Winner – Driven Creativity Award – Professional Category.
Winner – Amstel Surf Film Festibal, Peoples Choice Award.
Winner – Best short, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
Winner – Best International Short, Canadian Surf Film Festival.
Winner – Best Short, Waimea Ocean Film Festival.

Martinique Island Style

Our new online stockist Martinique Island Style has been busy buying up in the Republic of You department… here is a little sneak peek at their range of exclusive one off pieces of wearable art.

Double Exposed

There is something of a whimsical and ethereal component to double exposed imagery, a dreamy quality which almost demands you stop and take a closer look.

With two images rolled into one, I can’t help feeling the force of those two images combined, making a greater impact telling two stories in one, and thus creatively having a stronger influence on the viewer.

Here are some of my current favourites… which ones make you stop and look, and ultimately think and feel more deeply?

Promise of the Princess Bride

Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled The Promise of a Princess Bride, features:

  • Antique triangular ‘telsum’ prayer box protective amulet pendants, from the Oromo Tribe of Ethiopia, circa early 1900s (see history below).
  • Old ghungroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history below).
  • Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya (see history below).
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Knotted hemp and an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $389

DIMENSIONS:
Length: 25cm
Width of prayer box: 2cm

PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
The piece is fastened at its longest point for this measurement.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 
Ethiopian ‘Telsum’ Prayer Boxes:
Ethiopian prayer boxes are traditionally made from an amalgamation of silver, alloy and/or nickel. Some are elaborately decorated and feature granulated designs created with melted silver. Worn by the Oromo People as protective amulets from various perils and superstitions, these particular amulets date from the early 1900s. Continue Reading →

Nurturing Creativity

Creativity takes shape in so many forms, its facets seem endless from painting to photography, cooking to jewellery design, floristry to music, hairdressing to writing, and architecture to landscaping. Creativity is something, which enriches the soul and brings purpose and meaning to our lives. Continue Reading →

The best dieting advice we have come across all year!

The Story of Ones Life

We collect a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe and breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.
Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled The Story of Ones Life, features:

  • Antique Ethiopian leather talisman amulet scroll, traditionally gifted at birth to give protective properties, healing, and blessings (see history below).
  • Skull pendants hand carved from naturally shed deer antler using a 300-year-old design passed down through generations of a family of carvers.
  • Antique hand-cast brass tubular and trade beads from the Baule Tribe of the Ivory Coast, Africa (see history below).
  • Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya, Africa (see history below).
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Coconut and brass beading on knotted hemp string on an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $679

 

The Baule Tribe:

The Baule also known as Baoulé, are one of the largest ethnic groups of the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in Africa. They played a central role in twentieth-century history of their country having waged the longest war of resistance to French colonization of any West African people, whilst also managing to maintain their traditional beliefs and objects for longer than many other ethnic groups.

According to a legend, during the eighteenth century when Ashanti rose to power, the Baule led by Queen Pokou were forced to leave Ghana as it’s known today. Fleeing for their lives, they travelled west and arrived at the shores of the Comoe, a large river they were unable to cross. The tribe began to throw their most prized possessions into the river. The Queen realized their most valuable possession was her son, and in order to save the tribe she needed to sacrifice him to the river. Continue Reading →

Guess Who?

Images of young icons that made us go ‘wow’!

Queen Bee of the Sea

We collect a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.

Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece. This piece titled Queen Bee of the Sea, features:

  • Coral pendant from Australia.
  • Antique hand crafted ornate brass, and hand-cast trade beads from the Baule Tribe of the Ivory Coast, Africa (see history below).
  • Antique hand-cast brass beads from the Igbo Tribe of Nigeria, Africa (see history below).
  • Fish vertebrae trade beads from Gambia, Africa.
  • Antique brass beads handcrafted by the Yoruba Tribe of Nigeria, West Africa (see history below).
  • Shell clusters with brass and wooden beading on knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $429
 
DIMENSIONS:
Length: 32.5cm
Width of coral pendant: 2cm
PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
The piece is fastened at its longest point for this measurement.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

THE HISTORY:
The Baule Tribe:
The Baule also known as Baoulé, are one of the largest ethnic groups of the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in Africa. They played a central role in twentieth-century history of their country having waged the longest war of resistance to French colonizatio

n of any West African people, whilst also managing to maintain their traditional beliefs and objects for longer than many other ethnic groups.

 

According to a legend, during the eighteenth century when Ashanti rose to power, the Baule led by Queen Pokou were forced to leave Ghana as it’s known today. Fleeing for their lives, they travelled west and arrived at the shores of the Comoe, a large river they were unable to cross. The tribe began to throw their most prized possessions into the river. The Queen realized their most valuable possession was her son, and in order to save the tribe she needed to sacrifice him to the river.

Continue Reading →

King of the Jungle

Actress and model Tippi Hedren, also the mother of actress Melanie Griffith was best known for her role in Hitchcock’s film The Birds.

In 1969, Tippi was filming a movie in Africa and visited an abandoned house in Mozambique occupied by 30 lions and their cubs. Her time spent there changed her life forever and prompted both her and her husband to make a movie about what they had seen.

Production of the 1981 epic film Roar which was considered to be one of the most dangerous films ever made. Little did Tippi and her husband know, but this film starring dozens of African lions would be an 11-year investment that would later cost them their marriage. For a project that cost over $17.5 million, the film only grossed just over $2million in the end.

Soon after production of the film wrapped in 1983, she founded the Shambala Preserve, a fully functioning animal sanctuary to protect exotic animals who suffered from gross mistreatment and neglect.

Hedren still looks back with nostalgia however to the days when she had wild animals in her home:

“I miss nursing the cubs very much,” she said. “I really treasure that experience. There’s nothing sweeter than a little baby lion or tiger cub. They’re magical.”

 

The Wild Wild West

Embossed Leather Gunpowder Flask, circa 1865

We present to you this stunning authentic antique leather gunpowder flask from the American Civil War era, circa 1865. The leather body of this piece is embossed with a truly beautiful hunting scene depicting a gentleman wearing a top hat, carrying a gun with his hunting dog by his side in the woods.

This mid 19th Century flattened pear shaped design is referred to as the ‘powder pear’ or, ‘poire-poudre’. It has a quick loading gunpowder measuring and dispensing mechanism in excellent working order, and the spout is made of brass. At the bottom of the pear shaped flask is a small ring which was once used to thread with cord and sling around the neck for quick access. Gunpowder flasks with these rings were eventually phased out after the 19th Century when Europeans incorporated large pockets into the design of hunting clothes.
(See history below for further information).

A powder flask is a small container for gunpowder, which was an essential part of shooting equipment with muzzle-loading guns before pre-made bullets or cartridges became standard in the late 19th Century. The styles and designs for gunpowder flasks differed greatly with the very elaborately decorated works of art generally used for sport-shooting and hunting. Continue Reading →

For the Love of Lace

Republic of You collects a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.
Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled For the Love of Lace, features:

  • Antique lace collar from the early 1900s.
  • Antique etched fob watch from London (not in working order).
  • WWII General Service tunic buttons from the United Kingdom.
  • Brass chain and miniature glass beads.
  • Antique silver alloy pendants from the Newari People of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (see history below).
  • Antique hand-cast brass bead from the Igbo Tribe of Nigeria, Africa (see history below).
  • POA

DIMENSIONS:

Length: 35cm
Width: 32cm
Width of fob watch: 5cm
Width of buttons: 2cm
PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

The Igbo Tribe:

The Igbo people, formerly known as ‘Ibo’ are one of the largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria. They live mainly in the forested areas of southwest Nigeria, on both sides of the Niger River, and the Igbo number some ten million individuals. They are subdivided into thirty-three subgroups and are spread out among about two hundred villages scattered through thick forest and semi-fertile marshland.

The heads of families form the council of elders which shares its power with numerous secret societies. These societies exercise great political and social influence. They are hierarchical, with their members passing from one level to the next. There is strong social pressure toward individual distinction and men can move upward through successive grades by demonstrating their achievements and their generosity. Continue Reading →

Leatherwear

Key Notes & Essentials:

We like to think simplicity is one of the keys to sophistication, so we have designed this simple yet functional and uber stylish document wallet or computer sleeve to suit both men and women. Seamlessly handcrafted, with durable cowhide leather on both the inside and out, each wallet features a genuine vintage cloakroom tag from 1950s London, and an interior pocket lined with authentic antique sheet music (see history below).

 

I was inspired to create something beautiful using my late grandmother’s collection of antique sheet music. My grandmother’s passion was playing and teaching music… she played the piano and cello, and although I have no memory of her doing this, it was important for to me to create something which honoured one of her great loves in life. Continue Reading →

Recipe for health and happiness...

Alchemy of Art

al·che·my [al-kuh-mee] Magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.

Republic of You collects a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.

We encourage individuality whilst at the same time celebrating history, art, fashion and creativity. Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled The Alchemy of Art, features:

  • Old handmade silver alloy Kuchi rattle pendant and tribal ghungroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history).
  • Vintage blue glass beads from Nepal.
  • Old metal skull mala beads from Tibet.
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya (see history).
  • Knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $389
DIMENSIONS:
Length: 38cm
Width of rattle pendant: 3cm
PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
The piece is fastened at its longest point for this measurement.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

The Banjara Tribe:

The Banjara People are a collective of nomadic gypsy tribes from Northern India. They are said to be the descendants of the Roma gypsies of Europe who migrated to India through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and finally settled in Rajasthan.

Originally the Banjaras were bullock transport carriers and builders of great monuments. For centuries they efficiently moved their enormous caravans through the vast roadless tracks of India guaranteeing safe conduct for grain, salt and messages. Due to the nomadic nature of their culture, they traditionally ‘wore’ their wealth creating a unique aesthetic, colorful dress and spectacular jewelry quite unlike any other tribe. Continue Reading →

Wild Woman of the West

Each piece we create is individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio and given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled ‘Wild Woman of the West’ features:

  • Buffalo skull pendant hand carved from naturally shed deer antler.
  • Skull pendants hand carved from buffalo horn using a 300-year-old design passed down through generations of a family of carvers.
  • Antique hand-cast brass braided beads from Tibet.
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Brass beading and brass chain detail on knotted kangaroo hide leather on an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $509
DIMENSIONS:
Length: 40cm
Width of buffalo pendant: 5cm Continue Reading →

She Sold Her Soul to Rock n Roll

We collect a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.

This piece titled ‘She Sold Her Soul to Rock n Roll’, features:

  • Antique pectoral crucifix with wooden inlay, circa 1930s.
  • Old Indian silver alloy coin pendants from Nepal, undated.
  • Skull beads intricately hand carved from buffalo horn, using a 300-year-old design passed down through generations of a family of carvers.
  • Old cylinder beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history below).
  • Antique barrel key from India.
  • Knotted kangaroo hide leather.
  • AUD $549
 

DIMENSIONS:
Length: 56cm
Width of crucifix: 5cm

PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the back of neck to the end of the piece.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

The Banjara Tribe:
The Banjara People are a collective of nomadic gypsy tribes from Northern India. They are said to be the descendants of the Roma gypsies of Europe who migrated to India through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and finally settled in Rajasthan.
Originally the Banjaras were bullock transport carriers and builders of great monuments. For centuries they efficiently moved their enormous caravans through the vast roadless tracks of India guaranteeing safe conduct for grain, salt and messages.
Due to the nomadic nature of their culture, they traditionally ‘wore’ their wealth creating a unique aesthetic, colorful dress and spectacular jewelry quite unlike any other tribe. Continue Reading →
fear·less [feer-lis] - adj: 

Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. Fearless is having fears, having doubts. Lots of them. Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. Fearless is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s fearless to have faith that someday things will change.