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Bill Amberg has united his passion for all things leather and opened a neat little NoLIta shop. In the seventies, Amberg was known for the streamlined leather-and-aluminum chairs that were ubiquitous in UK airports, but this English lover of hides has branched out, so now one can prattle on about his handsome briefcases that get better with age, handbags that go from serious to smashing, ever-so-luxe luggage, and wallets in bright shades. (From $130 for a wallet to $500 for a St-Tropez tote to $900 for an oversize computer bag.)
BILL AMBERG/230 Elizabeth Street/ 212-625-8556
These cheery Euro-bathers are a sophisticated twist on the standard kid-friendly animal washcloth. They're the bright idea of Sylvia Louagie, a fashion designer with a thing for hands, and though John Derian found them at a gift fair in Paris, they're hand-made in Belgium ($10 each).
JOHN DERIAN COMPANY/6 East 2nd Street/212-677-3917
Photographed by Joe Scafuro
Folle, a venerable Danish manufacturer of staples, thinks the stapler reached its apogee in 1946 -- an opinion that's a tad self-serving, perhaps, since that happened to be the year the company introduced its very first one. Folle has been producing its steel classic ever since, and now it's revved up with baked-on colors. Happily, this desktop essential's bottle-opening capabilities (a relic from the pre-screw-top forties) has been left intact ($45; also in red).
MXYPLYZYK/125 Greenwich Avenue/212-989-4300
A Piece of the Rockwell Group
If the name David Rockwell seems to pop up everywhere, it's not surprising. David and his Rockwell Group have created the dramatic interiors for Nobu, Vong, the Monkey Bar, and Payard, and more recently the dining concourse at Grand Central. But now you don't have to own a restaurant to possess a Rockwell. Like Michael Graves and Philippe Starck before him, this popular architect has come up with a line of products for the home, starting with Ricky and Little Ricky. These wall sconces were originally designed for the Away Spa at the W Hotel, and they can be hung vertically or horizontally. A pivoting diffuser lens modifies the direction of the light. Among the tempting options are laminated glass with gingko leaves, frosted seeded glass, white-opal acrylic, a color-block pattern, and -- our favorite -- polished stainless steel with amber mica ($485 shown; others from $340 to $590).
CREATIVE LIGHTING/223 Court Street, Brooklyn/718-935-0393
GL LITES ON LTD./1675 Third Avenue, at 93rd Street/212-534-6363
THE LIGHTING CENTER LTD./240 East 59th Street/212-888-8388