Accessories designer broadens appeal

When WAG first met with Brian Toohey in early 2013, we were touched by his genuine thoughtfulness. 

As Toohey catches up with WAG again on a lovely morning, it’s clear he hasn’t changed.

Three years ago, Toohey was shifting his design focus from jewelry and handbags to luxury leather belts. Now his men and women’s belt collection has grown to include the equestrian market as well.

“I have an affinity for the equestrian world,” he says. “I rode as a boy, and so when I design, much of my design has an equestrian feel.”

Toohey first introduced his equestrian line at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, as well as in Saugerties and other area towns, meeting with immediate success.

“The belts were selling like crazy,” he says. “And I soon realized that it would not be as productive for me to run to all of these events around the country. So I decided to do a wholesale show for the equestrian market.”

Toohey sells his belts to stores nationwide, which will soon include the Connecticut and New York area. The American-made belts are composed of fine Italian leather, with saddle leather for the liner. The saddle leather, Toohey says, makes the belts age beautifully.

“This is all made in America, and I know that the quality I’m producing rivals the best in the world,” he says.

All of the belt buckles — many of which resemble stirrups — are custom-crafted locally as well. The belts are currently available in brown, black, luggage tan, soft orange and periwinkle blue, with more colors soon to come. In addition to belts, the collection also includes leather wristband accessories.

And though perfect for equestrians, the belts are versatile, Toohey says.

“There is an excellent crossover appeal, so it’s a belt that they’re wearing as they’re riding, but it’s a belt that they can wear also in fashion.”

For more about Brian Toohey’s belts, call 914-391-3374 or email btoohey2@optonline.net. 

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