Sept. 4, 2014
To call it a belt-buckle store is to vastly underrate the treasures inside the Pat Areias boutique, now open on Maiden Lane and the latest of three — the first opened in Carmel in 1987, followed by another on New York’s Madison Avenue. Areias, a California horsewoman, studied in Mexico in college and traveled throughout South America, developing a love for regional arts and crafts. After marrying in Mexico, she set her sights on sterling, and employed a team of silversmiths in Cuernavaca, outside Mexico City, who craft each piece by hand. From her first three-piece buckle set, an array of designs have evolved, from Danish modern to whimsical floral and fauna to stone-encrusted motifs. Buckles aren’t all — the shop carries statement-making silver jewelry and objects d’art for the home, and of course, belts, in a rainbow of bright hues and unusual skins (leather, ostrich, sting ray), for men and women to pair with everything from jeans or slacks to golf pants. Don’t like what you see? Bring a design or idea and they’re happy to work on it with you, too.