Talking Shop with Tired Projects

Blurring the lines between maker and artist, Tired Projects is a goods collaboration between Noel Mercado and Kyle Genander. Known for their vibrant, eye-catching bags and totes, Tired also makes smaller pieces such as leather keychains and wallets.

The two have been friends for seven years. Kyle is an accomplished painter and visual artist, and Noel works with leather and fabric. Each talented in their own right, their combined efforts fuse fashion and art making their pieces truly one of a kind.

Kyle and Noel began collaborating in earnest and formed Tired Projectsin the Fall of 2017. Early efforts prototyping painted canvas bags were rough around the edges, but promising. As they fine-tuned their process, upgrading materials and equipment, interest grew organically. The two recall wearing the bags in public and getting asked “Where’d you get that? I want one!”

Over the next year, inquiries poured in and the two have been hustling hard ever since. Each of the bags begins with the canvas. Kyle, drawing inspiration from “the city streets, bright colors and cracks in the walls,” paints vivid large scale abstractions. These are cut into smaller pieces, which become the building blocks for Noel’s seam and leather work. The finished pieces are equal parts rugged and refined, instantly recognizable.

You can see Tired’s aesthetic proudly displayed at Logan Square hot spot, Young American where they were tapped to design aprons for the bar staff. “That was bucket list for me,” says Noel. “To have something you made functioning in a space like that, being worn and moving around feels really good.”

If you’re looking for something for yourself or as a gift, you’ll have to move fast! Demand keeps growing and most of Tired’s pieces sell out quickly. - RH

Insta: @tired.projects