Gustavo Godoy developed a fascination with leather as a young boy in Brazil, where he would visit his uncle’s tannery. His self-described obsession took him to schools in Paris, Madrid, London, and New York to study the craft of leatherworking. While representing a Brazilian tannery that was expanding into the country-western market, Godoy’s work brought him to Dallas, where he found a welcoming community with an appreciation for fine leather. So in 2013, he opened his own shop, Gustavo Godoy Leatherworks, where he now leads a team of artisans creating intricately patterned hair-on-hide and leather rugs, pillows, and other home goods—all impeccably handcrafted in his Design District studio. Because his work, a mix of residential and commercial, is so detailed and time-consuming—rugs can take four to six weeks, while complex wall coverings can take up to a year—his atelier concentrates on “a few very special projects for a few special clients” at a time. For Godoy, the evolutionary nature of his art is reward in itself.
Favorite local place to get inspiration: A walk along Turtle Creek
Place not enough people know about but should: My first year abroad was spent as an exchange student in Mexico, so when I find a good Mexican restaurant, I stick to it. I have been going to Taquero since they started. Their menu is very refined.
Home item you can’t resist: Beautiful pottery, vintage or new
A home can never have too many: Candles
Favorite book: Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis
Favorite art or coffee table book: Oscar Niemeyer Houses
“Taking a natural material and transforming it into something that someone will live with and cherish for years gives me a great sense of accomplishment,” he says.
Favorite item you purchased in the last year: My Regad fileteuse electric creaser machine, bought at Mando in Paris
Instant mood booster: Protein shake, cold shower, and loud music
What you collect: Don’t see it as a collection, but I tend to acquire a lot of shoes
One thing everyone should have in their closet: A white shirt
Fashion piece you can’t live without: A handmade belt
Favorite designer: Ralph Lauren
Favorite apothecary item: Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash by Kiehl’s
Signature scent: Le Labo Oud 27
You are hosting a dinner party. What are you cooking? For sure, a mean flan
Five favorite things in your home:
- In my new studio loft, I broke the bank for my kitchen by Brazilian brand Ornare—their craftsmanship is superb and Olavo Faria, the owner, is the best.
- Jangada chair by Jean Gillon. It’s a Brazilian midcentury-modern classic.
- Jura coffee maker. Try the coffee made by a Jura and tell me your thoughts after.
- Sonos speakers—I love simplicity and versatility.
- My storage bed, in the works by Carlos Guerrero. This furniture maker and finisher is a genius, a neighbor, and a good friend. He’s always there when I need to borrow some sandpaper.
Go-to bottle of wine: I love surprises so Conundrum White, as they don’t exactly reveal the grape’s variety. The wine is produced by the Wagner family, maker of the acclaimed Caymus.
Guilty pleasure: I’m a dulce de leche connoisseur. My favorite one is made by my mom’s neighbor at her ranch and is cooked slowly on a low fire. The end result is a creamy texture and not overly sweet.
Favorite singer: Maria Bethania
Favorite movie: Love in the Time of Cholera
Best gift you’ve received: My dad’s writing instruments collection
Best advice you’ve received: Dad always said to be humble, so I listen to him.