WALLETS_ PURSES _ HANDBAGS

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					                                September 2010 Vol.20

       WALLETS, PURSES & HANDBAGS




   WALLETS, PURSES & HANDBAGS
   SM A L L M AY BE , BU T T HE Q UA LIT Y IS U NQ U E S T IO N A BL E




B
            ags - and wallets, purses and       very top of the pile be that viewed from a     the country in department stores and top       fashion - in Asia and arguably the world
            the like come in all shapes         fashion or a quality perspective.              range stores. Colors, sizes and designs        making it easy to spot what is in, what’s
            and sizes. The materials from       Some of Japan’s very best items produced       across the spectrum can be viewed and          not and what’s on its way out. Clutch bags
            which they are made varies          in leather include wallets, purses, handbags   purchased online or in-person at many of       though are always a safe bet, especially for
greatly depending on where you are in the       and clutch bags - with many more carry         the locations in which they are offered.       those heading out after dark. Traditional
world, locally available materials oftentimes   cases in a range of designs thrown in for      Purchases can always be made in the            shoulder bags never go out, even if the
dominating but one material above all else      good measure.                                  knowledge that workmanship is second           straps alternate between the short and the
is available the world over - leather.                                                         to none; the Japanese being amongst            long, but many designs have grown in the
                                                Many of Japan’s leading leather bag, wallet    the worlds most demanding and attentive
Used by humans for centuries, leather will                                                                                                    volume they can hold in recent years, yet,
                                                and purse manufacturers are based in the       of customers.
never go out of fashion and will always be                                                                                                    regardless of the style and size you are
                                                Northeast of Tokyo in the area between
there or thereabouts in as far as class and                                                    To see what styles are big this year in the    after, leather as the material the product
                                                Ueno and Asakusa; home of the famed
quality go. Japan, of course is no different                                                   wallet / purse department look around, find    in question is made, and the need for
                                                Senso-ji Temple, and many of these bag,
to the rest of the world in as far as such                                                     the obvious fasionista and see what they       attention to detail paid in Japan produced
                                                wallet, and purse brands have been around
attitudes towards leather go, and today the                                                    are using. Observation of bags being used      pieces will never go out! Guaranteed.
                                                for decades – some for over a century.
leather industry in the Land of the Rising                                                     is of course easier than that of cash / card
Sun is as prominent as it has ever been; the    Most specialize in one or two areas and        holders and Japan’s female population are      Yutaka Sakai, the president of BINOH (www.
products manufactured using leather at the      offer their high quality products all over     always at the forefront of bag and purse       binoh.co.jp), is a gentleman immensely



   Bag Liore                                       CÉLENCEE                                       INDEN-YA                                       KIYOKAWA
   B     ag Liore, a bag and leather
         goods shop, was established
   in 1993 by the mother company
                                                   C   ÉLENCEE’s collection is an
                                                       innovative lineup of products
                                                   put together by combining real pre-
                                                                                                  I   NDEN-YA, first inaugurated in
                                                                                                      1582 is a venerable establishment
                                                                                                  that offers perfection in the traditional
                                                                                                                                                 K      IYOKAWA was founded 50 years
                                                                                                                                                        ago in downtown Tokyo close to
                                                                                                                                                 Azumabashi Bridge and the Sumida River.
   “WATA-ICHI” with traditional values             mium leather -- such as crocodile,             craftwork of “inden” – soft, light             This long-established handbag company
   and modern marketing techniques.                python, and lizard with nylon                  deerskin leather decorated with                takes pride in taking care in every process
   The name of the store comes from                and bovine leather. Their “Vanilla             lacquer -- to this very day. All of their      from start to finish as is required to put
   the English word “Bag” and the                  Crocodile” (ivory-colored crocodile)           merchandise, Japanese hand-made                together a product (from design and
   Italian word “Liore,” which stands for          line and “Denim Crocodile” (a                  products by craftsmen, are traditional         planning through manufacturing) and all is
   “radiance, glitter, hope.” Bag Liore is         unique navy-colored crocodile                  products designated by the Minister of         carried out at their own workshop in order to
   the original brand and is especially            leather piece) line-ups are very               Economy, Trade and Industry.                   confirm the ‘fully made-in-Japan’ end item.
   known for leather goods using reptile           popular, with many celebrities                 One of the pleasures of seeing and             Their bags are functional and aesthetically
   leather such as crocodile, and python           plumping for their work.                       using these products is the color and          pleasing, and are created from carefully
   as well as others.                                                                             textural changes you will see come             selected materials with tradition and skills
                                                   The whole process, from the deve-
   Their basic brand concepts are:                 lopment of new materials through               into play over the course of time.             cultivated throughout the history of the
   • Cutting, Mode design and use of               the tanning and manufacturing,                 The longer you use them, the clearer           company. Crafted by expert artisans, but
       high-quality materials.                     takes place in Japan, while                    the lacquer will become, closer to its         with a new approach, their products often
   • Balance between price & quality               materials and even small parts like            original color, while the deerskin will        appear in popular fashion magazines.
   • Pursuing the best possible                    clasps and fasteners are all original          become more supple and soft.                   KIYOKAWA produces two different lines.
       Craftsmanship.                              products.                                      The most popular patterns are                  The “chrim” brand line-up features goods
   • Proposing lifestyles.                                                                        Japanese classic designs of dragon-            with a natural style using delicate colors in
                                                   CÉLENCEE also repairs goods for
   • Love our Japanese technique –                                                                flies, wave crest patterns and tortoise        harmony with nature, with the “handmade
                                                   a top European brand, and also
       Made in Japan.                                                                             shells. These were created using a             touch” of this leather bag manufacturer
                                                   offers free bag cleaning, and the
   The modern construction offered by                                                             Japanese sense of natural beauty,              very evident. Using high-quality materials,
                                                   bags produced by CÉLENCEE will
   Bag Liore matches the stylish town                                                             all linked to the beautiful nature and         put together by both experts and younger
                                                   enrich your soul from the moment
   scenery of Jiyugaoka, and once                                                                 seasons of Japan. Classical designs            craftsmen to bring out the mixed taste of
                                                   you pick them up and carry them.
   inside, the hospitality of the shop                                                            with an accent of modern style added           the two, the “azzuni” brand line-up pursues
                                                   We hope you find the bag of your
   staff and the relaxing and spacious                                                            to them are also a hit. They also have         perfection in texture and functionality.
                                                   dreams that will bring out the
   floor area will make your shopping                                                             plenty of small products which make            Both brands offer goods for both men and
                                                   individuality in yourself.
   expedition even more enjoyable.                                                                for perfect souvenirs.                         women.
                                                                                                                                          September 2010 Vol.20

                                                                                                                                    WALLETS, PURSES & HANDBAGS

proud of the wonderful range he produces,       the edge of each piece, and in particular
and rightly so.                                 smaller items, is inspected , a hard-wearing
                                                form of sealant unique to Japan.
Crocodile, lizard and other reptilian leather
form the backbone of BINOH’s collection         Most items are produced from creatures
that includes bags large and small in a         – crocodiles, pythons, other snakes and
huge range of styles, shades and colors.        a variety of lizards and ‘monitors’ native
Purses and wallets too can be, and are          to South East Asia, imported into Japan
produced from such leather and are              where they are treated and processed.
always popular investments for those
looking for a little class.                     *Some items sold in Japan fall under
                                                               the jurisdiction of
From large black cro-                                          “Convention on In-
codile    leather     bags                                     ter national Trade in
capable of sufficing for an         THE RANGE PRODUCED BY      Endangered Species
overnight trip, or as part         BINOH ALL DEMONSTRATE AN    of Wild Fauna and
of an overseas vacation            IMMENSE AMOOUT OF CARE      Flora(CITES)”.
baggage collection (see           AND ATTENTION EXEMPLIFIED          If a tourist buys items
* note below) to clutch             BY THE SEALING PROCESS           under CITES to bring
bags more at home in the                                             them back to their own
hands of a lady on a night
                                     EVIDENT IN EACH PIECE,
                                   WHICH IS UNIQUE TO JAPAN          or another country, it is
at the opera, humanity’s                                             necessary to obtain a
preference to recycle                                                CITES export permit
from time immemorial is                                              issued by The Ministry
only reinforced in these                         of Economy Trade and Industry(METI).
interesting pieces still being sold today.
                                                 Japan Leather and Leather Goods
Throughout the range produced by
                                                 Industries Association
BINOH, the delicate patterns of the
scales, some lifting slightly when touched       www.jlia.or.jp
all demonstrate an immense amount of             Writer: Mark Buckton
care and attention in the manufacturing          Photographs: Official BINOH &
process. This is magnified many times            Christopher Jue                                 Yutaka Sakai - the president of BINOH.
over when the ‘sealing’ process evident at



   Le Prairies GINZA                                mic                                           Squeeze                                              ZURRON BLVD
   L     e Prairies GINZA uses only the
         finest and best leather carefully
   selected from sources around the
                                                    M      ic is a private brand launched
                                                           in 1978 by a small leather
                                                    goods producer, inaugurated in
                                                                                                  A    ll staff at Squeeze are expert handbag
                                                                                                       craftsmen. At one end of the store is
                                                                                                  an atelier in which these artisans create
                                                                                                                                                       A     clothing and accessories store
                                                                                                                                                             boasting a sophisticated and
                                                                                                                                                       stylish lineup of handbags, small goods,
   world with their strict quality standards.       1961. Every year they produce                 each product using domestic Japanese                 and clothing items. The colorful items
   “Tradition and refinement,” are their            more than four thousand different             materials. All of the products – from the            on display are wonderful even just to
   corporate policy. Inside the store the           types of small leather goods, but             women’s clutch bags to small leather                 browse through, and as new products
   atmosphere is like that of a museum.             specialize in leather purses – 100            goods – are self-manufactured and 100%               arrive every two weeks, you may find
   Their products range from items with a           percent original productions from                                                                  something you might would like to
                                                                                                  “Made in Japan,” which is why these high-
   very basic design to highly crafted work.        the very first design through to                                                                   purchase, even on repeat visits but our
                                                                                                  quality, stylish creations can be purchased
   The “Kakutaku” lineup, which uses rare           the end of the sewing process.                                                                     advice would be to buy it on the spot
                                                                                                  at such moderate prices.                             because all items sold here are one-offs.
   and wonderfully high-quality natural             Purses being their specialty, they
   materials such as lizard and elephant            put a great deal of thought into              The designs are simple, with great                   Many of the products are themselves
   leather from all over the world sewn by          functionality as an item for daily            emphasis on being lightweight as well as             original goods with unique and beautiful
   veteran Japanese craftsmen, and the              use when they plan products.                  in their usability, but with a playful touch         designs, including handbags decorated
   “Seamless” lineup, which hides stiches                                                         such as embossed gilt, and punched                   using traditional Japanese techniques
                                                    Having been in the business for a             decorations.
   on the product surface, are just two of                                                                                                             such as “makie,” a pattern drawn in
                                                    long time, mic has the experience                                                                  lacquer with sprinkled gold or silver
   their many original products.                    and technique capability to tailor            You can also choose from the many
                                                                                                  different leather materials they have in             powder and with a lacquer coating,
   Fashionable leather-lovers are the main          to customer’s wishes and to                                                                        and “yuzen dye” on leather. These are
   customers to shop here, and offer                elaborate on what they produce.               stock, colors and patterns to suit your own
                                                                                                                                                       a collaboration of cutting-edge fashions
   a monogram service for those who                 They also have an immense wealth              taste, and even order a custom-made bag              and traditional industrial artwork.
   purchase pieces.                                 of knowledge on leather materials             just for yourself. They can also turn scarves
                                                    and have connections to many                  and obi into handbags and can fix or repair          Many of our clients are the more
   Men and women alike can choose from                                                                                                                 fashionable, discerning women in their
                                                    different areas from which they can           existing bags and faults too.
   a wide variety of bags, purses and                                                                                                                  fifties, but a lot of foreign visitors also
   small goods. Their products are made             purchase a variety of materials. All          The store itself is located in an area worth         come to the store. The goods here
   of cordovan, a tough but supple and              this makes it possible for mic to             visiting for sightseeing purposes for those          will satisfy customers and help them
   very rare leather of horse hind; one of          produce the finest, and detailed,             in Tokyo for a limited period -- close to the        understand that bags are an integral part
   the most popular forms of merchandise            easy-to-use purses you will                   Ryogoku Kokugikan, Edo-Tokyo Museum                  of their fashion outlook and we can help
   they offer.                                      find anywhere.                                and Tokyo Sky Tree.                                  them in obtaining the very best the city
                                                                                                                                                       has to offer.

				
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