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.