Let’s go upmarket for a moment. Isaburo 1889 was established, as the name suggests, in 1889 by Isaburo Matsusaki. They specialise in high quality, custom leather luggage products. They have headquarters in the famously fashionable Omotesando.
The showroom doesn’t contain products for sale, but examples of leather and designs which, after you mix and match, are put together over a month. They use traditional leatherworking techniques along with modern day techniques.
It’s the kind of shop that has a philosophy, which, along with the Omotesando address, tells you that if you have to ask how much the bag is, you can’t afford it. The bags are high quality and very unique however. From their website:
One of the sources for our inspiration was a sea turtle. Sea turtles are known for their habit of continuous traveling. Some of them travel an enormous distance. They hatch in Okinawa, swim across the Pacific, stop by Hawaii, and finally reach California. They then travel the same course back to Okinawa for breeding. Their lives are repetition of such traveling, and for hundreds of centuries they have continued this process. Throughout this extremely long period of time, they have evolved into the current unique form, the soft body protected in the hard, round shell. It is not unnatural for us to associate the structure of the turtles with well-made luggage.
The rucksacks can be purchased outside of Japan from Dynamism, but you won’t be able to customise your purchase. Prices start from US$699. No news sadly on the beautful women’s handbags.
Isaburo 1889 (English and Japanese)