South Korea

Brief history of the brand

“Mochi wa mochiya” is an old Japanese proverb. Literally, it translates as “for rice cakes, please go to the cake maker”. Basically, this means that if you want the best product, you should go to an expert. It’s the fundamental tenet on which Yoshida & Co. and its affiliated brands, including Porter, have built their fanatical business.

Yoshida & Co.’s founder, Kichizo Yoshida, began his training in advanced handbag craftsmanship at the young age of 12. Seventeen years later, the then 29-year-old Yoshida created a label that has collaborated with everyone from COMME des GARÇONS and Takashi Murakami to Pokémon and Marni.

Although the Yoshida company is now the world’s beloved purveyor of handbags, it has not come easily. Kichizo Yoshida’s brand, founded in 1935, was spurred by the Great Kanto Earthquake to create bags for carrying essentials and even life-saving items, and its first few years were fraught with disaster and the rigors of World War II.

Yoshida himself was called up for military service. The Yoshida factory is attacked by the United States. To save the lifeline of the business, Yoshida’s wife Chika hides tools and sewing machines under a bridge in Kandacho, Tokyo, to protect them from falling bombs.

Queen’s Choice

That was the 1950s. Yoshida & Co. survived the unimaginable devastation and loss of World War II, and now, it not only survives, but thrives.

Yoshida & Co.’s Elegant Bag, a compact bag with a zipper that changes the bag’s width, has gained popularity in Japan and international attention. A crowd favourite, it’s perfect for navigating a busy city like Tokyo. But Yoshida’s fans aren’t just ordinary Tokyoites.

In the early 1950s, Empress Emiki Michiko of Japan appeared on national television with a white Porter bag slung over her arm, giving the brand a huge boost to its domestic fortunes. After that, it’s unstoppable.

MA-1 bomber jacket

Although Yoshida & Co. and sub-brand Porter were all but killed by war before it had a chance to reach new shores around the world, military and military uniforms are intrinsically linked to the brand today. Yoshida turned this dark part of his history into something that changed his future.

“Back in the ’80s, leather bags were the mainstream choice,” a Potter representative in Tokyo told me. “But we realized that the three-layer fabric used for the MA-1 bomber jacket is durable yet lightweight. It’s a perfect fit for our Tanker bag.”

Often seen in military green or black colorways, the MA-1-inspired Tanker remains one of Porter’s most iconic products, a perfect blend of function and style that has been at the center of the brand’s handbag output for decades.

Yoshida Corporation and its (many) sublabels

Looking at the family tree of Yoshida & Co. and its subsidiaries, you might be a little confused. Porter was founded in 1962, and has since established Porter Girl, Luggage Label and Porter Heat. Not to mention its countless collections of bags, briefcases and wallets.

Although Yoshida & Co. has produced a lot of handbags over the past few decades, it is rather unusual for almost any fashion brand to focus solely on handbags and handbags. Returning to the old Japanese proverb “Mochi wa mochiya”, Porter continues to search for the perfect accessory, researching a wide range of new materials, designs and functions, but never straying from its most familiar products.

Kichizo Yoshida says his products have “heart and soul in every stitch”. Looking at these bags up close, you have to believe in the craftsmanship of the craftsmen.

Scroll through to shop this season’s Porter bags and accessories.

Two-way tote bag
joint key chain
Flex 2-way helmet bag
Tanker Clip Shoulder Bag
Tanker 2-Way Briefcase
balloon sac
snack bag
tanker belt

Want to continue browsing? Head over to the Highsnobiety Shop for more of our favorites.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button