- Buyer's Guide
HERZ shop visit :: Japan
We were lucky to land Mr. Jonathan Lukacek as a guest contributor for this awesome shop visit of a traditional Japanese leather carry brand. You may recognize his name, as he runs his own killer site from Japan called Bandanna Almanac, which we highly recommend you spend some time browsing through. Funnily enough, Jon and I met through Instagram. He offered to nab me a pair of Japanese-made Kapital Century Denim sashiko denim jeans direct from the source, and mail them to me here in the USA. A few weeks later, they’re easily the single favorite piece of clothing I’ve ever owned.
In our email exchanges, we began discussing high-end Japanese carry, and he brought up the idea of a Herz shop visit. We love learning about brands that are new to us and love seeing the various aspects of the handmade process, so this was a no-brainer for us. Thanks for the post, Jon. Enjoy!
Herz is a small Japanese (Shibuya district of Tokyo) based leather craftsman workshop, which started in 1973. A company founded on handmaking non-mass produced, made-to-order leather bags and accessories.
About 30 craftspeople spread across the branches build each product to order. I visited the Osaka branch recently to take a closer look at Herz quality. In the store you can see how the leathers in each color will age, and get care instructions from the helpful friendly staff.
“One person, one order at a time”: the traditional craftsman method.
On my visit, Nemoto-san showed me how they produce an Osaka exclusive iPad bag.
Watching him work I got a sense for the Herz philosophy of production and product. Easy to hold, easy to use, timeless, and durable. What more can you ask for?
Looking at their other products, they keep things simple but to an extremely high degree of quality.
They use two types of leather in five colors, sturdy stitching, hand-set fittings, plus reinforced handles and wear-points.
The thing that I like the most though is that you can look the person who is going to make your bag or wallet in the eye before you lay your money on the counter.