- Buyer's Guide
Our Favorite Japanese Carry Brands
We love Japanese carry. Why? For starters, the impeccable craftsmanship - some of the best in the world. With many artisans spending years honing and perfecting their skills, top-notch Japanese brands truly do create works of carry art. Then there's the beautifully minimalist design sensibilities expressed with controlled flair. An appreciation of aesthetics balanced and enhanced by functionality. Not to mention a melting pot of cultural influences and inspiration, from the refined and traditional to the vibrancy of Japan's unique street style. Of course, different brands have their own distinct take on how they deliver great carry, and we've highlighted some of our favorite Japanese carry brands below...
PORTER by Yoshida & Co.
Established in 1962, PORTER is the high-achieving offspring of proud parent company Yoshida & Co. (which traces its beginnings all the way back to 1935). Widely respected across Japan, the brand also enjoys an appreciative global audience. PORTER is known for its meticulous craftsmanship and thoughtful designs that cover a range of carry needs, from business to travel and EDC. PORTER is also no stranger to collaborations, teaming up with brands such as Descente ALLTERRAIN, S/Double (Shawn Stussy), MUG (a label from Japanese brand MINOTAUR), and Comme des Garçons to name a few.
This Japanese brand have been in the carry game since 1994 and boy, do they know how to play it well. The brand is a firm believer that fashionable aesthetics shouldn't come at the expense of functional design. So they carefully craft a balance of good design and good looks, delivering products that merge excellent construction, practical design with considered details, and a distinct aesthetic style. The brand places high value on superior craftsmanship, creating each of their bags by hand in their BASE OSAKA workshop and taking great pride in showcasing the skills of Japanese artisans to the world.
Inspired by traveling workers in 19th century America, while celebrating quality Japanese craftsmanship, hobo is a carry tale of East meets West. hobo bags are designed for versatility and robust funtionality, with a healthy dose of urban-friendly styling. The brand was founded in 2004 and today offers a variety of carry products including backpacks, totes, wallets and messengers.
Through a history spanning well over a decade visvim has built up a cult status and loyal fanbase around the world, drawing appreciation for its covet-worthy carry. Sure, it's pricey, but you do get quality for your cash - not to mention knowing nods of approval from cool cats in the streetwear scene.
HERZ have been hand-crafting leather carry since 1973. That's a long time to hone crafting skills - and it shows. The brand's leather bags and accessories are beautiful both in looks and construction. Built to go the distance, HERZ pieces stand out for their meticulous attention to detail combined with timeless and functional design.
abrAsus really shine in the small carry department. Their wallets and card cases boast clever features combined with aesthetics that suit work and play - all wrapped up in compact forms that make them a pleasure to carry.
FREDRIK PACKERS creates carry gear designed for life on foot or the bike, from business meetings to relaxing in the park. Catering to everyday use across a range of environments, their bags keep things visually interesting with intriguing silhouettes that hint to the heyday of outdoor carry.
Taking sports and utility as focus points, nanamica offers carry that's functional, up for action and flexible in aesthetics, with styles to suit the campus, the commute or your day off. nanamica also collaborates with The North Face for the Japan-only THE NORTH FACE PURPLE LABEL.
LEATHER ARTS & CRAFTS MOTO
Established in 1971, the brand's sleek and clean bags and wallets look right at home in work and play environments. Timeless aesthetics, careful craftsmanship and practical features all play their part in giving the pieces the ability to adapt to changing needs and settings.
Originally founded in Brooklyn in 2000, Postalco have called Tokyo home for over a decade. Utilizing traditional Japanese craft skills, the brand creates designs that are functional, unisex and ready for everyday use. Offerings include backpacks, totes, wallets, pouches and more, featuring the use of intriguing textures and materials such as Farmer's Felt (a durable paper material), Hammer Nylon and textured leathers.
Founded in 1976, BEAMS is into everything from clothing to furniture and footwear, and caters to a range of lifestyles and ages. In addition to creating carry under its own labels, BEAMS is known for extensive collaborations, partnering with a variety of brands from Arc'teryx and Manhattan Portage to Mission Workshop and Yoshida & Co. (B JIRUSHI YOSHIDA).