Established in 1935 by Kichizo Yoshida in Tokyo, Porter-Yoshida & Co. is one of the most acclaimed luggage companies to exist within the contemporary fashion landscape.
The products designed by Porter-Yoshida & Co have an unmatched ability to transcend time and style and remain one of the most influential and highly regarded brands today.
Through their ability to maintain a stronghold over the Japanese consumer market amid the interwar period and post World War 2, their luggage successfully served both the emerging Japanese 'everyman' businessman, as well as Japanese Royalty. This included Empress Michiko, who wore her Yoshida handbag to and from tennis practice in the mid-1950s and put Yoshida & Co. at the forefront of Japanese lifestyle and culture.
Summarised in their brand philosophy and the personal motto of Kichizo Yoshida as craftmanship that nurtures "one stitch all soul", the brand takes pride in their local production methods and the abilities of their craftsmen. Yoshida & Co.'s craftsmen are described as working with passion and faith in their practice while placing "heart and soul into every stitch" (Yoshida & Co, Ltd.).
While the brand has established an illustrious reputation for quality and design amongst all their luggage series, it is the Tanker series that stands at the forefront of both historical and contemporary fashion.
Originating in 1983, the Tanker series is inspired by the flight jacket MA-1 of the US Air Force. According to lead Tanker craftsman Matsurou Ikeda, the Tanker series success is driven by it's lightweight, durable construction and its soft, cotton nylon blend (Matsurou, Yoshida & Co. Ltd). What is not mentioned, is Porter Yoshida & Co's unparalleled ability to make tangible the deep-rooted and complex interrelationship between contemporary and vintage Japanese fashion and Post-War American military influences. This interrelationship is seen and personified through the popular collection of vintage military garments and product series such as the Tanker series.
The Tanker series is there the embodiment of a unique union of Eastern and Western cultures despite a warring post-war context. It is this kind of sentiment created by Porter-Yoshida & Co, that should be encouraged within the current fashion landscape and into the tumultuous environment that is 2020.
The Force collection tells a more contemporary story of military influence. The collection was launched in 2012 as uses similar army-inspired designs and construction to replicate the irregularity and ageing of khaki and black military textiles in modern and more practical products. The Force Collection is a nod to the collection of military garments in the contemporary fashion landscape.
Above the Clouds honours the 85 year legacy of Porter-Yoshida & Co., for their ability to materialise Japan's complex history and present it at the highest quality at the forefront of the fashion and textile industry. We are privileged to put forth such a profound brand.
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Research and information extracted from this article has been sourced from Yoshida & Co. Ltd.