こんにちは from Japan

Friend of Applied Works, Lidia Leto, is an Accessories and Leather designer for luxury menswear brand Alfred Dunhill.  Working with products and fashion, Lidia’s job constantly references both craftsmanship and creativity. Here we ask her to highlight some of her recent finds.

I recently travelled to Asia on a research trip as well as visiting Duhill offices and stores. My time was split between Shanghai and Tokyo. Tokyo really lives up to it’s name as a Metropolis, it is a city where you are overloaded with amazing buildings, people, shops and products.

The first thing I noticed was that the consumer market I am designing for in Japan is completely unique and after a few days it became clearer why. Japan is truly a place of creativity and innovation. Incredible craftsmanship has been passed down through generations and reinterpreted into innovative new products, from fashion to home design, creating a unique hub of creativity. Brands who are already respected in their own rights frequently collaborate on limited edition products, constantly striving to bring something fresh to the market. There is always something new to see.

In terms of bags, lightweight and practical is the key. From the businessman to the trendy shopper, nylon totes and document cases are everywhere. A far cry from the rich leather bags the western luxury customer would be carrying.

Taking a break from fashion products, I went to the amazing stationary store Itoya in Ginza and the incredible Tokyo Hands in Shibuya, possibly my favourite store on earth. A whole morning had to be scheduled in for that one store….and here are some of the things I found:

A wonderful eraser with never ending corners! Everybody loves a precise corner on their eraser, here lies the solution. Designed by Chiaki Murata.

A lemon squeezer that so easily becomes a mexican!

An intricate and delightful greetings card titled ‘Infinity’, designed by Masahiro Chatani.
Here’s the blurb written on its packaging;

‘One piece of paper creates an ultimate space. Countless lines produce 3-D space beyond reality. You can have numerous different images whenever you see this paper from different angles.

Infinite bright possibilities are waiting for you in the future.

This would be a gift ideal for an unforgettable happy occasion in your life such as an entrance ceremony at schools and companies.’