Now there are even more ways to mix old-school aesthetics with modern fashion.
Last fall, Japanese fashion label Gyoku caught our eye with its collection of samurai armor-style satchels and pouches. Apparently we weren’t the only ones intrigued by the crossover of bushido and bags, as the line has since been expanded to include new sizes and colors.
Each item is made with flaps of leather with thick cord stitching, mimicking the appearance of lamellar armor worn by Japan’s warrior class.
The large satchel, previously available in red leather, if now offered in black as well, with either crimson or deep blue stitching. The leather is purposely processed to look battle-worn, and inside you’ll find a lining patterned after the decorative and protective edges of traditional Japanese tatami reed flooring mats.
Measuring 27.5 centimeters (10.8 inches) long, with a 20-by-8-centimeter bottom, Gyoku says the large bag can hold three half-liter (16.9-pounce) drink bottles, which should be enough to keep you hydrated when skirmishing with rival samurai clans. In addition to wearing them across your body with the shoulder strap, the 33,264-yen (US$300) large bags can also be worn at the waist with clips.
Similar versatility is on display with the new small satchel, which is also 27.5 centimeters long but has a more compact 5-by-8-centimeter base.
This knocks the carrying capacity down to two half-liter bottles, but you do get the same tatami-border lining. Oddly enough, what you don’t get is much of a price break, since at 32,184 yen the small bag costs nearly as much as its larger sibling, making this an aesthetic-based choice, as opposed to an economic one.
And finally, Gyoku has expanded the color options for its smartphone pouches, which clip at the waist and are large enough to hold an iPhone 6 Plus.
Previously offered either in red with blue stitching or in black with blue stitching, the new design threads red cords through black leather, and is priced at 15,444 yen.
The entire collection can be ordered here through the online shop of Japanese novelty retailer Village Vanguard.