As Fred Perry and Woolrich will testify, a collaboration with this detail-obsessed Japanese accessories brand is something to be treasured.
If you’re going to name your label Master-Piece, you better hope your product is top notch. Happily for this Japanese brand, its range of quirky accessories is just that.
Master-Piece was founded in Osaka in 1994 and takes classic men’s accoutrements including bags, key rings and bum-bags and applies the exacting eye and attention to an unusual detail for which the brand’s homeland is famous.
The real attraction of the collections is how well-considered the esoteric Japanese touches are that avoid tricks and gimmickry and instead concentrate on interesting and subtle departures from standard styles.
This approach is normally reserved for the luxury leather luggage favoured by businessmen in grey suits, but it’s refreshing to see it in a more casual context. The old, but no less important marriage of form and function is the concept on which Master-Piece is built. Great clips, straps and metalwork are combined with quality fabrics and leathers, sourced in Japan at the company’s factory in Toyoka outside Osaka.
The Harris Tweed Slash and Woolrich collaborations have proved particularly successful with buyers for spring 12, a collection that is still selling should you, like etailer Oki-ni and Shoreditch indie Present (its only two UK stockists), want your own piece of the Master-Piece action.
It’s the brand’s simple but well-considered attitude that’s seen a variety of collaborators seek it out; all are people who, according to the brand, have a strong identity and expertise in making things that Master-Piece can’t.
Brands such as Fred Perry and cult artist Koji Toyoda from Palm Graphics all add an extra dimension to what the brand offers. Up next for the label is a link-up with Folk, a marriage that promises to move the range on once again.
Collaborations aside, for autumn 12 the brand is reworking its signature Over series. Featuring bum-bags, rucksacks and holdalls, the series moves on with new fabric technology, in particular with nylon and synthetics updating well-known shapes. With wholesale prices starting at £60 and rising to £150 for the larger styles, a trip to trade show Capsule in New York, Berlin and Paris in January might just see a Master-Piece in your store for autumn 12. l
- Master-Piece 00 81 06 6209 2666 www.master-piece.co.jp