Tokyo's latest styles have descended on Tortoise, and we're happy to announce select pieces from Comoli, Asahi and Aeta's Spring 2019 collection landing on our shelves. All three lines evoke the edgy and utilitarian streets of Tokyo, reflecting a strong attention to detail that Tokyo's fashion is famous for. Get to know more about the brands below:
Sneakerheads worldwide are buzzing about Asahi's exciting SS19 line up of classic designs from their original 1970's collection that pioneered the belted leather sneakers among many groundbreaking kicks. As Nike's primary sneaker manufacturer in the 70's and 80's, Asahi was pivotal in creating Nike's iconic 'Blazer' and 'Bruin' styles. Since production began in 1892, Asahi shoes (formerly known as Nippoin Rubber Co) have been almost entirely handmade in Kurume Japan, using labor intensive vulcanizing methods for their rubber soles, then applying a unique herringbone technique to their suede and leather trainers. Asahi pioneered this solution when sneaker companies were first confronted with the challenge of producing leather and suede rubber-soled sneakers decades ago. By stitching a cotton herringbone belt between the 2 incompatible materials, Asahi created the ultimate long-lasting seal, and a new durable sneaker backed by artisanal skills was born. The rest, as they say, is history.
After graduating from the famous Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Japan and 8 years designing for the clothing brand ‘E’, designer Komori Keijiro founded "Comoli" in 2011. Taking climate, culture, and the modest sensibility of the Japanese people into consideration, Comoli streetwear is western style clothing made to suit the Japanese spirit. Komori's intention when designing clothing is to create apparel that can easily transition between varying landscapes without showing off or standing out. Whether in a high-end boutique or a day spent downtown in an urban landscape, Comoli suits all environments without any modification. Comoli is everyday wear, everywhere. Wearable in all 4 seasons but especially suited for Japan's sometimes tropical and sometimes cold climate, Comoli creates an easily mutable wardrobe: breathable, intimate, and of course comfortable. Fabric choice is key, opting for fabric that breathes and dries quickly when wet. According to Komori the mainly black and navy palette is inspired by stage technicians that work behind the scenes and blend into the background. The colors are specific yet subtle; Comoli chooses shades of black and navy that change in the light, appearing bluer and redder according to the weather. Aware that darker colored clothing is the most transformational of people's mood, Comoli selects different blacks for different garments to express different nuances.
Above all else, Comoli considers the most important aspect of design 'the feeling of air between the person wearing the clothes and the clothing itself'. Great attention is paid to fabric texture, weight and appearance for this reason, and careful consideration is made to small moments like the sensation of putting your arm through the sleeve - focusing on the gap between your skin and the clothes - making sure there's always room between the two. By understanding the human figure and creating clothes that envelope without restricting, Comoli creates a line of clothing that feels and looks simple and elegant. Their ‘A’ line shirt is a signature of the line, where the draping from the nape of the neck collar lifts towards the waist and away from the body to create an ‘A’ shape: loose around the body for subtle modesty. The materials and manufacturing of Comoli's clothing is entirely made in Japan - even their cashmere coats and knits are 100% domestic cashmere. Needless to say the outstanding quality and attention to detail places Comoli in a different category of streetwear in today's fast fashion, making it a highly sought after line by people seeking modest elegance in their daily uniform.
Aeta is derived from the Japanese word “逢えた” or 'encounter'. The moniker expresses the brand's view that their fine leather goods are the result of many meaningful, irreplaceable encounters - from material to craftsman, pen to paper, design to creation - that bring their products to life. Aeta's production line is shared between Japan and Bangladesh: their cow hide bags designed in Japan while being produced in Bangladesh, and their deer skin products are made entirely in Japan. On an informational trip to Bangladesh, when the brand was first developing, Aeta discovered the highly skilled leather craftsmen of Bangladesh and found they were exceptional at producing fine cow leather of varying pliability. This organically gave rise to Aeta's signature style of the soft cow hide bags as the designers were committed to creating bags that fit the skills of manufacturing rather than the other way around. Aeta bags feel remarkably supple, draping similarly to clothing while also being highly structured with straight simple lines and flat pressed handles. Their bags use a mixture of tanned leather malleable like fabric, as well as an un-treated, un-dyed leather called crust. Despite the two types of leather looking and feeling so different, both come from the same source and are used in tandem for the beautiful construction of Aeta's luxury bags. In a word, it is an 'encounter' of different materials and varied methods - the very foundation of Aeta.