A tote was, at one time, considered not too attractive to carry. The fact that it is an offspring of a shopping bag added to its lo-tech, no-school standing. But, in the end (or at present), practicality wins. The tote has become a firm favourite, one bag sans frills to hold all our worldly posessions when these are not atop shelves or kept in cupboards. And for those who must have a tote with clearly masculine leanings, there’s this roomy version by Japanese label Nanamica.
Going by the odd misnomer Briefcase, this is one tote with an unabashedly sporty personality. It is, in fact, a Nanamica signature style. What sets this apart is its roll-down opening, lending it an outdoorsy, gone-camping touch. The body is constructed with Cordura, that tough, water-repelling fabric so loved by Japanese bag makers (after Harris tweed!), and secured by leather buckled straps. Any executive with an office out in the woods? Or Pulau Ubin, maybe?
Nanamica was founded by Eiichiro Homma in 2003, and has largely remained one of those labels hankered after mostly by folks in the know. Eiichiro Homma is considered one of Japan’s most revered menswear designers and always regarded as the creative force that spearheaded the North Face Purple Label (exclusively sold in Japan), the precursor to The North Face Standard, currently considered to be the country’s best kept style secrets.
With an approach to design that draws from outdoor wear and gear, Nanamica has always captured the Jap spirit of merging utility heft with near-traditional designs. These are not wayward styles but amalgamations that are practical yet stylish.
Modern classics in the making? You bet.
Nanamica Briefcase tote, SGD 420, is available at Surrender, Raffles Hotel Arcade