Pursuing product making by turning the spotlight on the culture and tradition of Japanese commoners that cannot be found in museums

Made-in-Japan Product Making

 Since its establishment in 2007, Porter Classic has brought into the world a wealth of made-in-Japan clothes and bags, all manufactured under the concept of "world-class standard". All Porter Classic products share a common notion: allowing users to carve their history into its products. As born witness by Porter's statement, "to pursue products that even users’ grandchildren will love", one can feel the strength and depth in each of its products, created through the accumulated knowledge and techniques of designers and craftspeople.

A Deeply Instilled Craftsperson's Soul and Exciting Experiences Abroad

 The founders of Porter Classic are Katsuyuki Yoshida and his son, Leo Yoshida. Katsuyuki has been building his skills as a bag designer since he was in his 20s, while Leo has demonstrated multiple talents as a photographer and a writer. Katsuyuki travelled to Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States in his 20s and learned about the folk customs, cultures, and history of different places around the world. After returning to Japan, Katsuyuki distinguished himself as a bag designer, using the knowledge that he broadened abroad. In 1981, he was selected as the first Japanese member of the New York Designers Collective.

Japanese Techniques Found at an American Flea Market

 A few years before the Yoshida family founded Porter Classic, Katsuyuki spotted a worn-out kendo uniform by chance in a flea market in the United States. The uniform looked like it had been a long time since it had first been woven, but he was utterly impressed by the garb's excellent texture. Katsuyuki found this fabric, which is only used for kendo uniforms in Japan, shining in the United States. He felt strongly that he wanted to create his products using this excellent material.
 That is how the PC KENDO series, made using kendo uniform fabrics, came to become an iconic Porter Classic product line. The PC KENDO series is made by combining the fabric's unique Japanese texture with design tastes inspired by foreign countries. The fabrics are made with the highest quality cotton threads such as Sea Island cotton and Suvin Gold, while improvements are added each season. The cotton fabrics, which are dyed in indigo, are robust and can be enjoyed for their ageing and fading. They fit better onto users' bodies over time. Porter's bold move of incorporating kendo uniform fabrics into its product making has overturned conventions not only in Japan but worldwide, invoking many responses.

Mr. Katsuyuki and Mr. Leo wearing the "PC KENDO" series

Art Pieces Found Outside Museums

 Another symbolic product line of Porter Classic is the PC SASHIKO series. Its lineup includes a product made by overlaying one fabric onto another, just like patchwork, and a design embroidered on indigo-dyed fabric as if drawing lines with threads. These designs incorporate the Japanese traditional techniques called sashiko (Japanese quilting).
 Sashiko is a Japanese handicraft technique that has been passed down since around 500 years ago. Intricate geometric patterns are hand embroidered on overlaid fabrics. In the past, in Japan, fabrics were only produced by hand, making them very valuable items. Sashiko was used to repair torn fabrics and areas of fabric in which the weave had become loose to add strength and warmth. Sashiko techniques were often used in severely cold regions. They represent the wisdom of commoners' lives—trying to utilize limited resources to the maximum until the end. Beautiful design patterns were born over time as they were creatively improved, and these designs were passed down in each region. Katsuyuki uses this expression, "art pieces found outside museums, born from the necessity of life", to describe sashiko.

"PC SASHIKO" series

New Creations Utilizing Traditions

 Today, some Porter users make repairs just as their ancestors did using traditional sashiko techniques, and continue to use the products with love. "We would like to continue to turn the spotlight on excellent Japanese culture, traditional techniques, and good old ways of thinking and assimilate them into new ways of making products. With this mindset, we want to produce products that provide surprises and discovery and that are loved and enjoyed by many people", said Haruhiko Yoshida, a Porter Classic director.