Mmmm… Tucked away in a tiny backstreet of Koenji is one of the absolute finest leather shops in the whole of Tokyo. After spending a solid 20 minutes trying to find the place I was relieved to see upon arrival that my pilgrimage had been very worthwhile. Like almost every other shop in Koenji half the stock seemed to be vintage clothes, but finding its place seamlessly amongst the well selected biker gear was the work of “and meat…” and best of all the designer himself busy at work on a wallet in the workshop that merged with the shop floor.
The leather work itself fits a vintage weathered look perfectly with ornate brass work with a beautiful patina. The leather is of the absolute highest quality using some of the most vivid snake skins I have ever seen and the designer enjoys finding rare imperfections in the surface of the leather to make into a feature in the work. On top of the leather bangles, watch straps and wallets are heavy solid brass accessories that could not be more in vogue right now.
The best thing for me was that everything in the shop (and handful of stockists) has been through the hands of the same man and is pretty much a one-off. To that end I asked him to knock me up a coin purse and he did not disappoint:
I chose the leather – very shiny black snake, brass chains and the conchos and he put down the wallet he was working on and got down to it. Within 20 minutes he was done and needless to say I would not be going on about it now if I was anything less than blown away with it.
Trust me with all the coverage “and meat…” is getting in the Japanese press right this is a brand to watch. I really am looking forward to seeing how his style evolves over time and while I love the brass, it surely is only a matter of time before he breaks out some nicely darkened silver. At the very least I am so pleased with my work from him and at a great price to boot. It is an odd name but when you see his work “and meat…” really is a perfect match for such a visceral brand.