Japanese alligator belts and leather-based items – Everlasting Type


Lately I have been carrying extra belts with tailoring, as I’ve worn different equipment reminiscent of ties and handkerchiefs much less. 

That is meant me upping my belt sport, with a few commissions from Tightly Stitched, some nice belts from Rubato, and a few classic finds (like the bizarre model right here). 

I might additionally admired Ethan Newton’s slim alligator belts, which he normally wears with classic silver engine-turned buckles. You’ll be able to see me carrying one within the picture beneath. 

These are made for Bryceland’s by the maker Ludens (beneath) – a sole operator who works from house close to Kobe in Japan, and in addition makes small leather-based items for the shoemaker Spigola, additionally in Kobe. 

After we have been in Japan earlier this 12 months I had the chance to satisfy Fujii, the person behind Ludens, and be taught a bit bit about his background in addition to fee a few belts. 

He skilled with a bagmaker, beginning 11 years in the past, and moved to work with Koji at Spigola 4 years in the past. However he all the time wished to do his personal factor, primarily centered on American-style merchandise, made to a superb Japanese normal. 

“There are many leather-based employees in Japan, as you’d count on,” he says. “However there is not actually something you possibly can name a Japanese custom. They fluctuate rather a lot in model – if there’s one factor in widespread it is most likely a sure finesse, a precision.”

A kind of kinds could be very polished French-type leather-based items, like a few of these made by Ortus. One other could be the robust, biker-associated wallets made by the likes of Tenjin Works. After which there are people who make extra within the English model, just like the well-known Fugee.

The goal with Ludens is to do one thing a bit completely different once more, with dressier American items reminiscent of these slim alligator belts. 

“It is very early days for me,” says Fujii, “however we have developed a couple of completely different belt kinds and these deerskin pouches that work properly.”

Beneath is the deerskin pouch in tan, and decrease down in black. I additionally confirmed one thing related lately on PS (really the bag my belts from Fujii got here in). 

“For the second I am simply making these items for Bryceland’s and promoting via them, however sooner or later I might prefer to have extra of my very own model and promote direct to clients,” says Fujii. 

In fact, as with most of the manufacturers Bryceland’s sells and helps, it is Ethan’s style you are shopping for into as a lot as Fujii’s talent. I might like these vintage-silver buckles if it wasn’t for Ethan, nevertheless it expanded the methods I assumed I may weave them into my very own model. (That is Ethan beneath, photographing Fujii – with shoemaker Seiji McCarthy within the background.)

The belts I purchased have been very related in consequence. The identical black and darkish brown alligator, made for a silver buckle I might picked up on eBay. (There aren’t many good ones round – Fujii mentioned he’d been trying on the identical one.) 

Bryceland’s tries to purchase up these buckles itself, and sources from non-public sellers, to be able to have some within the Tokyo and Hong Kong retailers should of the time. However there have not been any for some time. 

I can perceive why some readers, by the best way, would not like having another person’s initials on their buckle. However I do not thoughts it. It looks like a chunk of a gorgeous object’s historical past, just like the initials you get on classic baggage and different classic silver.

The belts Fujii made for me are stunning. Minimize from the center of the stomach (the large sq. scales are unmistakable) and naturally made in a single piece. 

The stitching is by machine however superb and exact, and the interlining is thinner than most on this ‘lined and raised’ model of belt. That is the obvious distinction from one thing like my alligator from Rubato, for example.

Fujii additionally took an outdated tan-coloured pores and skin I had (beneath, from a belt that was a gift from Zilli, a few years in the past) and turned it into the same belt, each slimming it down and including a couple of inches of tan suede to make it the appropriate size. That was expertly and tastefully achieved, with out asking me for enter. 

In fact, the great factor concerning the silver buckle is that it may be swapped between belts, with every belt made with an finish that folds over and snaps, to allow launch and attachment of any same-width buckle. 

I haven’t got any footage of my belts but, however they’re nearly the identical as proven right here and I am positive they will come up in future articles. This piece was extra nearly Fujii. 

I may do an article sooner or later about my belt assortment, small as it’s, if there’s curiosity. It may even be a ‘in case you solely had 5’ piece, although that is hardly a small variety of belts! 

These belts will exchange a few western-style ones I’ve had from RRL for a couple of years, with related buckles. These have confirmed to be poor high quality, rising stiff and shredding with age slightly than getting richer and softer. 

It is a disgrace – the standard there varies a lot. Maybe like high-street manufacturers, leather-based is one class the place it is all the time value ready for high quality. 

Particulars on Ludens and costs: 

  • Belts and cross-body baggage out there made to order
  • Wallets and watch straps coming sooner or later
  • Solely at the moment in Bryceland’s Tokyo and Hong Kong shops
  • Alligator belt, buckle not included, ¥54,800 (£305) +tax
  • Leathers out there: clean alligator, nubuck alligator, kudu suede (all in black or bark brown)
  • Deerskin crossbody baggage, ¥138,000 (£765) +tax
  • Bag at the moment out there in beige, black sooner or later
  • @ludensjp



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