LASTFRAME, the Japanese Brand Making Must-Have Bags to Love Forever

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LASTFRAME Spring/Summer 2021Courtesy of LASTFRAME

Designer Takanohiro Okude tells us how he started LASTFRAME as a celebration of traditional Japanese craft techniques

  1. Who is it? LASTFRAME, an accessories brand founded in 2018 by designer Takanohiro Okude
  2. Why do I want it? The brand’s silk scarves and cult knitted bags are crafted using traditional Japanese techniques, with a focus on quality, practicality and playful colours 
  3. Where can I get it? LASTFRAME is stocked at MATCHESFASHION and other online stores

Who is it? “It all started with an encounter at a silk weaving shop in my hometown in Ishikawa Prefecture which has a history of over 120 years,” says Japanese designer Takanohiro Okude, explaining the genesis of his 2018-founded brand LASTFRAME. “They use a technique that was used to make kimono fabric in Japan in the old days. I was fascinated by the wonderful fabrics made by the craftsmen, of which there are only a few remaining in Japan, and I wanted to pass on this technique to the future.” 

Okude’s interest in exploring the traditional crafts and artisanal techniques of his home country stems from time spent working abroad. Travelling to the US and Europe for fashion weeks each season, Okude was able to “see Japan from a different point of view”. “I had so many opportunities to meet people overseas who loved Japan, and each time I realised that I still didn’t understand Japan at all, so I began to think that I wanted to learn more about Japan,” he writes over email. Having studied fashion – “ever since I was little, I wanted to get a job where I could draw and create things,” he says – and worked in the industry, Okude launched LASTFRAME as a celebration of traditional Japanese craftsmanship and a move away from the trend-focused fashion he was increasingly disillusioned with. “In Japan, there are many craftsmen with wonderful skills, but their numbers are decreasing every year. I thought it would be very valuable if I could help preserve these skills, even if only just a little.”

Why do I want it? LASTFRAME is an accessories brand which primarily works with silk and woven, knitted materials. The silk discovered in Ishikawa had instant appeal for the designer: “I can’t really put it into words, but there was something about it that lifted my heart and I think that kind of feeling is simply the most important thing,” Okude says. 
The storied material and production techniques are used to create luxurious scarves, square-shaped and boasting colourful designs: blousy florals, vibrant checks and the like. The silk scarves also serve as handles to “bring delight” to chic black leather bags, meticulously handcrafted in Asakusa.   

LASTFRAME’s signature knitted ‘Market Bags’ have gained something of a cult following since their launch (they sell out quickly at places like MATCHES). The covetable bags are loved for their satisfying texture and brilliant colour combinations. Complex weaving techniques – carried out on special knitting machines unique to Japan – give the finished bags a stretchy, ribbed texture, thanks also to their custom twisted polyester yarn. The result is a sturdy-yet-springy bag, available in a series of playful intarsia patterns. “The designs are based on the idea of how to fit Japanese elements into the modern world, such as the checkered ‘Ichimatsu’ pattern, which originated from the Kabuki theatre costumes of the Edo period,” says Okude. The ‘Market Bag’ material was originally developed in the 1970s by craftsmen who work with blockbuster Japanese brands like Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake. For Spring/Summer 2021, Okude has introduced new silhouettes and materials, still playing with volume and with a focus on practicality; the ‘Pocket Reverse Market Bag’, for example, has a packable, paper-like texture and is water-resistant. 

Each LASTFRAME piece is designed with longevity in mind, an antidote to the quickening pace at which trends are turned over in the fashion industry. “I think that by holding one of the products in your hands, you will understand how wonderful it is,” says Okude. “I want to create items that people can actually touch and be impressed by and not just look at online – to really appreciate and use for a long time.” LASTFRAME is an ode to Japan’s history of craft, and Okude’s plans for the brand stretch beyond fashion. “I am very interested in product design, and I would like to create products using LASTFRAME fabrics,” he says, citing Sori Yanagi as a designer he admires. “As fashion is easily influenced by trends, I would like to create items that are not so trend-focused and more timeless.” 

Where can I get it? LASTFRAME is stocked at MATCHESFASHION and other online stores.