KITAYAMA is a handcrafted designer leather goods brand founded by Mao and Juno in October 2014 in Beijing.
The characters ‘北山’ have two meanings with two different pronunciations, in both Chinese and Japanese languages. In Chinese, ‘北山’ is pronounced ‘beishan’ which is the name of a beautiful street in Hangzhou, China. At dusk as the sun slowly disappears under the horizon, this quiet street turns tranquil and calm. In Japanese, ‘北山’ is pronounced ‘Kitayama’. Inspired by Japanese craftsmanship and Japanese leathercraft techniques, Mao and Juno named their brand, ‘KITAYAMA'.
KITAYAMA is dedicated in creating unique pieces while utilising premium-quality leather and accessories. Each KITAYAMA bag combines functionality and design, with the use of tradition japanese leathercraft techniques and modern, unique designs, customers are left with a beautiful bag which reflects the history of the KITAYAMA brand and the individual personality of its owner.
KITAYAMA launched 6 collections in 2018, including Amachan Collection, Bad Day Camp Collection, Saigon Lover Collection, Monitoring Collection, Wilderness Collection and Pretty Proofreader Collection. Each collection is designed to relate to someone new, reflecting a different feeling and a different time. Fashion Boundary carefully selected KITAYAMA bags from the Wilderness and Amachan collections.
Design story behind the Wilderness collection:
The inspiration of the Wilderness collection is drawn from a photography series named 'Not Long Now' by James Perolls. These photographs describe picturesque scenes of fields, clear skies, dark clouds, grasslands, snowfields and lakes, contrasted by models dressed in dramatic clothing and statement pieces in white and colours, differentiating themselves against the natural landscape.
KITAYAMA designers extracted the 'Dew Pearl' as one of the characteristics of the theme 'Wilderness' throughout the collection and is a component that is featured in the handle of each bag. With the use of acrylic spheres to represent a dewdrop, designed to be both decorative and functional handle, this handle can be removed or replaced, allowing customers to switch between fun and simplicity.
The shape and structure of each bag refer to fruits, foods, and floral shapes that we encounter in everyday life. Such as pumpkin-shaped 'Pumpkin Bag', olive shaped 'Olive Bag', and pudding-shaped 'Pudding Bucket Bag'. Different colours of acrylic pearl and leather cords can be replaced to create a different look. In terms of colour scheme, in order to create the tranquility and softness of the wilderness, KITAYAMA specially customised the brown series (Sudan brown) as the main colour of this series, which has not appeared in previous collections.
Design story behind the Amachan collection:
In Southeast Asia, sea women have been collecting underwater goods for thousands of years. They look for sea urchins, oysters and pearls. KITAYAMA produced the Amachan collection with these sea women and their surroundings as the main inspiration.
Throughout the collection, clean and simple design paired with the elements of waves, fishing gear and pearls represents these sea women. KITAYAMA have captured a dreamy time and place of these sea women.