Fashion | Monocle

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Q&A Koji Onishi

Founder of menswear store Strato

Osaka, Japan

Which city has mastered the concept of quality of life?
Fukuoka. I would say they have the Latin spirit. I feel their enthusiasm for the products, fashion, food they create.

If you could move to any city, where would you go and why?
Any city in Chile. I love the mountain life, the country is mostly mountains. And not only Chile but in South America generally, the standard of craftsmanship is amazing.

What are the three most important elements to make a city tick? Mountains, music, sun. Every time I am on a mountain I feel calm, I listen to music 24 hours a day, and who hates the sun?

On a different note, which brands do you recommend at the moment? Orslow denim; tough canvas bags from Tembea; amazing shirts from Maillot.

Head over heels

Lace-ups to fall in love with

Named after the founder of the 113-year-old Parisian shoe-maker Berluti, these ‘Alessandro’ laced shoes are made from one piece of seamless leather. Berluti holds monthly maintenance tutorials, so no excuses for sporting a scuffed pair this summer.

The magic number

Anatomically perfect in Tokyo at last

When the Parisian shoe stop Anatomica wanted to find trousers that went perfectly with its footwear it turned to the Japanese label 35 Summers and together they created a collection called 618 (a reference to the Golden Ratio) line. Now they have a hit on their hands – or, rather, legs: United Arrows and Barney’s in Tokyo are carrying them.

Carried away

Portland has bags going for it

It may have just missed out on our Top 20, but Portland should console itself with the fact it’s home to Entermodal. Ex-Karrimor designer Larry Olmstead established the accessories brand three seasons ago, handcrafting all bags in the city using 19th-century production techniques. Entermodal’s new range of travel bags – such as this Overnighter (below) – include recycled aluminium buckles, and are lined with Pendleton Wool.

Verbal remedy

Jewellery’s pop artist

Verbal, the frontman of m-flo, one of Japan’s biggest hip-hop crews (see issue 3) has launched his new jewellery line, called Ambush. Verbal says: “Ambush is the pop counterpart to the more serious but experimental Antonio Murphy and Astro, with 18-carat gold and diamond jewellery.”

Builders’ T

Finally, a polo to match your kitchen

Tailored blazers or structured shirts maybe, but T-shirts are the last things you would expect two architects to be designing in their first fashion foray. Architecture graduate of the Politecnico di Milano, Matteo Migliorini and his partner Roberto Borghi set up AG-Lab in 2007 following stints as graphic designers. At the moment, they are focusing on high-quality, soft polos shirts. Come 2009, they want to expand into trousers and accessories.

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