Tokyo-based Kolor is part of a new wave of Japanese brands that has only recently become available internationally. Its founder and designer, Mr Junichi Abe, studied at the prestigious Bunka Fashion College (where fellow alumni include Mr Junya Watanabe and Mr Yohji Yamamoto), before working as a pattern cutter at that other Japanese style institution, Comme des Garçons. In 1994, Mr Abe set up a label with three friends called ppCM, but by 2004 the team had disbanded and Mr Abe launched Kolor. "Trends within the fashion industry are largely irrelevant to us," Mr Abe explains, hinting at Kolor's philosophy, which is based on subtle, understated designs with a strong emphasis on detail, construction and fabric. "I always start with a classic item and then decide what to add or eliminate when creating for my collection," the designer says. The look is softly tailored and textured, with a deliberate lived-in quality: "sophisticated comfort" is a term that Mr Abe is disposed to use. Kolor clothes are wardrobe staples which can be worn day in, day out, with a level of workmanship and detail that makes them distinct, contemporary pieces to cherish.