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  • Photography by Mr Nacho Alegre

The Japanese accessories brand Porter Yoshida Kaban (commonly referred to as Porter) has been on our radar for some time, and not just because we share a name. The label's top-quality bags debut on MR PORTER this season, although the company's history stretches as far back as 1935. In that year, a craftsman called Mr Kichizo Yoshida established his workshop, Yoshida & Co, which would later become Porter Yoshida Kaban. The original aim - "to make the best bags possible" - has stuck over time, with Porter bags continuing to offer the perfect balance between form and function.

Blazer by Blue Blue Japan, T-Shirt and Trousers by Acne Studios

"Heart and soul in every stitch" is the company's slogan, since all manufacturing takes place in Japan, where Porter runs more than 50 specialist workshops instead of centralising production at one large factory. This neatly summarises the company's philosophy, as less efficient, time-tested modes of production are actively chosen over speed and automation. Partly this is to preserve Japanese manufacturing heritage, and partly to ensure the brand's legendary quality standards are upheld. "Each bag is usually made by just one craftsman, from beginning to end, who will become an expert in their particular field as the years pass, constantly improving and refining the process," explains a company representative, who prefers not to be named "because Porter is all about community and team work". Most of the bags in the nylon-twill Tanker series are hand-made in a workshop in Chiba (across the bay from Tokyo), where 72 craftsmen work beneath a banner reading, "constant improvement of quality". Other bags from the range are made in other parts of Japan, with competitiveness between the regional workshops further raising the bar.

The name Porter was chosen because of its allusion to railway and hotel porters, who are themselves experts in what makes a good bag, having handled countless pieces of luggage. Porters also bring to mind global travel, for which Porter bags - with their numerous, carefully thought-out pockets and compartments - are excellent. To showcase the collection, we enlisted the help of Mr Baixiang Chen, a 26-year-old business management student from Copenhagen who featured in The Journal last year as one of our favourite people to follow on Instagram. Click through the gallery, above, to discover the range.

Styling by Mr Tony Cook, Junior Fashion Editor, MR PORTER
Words by Mr Peter Henderson, Senior Fashion & Social Media Writer, MR PORTER