I so vividly remember the day when I stumbled upon their Engineer Shoulder Bag in a little shop in Harajyuku and having the overwhelming feeling of how much I loved the bag I had in my hand instantly. Ever since then I have been their huge fan for last 4 years. I love artifacts they produce, the concept behind the brand and just everything about them.
When we opened our studio/shop location 3 years ago I started bringing my beloved Engineer Shoulder Bag into the studio as my everything bag. I usually hang my bag on the wall in the studio and many customers who walked in noticed and asked where I got it from... and that's when I knew that I have to reach out to them with all my gut and intent and write a huge love letter to inquire if we could possibly carry their artifacts at our shop.
I can't count how many times I have said "visiting the Superior Labor in Okayama is my dream" in last 4 years... and I am so glad to be sharing a collection of their items at our studio/shop!
When I started planning this trip, my plan was to say hi, visit their cafe and feel the amazing Superior Labor vibe... But I am glad that 2 days with them became so much more. On the first day when we got to Okayama airport, we were so excited to meet the owner Makoto-san and hear his stories behind The Superior Labor, being invited into their headquarter and making place (which was filled with wonderful leather fragrance and the very special kind of "maker's place" air), meet some of the team members who are behind crafting their beautiful artifacts... Our meeting continued to a very special BBQ in front of the observatory house we rented on top of the meadow, the following day to discuss possible future collaboration and more...
Frido and I were most inspired by their strong philosophy, core of what they believe and how it manifests into everything they do. I am incredibly thankful and humbled for our most memorable meeting(s) with them... and am officially screaming (virtually and physically) to the world that I am their biggest fan:)
I hope these pictures Frido and I took capture some of the magical moments we had there.
p.s. few more memorable moments from this part of the trip to note for myself....
- waking up at 4am with jet lag... and watching sunrise over the meadow
- Frido and Yanai-san sketching the collaboration ideas together at the park
- spending the last day of Okayama at a beautiful park with the Superior Labor family and watching airplanes take off
- meeting lovely neighbors and their donkeys
- being invited to a beautifully built wooden cabin for post BBQ drinks
- amazing food at Hachigahana cafe
- riding on a horse very spontaneously
- eating amazing cheese from local farm
- riding on a vintage BMW with Sano-san on our way to a train station