Japanese alligator belts and leather-based items – Everlasting Model

fujii san ludens leather

In recent times I have been sporting extra belts with tailoring, as I’ve worn different equipment akin to ties and handkerchiefs much less. 

That is meant me upping my belt sport, with a few commissions from Tightly Stitched, some nice belts from Rubato, and a few classic finds (like the weird model right here). 

I might additionally admired Ethan Newton’s slim alligator belts, which he normally wears with classic silver engine-turned buckles. You possibly can see me sporting one within the picture beneath. 

These are made for Bryceland’s by the maker Ludens (beneath) – a sole operator who works from residence close to Kobe in Japan, and likewise makes small leather-based items for the shoemaker Spigola, additionally in Kobe. 

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Once we had been in Japan earlier this yr I had the chance to satisfy Fujii, the person behind Ludens, and be taught slightly bit about his background in addition to fee a few belts. 

He educated with a bagmaker, beginning 11 years in the past, and moved to work with Koji at Spigola 4 years in the past. However he all the time needed to do his personal factor, primarily targeted on American-style merchandise, made to a tremendous Japanese normal. 

“There are many leather-based staff in Japan, as you’d anticipate,” he says. “However there is not actually something you could possibly name a Japanese custom. They range so much in model – if there’s one factor in frequent it is most likely a sure finesse, a precision.”

A type of types could be very polished French-type leather-based items, like a few of these made by Ortus. One other could be the robust, biker-associated wallets made by the likes of Tenjin Works. After which there are those who make extra within the English model, just like the well-known Fugee.

alligator belt bespoke

The goal with Ludens is to do one thing slightly totally different once more, with dressier American items akin to these slim alligator belts. 

“It’s extremely early days for me,” says Fujii, “however we have developed a number of totally different belt types and these deerskin pouches that work effectively.”

Under is the deerskin pouch in tan, and decrease down in black. I additionally confirmed one thing related not too long ago on PS (truly the bag my belts from Fujii got here in). 

“For the second I am simply making these items for Bryceland’s and promoting via them, however sooner or later I might wish to have extra of my very own model and promote direct to clients,” says Fujii. 

Brycelands deerskin pouchdeerskin pouch ludens

After all, as with lots of the manufacturers Bryceland’s sells and helps, it is Ethan’s style you are shopping for into as a lot as Fujii’s talent. I might like these vintage-silver buckles if it wasn’t for Ethan, however it expanded the methods I believed I may weave them into my very own model. (That is Ethan beneath, photographing Fujii – with shoemaker Seiji McCarthy within the background.)

The belts I purchased had been very related because of this. The identical black and darkish brown alligator, made for a silver buckle I might picked up on eBay. (There aren’t many good ones round – Fujii mentioned he’d been trying on the similar one.) 

Bryceland’s tries to purchase up these buckles itself, and sources from personal sellers, in an effort to have some within the Tokyo and Hong Kong retailers should of the time. However there have not been any for some time. 

I can perceive why some readers, by the best way, would not like having another person’s initials on their buckle. However I do not thoughts it. It appears like a bit of an exquisite object’s historical past, just like the initials you get on classic baggage and different classic silver.

Ethan Newton photography

The belts Fujii made for me are lovely. Reduce from the center of the stomach (the large sq. scales are unmistakable) and naturally made in a single piece. 

The stitching is by machine however tremendous and exact, and the interlining is thinner than most on this ‘lined and raised’ model of belt. That is the obvious distinction from one thing like my alligator from Rubato, as an illustration.

Fujii additionally took an previous tan-coloured pores and skin I had (beneath, from a belt that was a gift from Zilli, a few years in the past) and turned it into an analogous belt, each slimming it down and including a number of inches of tan suede to make it the correct size. That was expertly and tastefully accomplished, with out asking me for enter. 

After all, the great factor in regards to the silver buckle is that it may be swapped between belts, with every belt made with an finish that folds over and snaps, to allow launch and attachment of any same-width buckle. 

alligator belt making

I haven’t got any footage of my belts but, however they’re just about the identical as proven right here and I am positive they will come up in future articles. This piece was extra nearly Fujii. 

I may do an article sooner or later about my belt assortment, small as it’s, if there’s curiosity. It may even be a ‘in the event you solely had 5’ piece, although that is hardly a small variety of belts! 

These belts will exchange a few western-style ones I’ve had from RRL for a number of years, with related buckles. These have confirmed to be poor high quality, rising stiff and shredding with age relatively than getting richer and softer. 

It is a disgrace – the standard there varies a lot. Maybe like high-street manufacturers, leather-based is one class the place it is all the time value ready for high quality. 

Brycelands black leather pouch

Particulars on Ludens and costs: 

  • Belts and cross-body luggage obtainable made to order
  • Wallets and watch straps coming sooner or later
  • Solely at the moment in Bryceland’s Tokyo and Hong Kong shops
  • Alligator belt, buckle not included, ¥138,000 (£765) +tax
  • Leathers obtainable: clean alligator, nubuck alligator, kudu suede (all in black or bark brown)
  • Deerskin crossbody luggage, ¥54,800 (£305) +tax
  • Bag at the moment obtainable in beige, black sooner or later
  • @ludensjp

Fujii san of Ludens

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