Kitayama is a handcrafted leather goods brand established by MAO and JUNO in Beijing, China. Young designers work with highly experienced craftsmen and utilise genuine premium-quality leather to handcraft designer leather goods.
"Interesting minds will eventually meet." Coming from different backgrounds, with a full passion for handcrafted leather goods, Mao and Juno hit it off instantly and established Kitayama in Beijing in October 2014. The definition of "Made in China" is changing: it is not a phrase for cheap and bad quality products anymore. Aiming at the high-end fashion, Kitayama designers and artisans work together to produce premium-quality leather goods.
As a fashion and accessory designer, Juno (Nuo Qiu) graduated from Beijing Fashion Institute, the top fashion school in China. Having worked as a fashion designer and an editor for Vision fashion magazine. Juno decided to focus her design on handmade leather bags.
Kitayama's first collection - White Itoshioshi is inspired by the colour white. White is an unusual colour. It contains all the colours of the spectrum, but it can also be considered colourless. This colour with its mild character might not arouse people's wants such as sexual desire, appetite or other extravaganzas.
The colour white is never pale. White represents brightness. White conveys a sense of loneliness. It is easy to be defiled, therefore we must cherish it. Owning anything in the colour white requires great care. White should not be spoiled. White is emptiness. It can be interpreted as nothingness. It is waiting to be filled. Perhaps, viewing it from another perspective, it is already full. The simple combination of white and rectangle embraces power. The pure white colour and the geometric rectangular form soothe emotions. White and bright objects like waves, black and solid objects like rocks; they both create a sense of calmness.
The outer leather of most Kitayama bags utilises the full-grain calfskin and the interior utilises the lambskin. The design process often goes through four stages: sketching, pattern cutting, sample making and finalising. The sample making stage often takes a longer time than the rest. The designer and craftsman exchange their ideas, think through details thoroughly and experiment on samples again and again until they are both satisfied with the work.
Kitayama design emphasizes the beauty of simple form and clean line. In pursuit of functionality, Kitayama bags marry comfort and look, fashion and tradition, uniqueness and versatility. Persistent but abstinent, principled but unsophisticated, superior but interesting: Kitayama endows each bag with a personality reflecting, Kitayama expects, that of its owner.