Despite bags becoming obsolete during the locked down months of the pandemic, Takanohiro Okude's brand LastFrame seemed to flourish. Dotted across our Instagram feeds and seen in the streets of London – during the moments when we could be out and about! – his knitted tote bags have become a firm favourite with the fashion world, and the traditional techniques that are used to create them are now being globally recognised. Made in his home of Japan, Takanohiro uses a custom-made twisted yarn that adopts a rare rib technique, which enables him to create unique patterns through special knitting machines – it's a way of production that is on the verge of extinction. "There are many highly skilled craftsmen in Japan, but many of them are finding it difficult to survive due to the ageing of the workforce. I first had an image of what I wanted to produce, and when I was looking for a factory that had the technology to make it, I happened to come across one of these locations," explains Takanohiro. "If it were not for the encounter with the factory that owns these specially improved knitting machines, of which there are only a few in Japan, I don't think I would have been able to create this bag design even today." Along with their tactile fabrication, the brand is known for their contradicting colour pairings and geometric patterns. For Takanohiro, this is a manifestation of his creativity. "I like simple designs with as little waste as possible, so I think I ended up with a way of expressing myself through colours and patterns rather than through decoration." The perfect accessory to compliment your dopamine dressing look.

As can be imagined with any craft, creating one of his bags is a slow process. "It takes several hours to knit the fabric for a bag, then it is sent to another factory to print the special labels. After the knitted fabric with the labels printed on it is returned, sewing and finishing work is done," says Takanohiro. "Overall, it takes more than a week to produce one bag." It often means that when a bag is sold out, it's sold our for good, making each piece all the more special. It's something that Takanohiro also credits to his team. "
Thankfully, I have a very talented group of support members. Each of them is a professional in their own field, so I can trust them with my work. This has allowed me to concentrate on my design work." And with so many more fun bags to be made, we can't wait to see what Takanohiro does next. 

What is a book that you always come back to and why?
I often read books by D. T. Suzuki, who has made the Japanese Zen culture widely known abroad. Zen is so profound that I still learn more every time I read it.

What is your morning ritual like?
I eat breakfast with my family, and on sunny days, I drink coffee on the balcony in the sunshine.

What is the best piece of advice you've received?
Take care of your family and to remember to be grateful.

What is an ongoing goal of yours?
To keep the brand alive for a long time. Uncompromising manufacturing.

What's your party trick?
I don't have many tricks up my sleeve besides work.

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?
Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Name something that you're grateful for.
All the fates.

Name three things that you can't live without.
Family, work, beer.

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