History of PORTER
PORTER is a powerhouse brand produced by Yoshida Kaban, a long-established Japanese bag manufacturer. To date, its sales channels have expanded not only across the country but also internationally. It all started back in 1935, when Yoshida Kaban was established by its founder Yoshizo Yoshida. Yoshida ventured out into training in bag making at the age of 12. When he was 17, the Great Kanto Earthquake, which was etched in history as one of the worst natural disasters, struck Japan. Yoshida’s direct experience of the necessity of bags at that period as means of transporting goods sparked a lifelong desire to pursue bag making. “A bag must first and foremost be a tool for carrying goods.” Shortly after the establishment of the company, Japan was at war, and Yoshida was drafted twice. After returning from the war, Yoshida devoted himself to bag making. The bags Yoshida crafted were both functional and well-designed, and soon became beloved. In the course of such rising popularity, debuting the “Elegant Bag” in 1953 became its big break. This elegant bag was used by the Empress before her wedding, and its name became known throughout Japan. Making use of the momentum, he launched the brand “PORTER” in 1962, which is the pillar of Yoshida Kaban today. The brand was set out with the aim of creating products that would convey the creator’s message and the brand’s commitment to using Japanese craftsmen in manufacturing locally.
Following this, Yoshida Kaban designers were selected for the New York Designers Collective, and the name “Yoshida Kaban” became recognized in the U.S.. Yoshida Kaban products, including PORTER, began to be sold in leading department stores and select stores in the U.S., and the company notably branched out overseas. Yoshizo Yoshida, the founder of the company, passed away in 1994 at the age of 88, leaving his son as the president. Yoshizo Yoshida was undoubtedly the man who brought change in the history of bags in Japan. Inspired by his passion for bag making, he launched several more brands such as “PORTER GIRL”, which evenly gained attention as a popular brand in Japan.
How it gained popularity
Besides being locally fashioned in Japan, its functional, light, durable, and simple yet sophisticated design made PORTER rise through the ranks. It is a staple among businessmen across Japan. Highly skilled Japanese craftsmen pay attention to even the smallest details of each bag, sewing some parts even five times than the usual. With its trademark as “unbreakable bags”, Yoshida Kaban prides itself on the quality of the manufacturing process being one of the best in Japan. Yoshida Kaban along with its other brands offer a variety of designs while maintaining the element of the manufacturing process. Among them, PORTER is popular for its bags, backpacks and wallets made of materials from nylon to genuine leather, and is a big hit among businessmen and people of all ages. Not to mention, one of the factors that made PORTER the biggest name among Yoshida Kaban brands is that it has amazingly done collaborations with various popular brands, luxury brands, and architects. The collaboration products gained a following. Though products are leaning towards masculine, they are still patronized by women. Thus in 2009, the “PORTER GIRL” line for women was freshly launched, gaining a new fan base. Yoshida Kaban will continue to be a global brand as it continues to take on new challenges while never losing sight of who they are.