June 12, 2007

Porter x Aprica UN Colabo: Dad-Friendly Baby Gear

porter_aprica-UN-carrier.jpg

Aprica is really on a roll. They've got the Italy thing, and they actually did a colabo [Japlish for cross-brand collaboration, see] with the venerable Yoshida Kaban to create a line of infant carriers, diaper bags, and other gear that works equally well for both dads and moms.

Yoshida Kaban has made something of a specialty of colabos, teaming up with everyone from weirdo publications like Wallpaper and Paper Sky to hype-chasing megacorps like Sony and, uh, Aprica. The Porter x ApricaUN collection came out last winter [quick refresher: Porter is Yoshida's main brand. It's different from Head Porter, which is Yoshida's colabo with designer/dj Hiroshi Fujiwara, who started this whole Japanese streetwear colabo nonsense in the first place, peace and/or a teetering cinderblock wall be upon him.] Like all things Porter, the bags are slightly puffy, mostly black, and mostly ripstop nylon.

Let's take a look at the details, shall we?

That thing up top is, as you might have guessed, a combination baby carrier, bag, and table chair. Mesh panels keep the kid and your back somewhat cool, and there's a waist strap in addition to the shoulder/chest straps. The pieces detach for separate use: chair/carrier and toaster-sized fanny pack.

porter_aprica_waist_carrier.jpg

Speaking of giant fanny packs, there's another one. Oh wait, two if you count the sit-on waist pack with carrier sling attachment. Calling them "father's hip bags" doesn't lessen the dork factor, either.

But then, the Japanese have a long history of accessories that are either headscratchingly nerdy or shoulder shruggingly gay. When I lived there, all the guys had manpurses the size of a shaving kit. When we first went back with the kid, half the guys under 40 had giant tote bags on their shoulders [the other half had them in their hands].

So the idea that a tote-shaped diaper bag could be billed as for both mothers and fathers doesn't sound so far-fetched. In Japan. Even with the name, "Mother's Tote Bag."

If I understand correctly, Porter x Aprica UN bags are only available in the Aprica UN boutique in Daikanyama, Tokyo--or in the shop in Milano, of course. That carrier/chair is about 60,000 yen, but otherwise, the bags are all 21-28,000 yen.

See the Porter x Aprica UN collection at the Aprica UN site [aprica.jp

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