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Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

GIFT PICKS: Fashion for her

Bags of festive sparkle

Special to The Japan Times

Sou Sou Tabi boots

Sou Sou Tabi boots

When Belgian designer Martin Margiela started including tabi boots in his collections in the 1990s, he made cleft toes the height of chic. This traditional shape was once de rigeur in Japan — worn by samurai, commoners and ninjas alike. Sou-Sou, the last remaining domestic tabi shoe manufacturer, is based in Kyoto and not only are their tabi handcrafted by local artisans, their designs are modernized for today. The long leather boots are perfect for winter (¥19,800), while the boa and angora fur-lined ankle boots make a unique alternative to Uggs (¥9,900). Other styles are available and sizes go up to 28 cm.

The Bilbao bag can be found at Bao Bao Issey Miyake stores and at the MoMA store. Tabi boots are available from Sou Sou stores or online at www.sousounetshop.jp.

Issey Miyake Bilbao

Bilbao bag

The Bilbao bag (¥28,350) from Issey Miyake is practical, yet playful and stylish enough to be an impressive gift. Made of synthetic triangular pieces that create a pattern for a sturdy yet flexible tote bag, Bilbao has been so popular that an entire new accessories line (all gift-worthy, too) — Bao Bao — has spawned from it. Available in a wide range of colors from shiny to matt, this bag would even work as an art piece, and no one would be the wiser.


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