April 04, 13 | Takako Chiba
"STEAL" - This Sapporo based brand will "steal" your heart!
The picture below may be a bit confusing at first, let's see if you can figure out what it is! Your choices are:
(1) A new Hokkaido candy.
(2) A new Hokkaido sake.
(3) A bunch of purses.
The correct answer is number three: A bunch of purses!
These leather purses are designed and produced exclusively by the Sapporo based brand "Steal."
The unique hexagon design was actually developed through a trial and error process. Originally they were trying to make a star purse, but ended up deciding on this shape.
Each purse consists of two parts.
The exterior is a star shaped piece, and the interior is a hexagon shaped piece.
You can combine your favorite colors, giving you a total of 144 unique options!
▲The color, material, and design are all customizable. Choosing your own purse is part of the fun!
When viewed from the side, the plump dome shape is quite cute and the whole thing fits perfectly in the palm of your hand.
▲You can open as many of the buttons as you'd like.
This "hexagon" design was thought up by designer Shigetaka Egoe, well known for his personalized bag and purse designs.
▲Mr. Shigetaka Egoe, designer.
Born in Osaka, Mr. Egoe originally moved to Sapporo in junior high school. He attended college in Tokyo and eventually went on to take first place in a national gymnastics competition. After college he moved to Nagoya with the dream of starting a restaurant of his own.
At the age of 23, he received a wallet as a birthday present from his wife, which is what led to his passion for making accessories. It seems, however, his leather working techniques have all been self taught!
▲Here is the wallet that started it all! "I wanted to know how it was made, so I completely disassembled it to find out." It was originally a simple wallet, but Mr. Egoe has customized it with the belt ornament.
"In July of 2005 I opened a small stall in a friend's shop, by October of that year I had opened my own shop. I wouldn't have been able to do so without the help and support I received from friends. In 2012 I opened up a small stall in Tokyo, then in Nagoya the next year, and the Shizuoka the next. Although it was only for a limited time, I also opened up a location in Taiwan. Currently I'm working on expanding to Fukuoka and Sendai" says Mr. Egoe.
While there are many shops located across Japan, the Sapporo shop is still the headquarters of the company. "Of all the places I've lived, Sapporo is my favorite place to be. My memories from junior high school and high school are all here. But more than that, the people are wonderful and kind, so I can't imagine working anywhere else. No matter how much the brand expands in the future, I'll never leave the Sapporo shop. I'd much rather handle everything from Sapporo and act as a representative of Hokkaido wherever I go."
▲A new item, the Steal iPhone case.
The name of the brand and company, "Steal," is meant to impart the desire to "steal the customer's hearts."
Mr. Egoe explained, "The idea is to win the hearts of the public, so just providing high quality products isn't enough. Connecting with the customer on a human level is important and has forced me to grow compassionately as an individual."
▲Whether worn over the shoulder or around the waist, this bag fits comfortably against the body.
"Steal Leather Industry"
As the name says, these fascinating leather products are sure to catch the eyes and hearts of anyone who visits. So why not stop by the shop and let the products steal your heart?
■STEAL on Facebook
■Hexagon Shopping Site
Sapporo Head Office
(1-25, North 14 East 7, East Ward, Sapporo)
Tokyo Harajuku Shop
(3F Maple Square, 25-35 Jingumae 4, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo)
Shizuoka Parco Store
(2F Shizuoka Parco 6-7 Konya Town, Aoi Ward, Shizuoka)
Nagoya Parco Store
(1F Nagoya Parco West Wing, 3-29-1 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
Photographs provided by 株式会社STEAL.