This Japanese artisan has devised a technique to make real leather looked like beautiful grunge silver

By meticulously adding pieces of silver foil to leather, Kyotonese artisan Hiroto Rakusho gives the material an appearance that’s absolutely unmatched. A natural hide looks metallic, almost futuristic, while still possessing the qualities of leather, like its flexibility, and its ability to patina over time. The RINPA Silver Foil Leather bags are a combination of things – Haute fashion, Japanese craftsmanship, and a strange steampunk grunge-ish aesthetic. Never did I expect myself to say this but they go together pretty well.

Designer: Hiroto Rakusho

Click Here to Buy Now: $198 $330 (40% off). Hurry, limited to only 60 units.

The RINPA Silver bags are a result of a collaborative effort between Rakusho and Hishiya CalenBlosso, a company that manufactures kimono accessories in the traditional Japanese style. The bags are quite a deviation for both of them, but show how two creative forces can collide to create something new. The process of metalizing the leather, for the most part, is entirely done by hand. Rather than going for commercially available artificial leather that’s been sprayed with a synthetic silver coating, the RINPA Silver series stays truly authentic to the materials, using real leather and even real silver and gold foils.

Rakusho lays down the foils swatch by swatch, gently pressing them onto the leather with a brush. He then peels the back-layer of the foil off, leaving the thin metallic film stuck to the leather. For a distressed appearance, Rakusho brushes on the foil, creating an appearance that’s unique to each bag. It’s a technique he inherited from his father and perfected over time. It’s also a technique that Rakusho says has been in severe decline as people are much more comfortable with synthetic PU leather that’s just been spray-painted with a metallic finish. Now, his foil-layering technique is mostly used in art restoration, where Rakusho is quite the legend. In particular, his high-resolution facsimile of the National Treasure “The Wind and Thunder Gods”, dedicated to Kenninji Temple, is famous for its precise reproduction of the original texture, using his own developed foil technique.

Shoulder Bag Passport 3.0


The RINPA Silver series of bags come in four styles – a large handbag called the Passport 3.0, a shoulder-slung Laptop Bag, a Tote Bag, and a super-slim Paper bag. The PASSPORT 3.0 is a part of Hishiya CalenBlosso’s crowd-favorite Passport series. It comes with a hidden pocket at the bottom of the main pocket, where the president of Hishiya would often store his passport. The biggest in the series, it holds everything from your laptop to your documents, tablet, phone, and a bunch of other belongings. For something even more compact yet spacious enough to fit your laptop, there’s the Laptop Bag known as the MATSUYAMACHI 2.0, a compact, comfortable bag for professional women, with space to fit your laptop and other work essentials.

Tote Bag MACHIMURA 3.0 in Mixed color

The third Tote Bag is a common classic. Named the MACHIMURA 3.0, it features a large front pocket and a simple design in which the foil surface pattern stands out the most, and is perfectly sized for day-to-day use. The smallest/slimmest in the series is the Paper Bag, or the TAIRA4, which is as slim as a few sheets of paper when empty, but expands to hold your belongings, thanks to a hidden gusset at the base of the bag.

Leather paper bag TAIRA4

The RINPA Silver series of bags come in a variety of patterns too, combining silver-layered leather parts with black tanned leather. The beauty in the way they’re made is in the bag’s evolving aesthetic. Leather patinas with time, and Rakusho’s foil-layered leather is no different. However, the foil’s marginally uneven thickness causes it to fade/patina very differently. Each bag looks unique when you buy it, and even more so with use. The bags are built to last but are also designed to age gracefully like any authentic leather bag.

Besides, the square-shaped outline of the foil swatches is visible on the bag’s surface too, giving it an incredibly alluring grunge appearance that never goes out of style. For people looking for something more eye-catching than the silver, there’s even the Gokusai Gold Leather special-edition limited to three units per bag. The Gokusai Gold Leather series comes with a shimmering gold foil, along with a beautiful combination of other colors, in a bespoke composition that’s unique to you.

Click Here to Buy Now: $198 $330 (40% off). Hurry, limited to only 60 units.