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Smarten up the work day

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As you rethink your wardrobe for the autumnal chill, why not smarten up your work style too?

From pass cases to ties, here’s a few simple designs with twists.

Give in to the fold

In the past few years, flatpack designs employing the art of folding and utilizing laser cutting and other technological advances have enjoyed a fair bit of everyday popularity. There have been VR goggles, digital camera bodies, souvenirs, vases and more.

The It’s/Kit Pass Case is a flatpacked, fold-it-yourself IC-card holder that takes just 45 minutes to put together. A single sheet of laser-cut leather, it doesn’t need any stitching or glue, just a pair of tweezers and your hands. Yet it’s still detailed enough to have tiny tabs to keep your card snug and a cutout slot so that you can use your thumb to push the card out.

In untanned leather, it’s easy to customize, or you can join a live-painting Tokyo FabCafe event in October, where you can watch a sheet of leather being colored by an artist and then choose a section that you want a template cut from.

On sale until Sept. 25, the It’s/Kit Pass Case is ¥4,860. There’s also a FabCafe workshop to make an untanned version on Sept. 20 (¥5,000). Check the website for details on the live-painting workshop.

In a similar vein, the Meishibako of paper designers Kami no Kousakujo is a fold-it-yourself business-card holder made from a square sheet of cardboard. All you need is a pair of scissors and nimble fingers. The original Meishibako was made from what the company calls reversible mermaid paper — cardboard printed with a pattern on both sides. This new version has been made more durable with a matte PP coating and it comes in three bold CMYK color designs. Each one is ¥500, can hold up to 30 business cards and be folded with either surface pattern on the outside.

It’s/Kit: bit.ly/its-kit Meishibako: bit.ly/mshbako

Get on the case

Manufactured in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, an area known for its abundance of forests and woodcrafting skills, Sasaki Industrial Arts’ new line, Premics, is a great example of traditional crafts enhanced by modern technology.

The Premics A4 Folio, designed by Hokkaido native Chiori Ito, is made from 100 percent local timber — even its hinges and clasps are wooden. This means behind the beautifully minimalist design are some extremely precise construction methods, and Premics embraces high tech such as CNC routers and laser cutters to achieve this.

The case is hand-finished and can hold an A4 notebook along with other small items, or it can even be used for some slim laptops. Though it has been priced at ¥40,000, the Premics line hasn’t officially launched yet, so keep an eye on the Sasaki Industrial Arts website for news.

sasaki-kogei.com

To tie things up

The necktie is a classic work-wear accessory that quite often is inexplicably dull in design. Giraffe, however, makes some of the quirkiest ties in Japan, with no qualms about mismatching fabrics, colors and unusual patterns.

The brand’s new Work to Shop store in Tokyo’s Sendagaya area is now letting you do this yourself with a bespoke service. Starting from ¥15,000, you can design a unique tie by choosing fabric combinations, tie width and decorative motifs. You can also watch Giraffe ties being made by the on-site artisans.

And if that’s not your thing, check the website for upcoming accessory workshops using Giraffe’s fabrics.

giraffe-tie.com/index.html