Mag racks, Issey Miyake watches and a tidy little cellphone buddy


Label of love

With pretty much anything now just a quick printout away, is there really still a place in the office or at home for the humble label writer? Looking at the Tepra Pro label writer from King Jim — a company mostly known for its colorful binders and filing systems — it becomes apparent that there’s something comforting about the old-school charms of a device that devotes all of its efforts to that one task. But the Tepra Pro is indeed a tool of the modern age, with the aesthetically pleasing cube opening up to reveal an LCD screen and tiny keyboard — used to write your message — using an amazing array of colored labels to print on. The Tepra Pro series includes two models: the self-contained SR600 label writer (available in white or red) at ¥24,000, and the SR3700P label printer, which plugs into your Windows or Mac computer via a USB cable, for ¥21,000.


Tidier is better

The price we pay for the digital paradise in which we live? Wires, wires and then more wires, all conspiring to create the ugliest of webbings in and around our living space, as our treasured electronics get juiced up. Thankfully, designer Takafumi Nemoto presents a solution with the Lessev mobile station. The container helps hide all those unsightly chargers and cables within, with all of your digital devices — anything from your mobile handset to your portable audio player — resting on top of the silicon cover (available in light brown or gray), with only a slight opening that lets the connecting cables through. The Lessev, produced by king of Tokyo select shops H Concept, retails for ¥5,000.


Plus Minus Zero blows

It’s finally that time of the year when electricity bills start to rise because of the excessive use of the cooling feature on our air-conditioning units. One way of saving is of course to use a fan — also great in conjunction with air conditioning, to better disperse the cool air throughout the home — and it’s just like Plus Minus Zero to launch the right product at the right time. The Naoto Fukasawa-produced label has long exemplified design paired down its very essence. The Plus Minus Zero Fan certainly holds up to that promise, with a short but solid form that results in a product that looks just as it should. The Fan is available in white, light blue and black models, each selling for ¥15,750.


Magazines get bent

When acclaimed designer Fumie Shibata teamed up with Admiral to create a new line of products, she ended up launching the delightfully titled fumfum brand. Shibata has been known to give her works a curvy and organic allure, and fumfum certainly follows in those footsteps. One of the products is this flower-shaped magazine holder. It certainly presents an interesting way of storing magazines — folded in two in an upright position, tucked within the “petals” of the holder — and should provide a colorful explosion of graphics and typography when displayed on a coffee table. The holder comes in brown, white and yellow, with each model retailing for just over ¥5,250.


Time is Money

The Issey Miyake brand of watches makes a return appearance to the column, this time for the release of a new model in the Tokujin Yoshioka-designed TO line. The TO Automatic one-ups the previous model by improving on the watch mechanics inside, which as a result has also raised the price considerably — the TO Automatic comes in three models, with the stainless-steel metal-band version priced at ¥126,000, and the black or tea-colored leather-band versions at ¥105,000 each. The minimal outer design remains the same, but Yoshioka introduces an interesting nod to the watch’s new innards by including a transparent backside that reveals the workings of the complex machinery within.