Porter-Yoshida & Co: The Real Mr. Porter

Now regarded as a craftsmanship legend in his native Japan, Kichizo Yoshida first set up his eponymously named luggage brand in Tokyo way back in 1935. Which was inspired by his survival of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1917 where he managed to save his possessions by tying both ends of a cord to his belongings and slinging them over his shoulder before escaping. By the early 1950s Yoshida & Co. Ltd hard-earned a reputation for bags of the highest quality and putting their “heart and soul in every stitch”. Now with a loyal customer base (that included members of the royal family) they went on to launch Porter in 1962, an in-house line of travel and work bags named after the ubiquitous hotel porter so familiar with travellers the world over. Establishing themselves in shops and boutiques around Japan the Porter brand would soon overtake Yoshida & Co., Ltd. in terms of both its reputation and products.


Over half a century after it’s inception word of Yoshida & Co began to spread overseas and by the early 1980s, the company’s chief director became a member of New York Designer’ Collective. A move which helped the brand springboard into the wider world and also heralded the arrival of the Porter Yoshida’s legendary Tanker model. Inspired by the design of the U.S. Air Force MA-1 jackets and released during a period when military inspiration was still new to the fashion world, the Tanker series took a while before achieving cult status amongst bag enthusiasts. Whilst even today the Overnighter bag maintains the same Army Green Nylon with flight-ready Orange interiors, and is constructed with the same exacting standards of well made, durable functionality that has driven the Yoshida brand since day one.

Shop the full collection of Porter-Yoshida & Co.

Words by
Neil Summers.