When husband-and-wife tailoring team Bayode Oduwole and Claire Pringle located their appointment-only atelier in the private art foundation and gallery of Montabonel & Partners in Shoreditch recently, they launched two new websites for parallel Pokit design projects simultaneously. They have a loyal client base of architects, artists and designers who regularly commission their distinctive suits, but until now their offshoot bag and jeans designs have been difficult to source.
Pokitbags.com focuses on the label’s travel bags. While these have had a cult following in Japan for years, only a few pieces have been available in the UK at Liberty, but from this season they will be sold only via Pokit’s dedicated website. The ergonomic pieces share the same workwear ethos that informs the label’s made-to-measure tailoring – the Classic Capsule (from £249) in rubberised canvas comes in three colours (black, olive and khaki) and three sizes, from a small shoulder bag to a large crossbody style. “We experimented with organic shapes, in traditional materials,” explains Pringle. “We wanted to create something contemporary and strong, with the same production values as established luxury goods.”
Seven Foot Cowboy, the Pokit denim offering, distils the pair’s chic workwear philosophy still further. All the jeans are cut from premium Japanese denim in small batches in Lancashire – one of the last production facilities in the county to still make jeans. “It’s something that’s unique and eccentric – very British in a way,” says Oduwole. There are four designs: the Maverick (£225) and Prospector (£240) for men, and Belle (£225) and Sweetheart (£240) for women, though they say women sometimes buy the men’s jeans and wear them oversized. “They’re all cut authentically as workwear, as they would have been in the American West, but styled in a contemporary way,” explains Oduwole. “We wanted to poke fun at the nerdy, overly serious macho denim world.”