One of the rites of passage for Japanese kids entering elementary school is the randoseru. Parents will typically spend several hundred dollars on these leather backpacks, which are pricey but used throughout all 6 years of elementary school. In recent years the uniquely stylish backpacks have become something of a fashion icon overseas. But a new, never-before-seen collaboration is putting an artsy twist on the utilitarian kids bags.
In collaboration with the Andy Warhold Foundation, Japanese bag-maker Ikeda Chikyu is releasing a line of randoseru with prints from the iconic pop-artist. The bags will come in 5 different styles utilizing prints that span 40 years of work: Butterflies (1955) , Flowers (1964), Banana (1964), Cow (1966) and Camouflage (1987).
The Andy Warhol randoseru will go on sale at Isetan Department Stores across Japan beginning June 15, and will be priced between 78,840 yen (about $740) and 89,640 yen (about $840). Although the bags won’t be used until next April when newly minted 1st-graders enter school, this is a common time to market randoseru. That’s because summer is often when parents take their children to go visit the grandparents. And it’s an unspoken agreement that the grandparents will then cough up the cash to buy their grandchildren a randoseru!