02 December 2007

Favorite Designer: Shinzi Katoh

Sunday is one of those days I should be working on my list of things I didn't do throughout the week but somehow I always end up browsing the web for cool new things for inspiration. Here is one designer I'm a big fan of:

[The World of a Zakka* Designer]

"Shinzi Katoh is one of the most famous Japanese artists. Not only as a designer but also as an artist, his unique and modern works are valuated highly."

*Zakka: the things that make people feel happy and exist like a comfortable air. It is also described as a broad term used to describe anything that improves or spruces up your home or life and often refers to a common household object infused with Japanese cute.

Tote Bag

Cute Placemat Tote Bag

Here are some facts about the designer from his website:

  • His hot products with wide appeal include fabric, tote bags and T-shirts.
  • He is an active artist and has also illustrated children's and adult picture books.
  • From the 70's, he began creating many designs and plans, using a variety of materials to be sold domestically as well as overseas.
  • After working as chief designer for a stationery company, he designed goods incorporating ceramic, wood, melamine, glass, towel, tote bags and T-shirts, while continuing to work on illustrated books.
  • Gakken published five of Katoh's children's books. Yet another of his books was chosen for prestigious Japanese children's book award. He will illustrate three children's books this year 2006.
  • Spring 2005, Katoh debuted his private line of clothing, bags, kitchen goods, and china.
  • He also serves as advisor and featured designer for Yokohama Freeway shop.
  • Katoh's creations are gaining popularity overseas, with products available at MoMA in San Francisco and a distributor in the U.K.His tote bag and fabric designs are sought after in many foreign countries.
  • Presently, Katoh is working on oil paintings to be shown at a private exhibition in New York City.

Here are a few stores that have Shinzi Katoh items for sale:


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