Daika maximizes usefulness and artistry in its blissful leather products, with clean and simple minimalist designs skillfully constructed in Long Island City, New York. Bags, wallets, sandals, jewelry and personal accessories are handmade by founder and designer, Taishi, a talented graduate of New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology. All pieces are fabricated using choice leathers and skins such as supple Italian calf hide, short velvety calf hair, glistening eye of stingray, textured ostrich, python and crocodile skins. Tashi offers his clients the opportunity to collaborate with him when creating custom pieces; selecting interior and exterior color palettes amongst more than 30 leather choices as well as the finishing hardware touches.
Designed for ultimate function and fashion, elegantly proportioned slings, totes, cross-body bags and wallets are sleek and lightweight with colorful contrasting interior sued linings. The boutique features more than 20 bag styles available off the rack for immediate sale in leather and canvas, including a nice assortment of casual leather jewelry, leather necklaces, stingray bracelets and cuffs. When wearing a pair of Daika's handmade sandals each step you take will bring you one step closer to happiness, as the upper sole is imprinted with a traditional iconic Japanese ocean wave pattern, symbolizing joy and happiness.
With a workshop in Long Island City, specialty items may be delivered in as little as 2 to 3 weeks. Unusual and luxurious client requests have included handsome crocodile frames and frivolous to-go coffee cup sleeves made from exotic python skin. Additionally, belts may be customized to accommodate a client's cherished vintage belt buckle. The leather maker's attention to detail and practicality has caught the eye of many, especially that of Ralph Lauren's vintage line RRL, for whom Daika makes sandals and bags, including a lavish line of crocodile wrist cuffs embellished with 18th and early 19th Century women's shoe buckles, designed exclusively for 888 Mansion, with some pieces for sale at Daika.
Each day passersby unknowingly overlook Daika as if invisible, hidden in plain sight on busy Lafayette Street, sandwiched between two stores in a location that is as mysterious as the word itself. In Japanese, Daika means to add or to make more; a name that was given to Tashi as a small boy by the family fortune teller. Today the sentimental childhood nickname has come to personify the young designer's career as a fine artist and businessman.
Written by Erica Gonzales | Edited by Sabrina Tate