Kacper Hamilton's luxury pocketknife

Cutting-edge designer draws on 19th century Japanese metalwork to inspire his latest luxury gadget
Kacper Hamilton's Zai HIGO
Kacper Hamilton's Zai HIGO

Young British designer Kacper Hamilton sees himself specializing in the luxury goods sector; this recent graduate of London's Central St Martins College and Switzerland's Ecole Cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL) already numbers Louis Vuitton, Pernod Ricard, Ballantine's Whisky, Baccarat Crystal and Swiss ski equipment brand Zai among his clients.

Yet if the companies he works for are reassuringly upmarket, the goods he reworks are often quite humble.

His latest object for Zai is a pocketknife and multi-tool, inspired the Higonokami knife, a popular folding in Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Higo, as its often abbreviated, is a brass-handled folding knife, made with high-carbon steel, favoured by schoolboys during the postwar years.

Kacper's Zai HIGO incorporates a screwdriver into the design, and adds a magnetic locking mechanism for the blade. It follows on from the carbon-fibre handled axe he designed for Zai earlier this year. This 'luxury' CORE axe boasts interchangeable heads, for chopping down a tree or chopping up wood. Svelte young woodsmen can keep up with Hamilton's innovations here, while fans of perfect products should take a look at our Pioneers book, the ultimate selection of ground-breaking design classics.

Kacper Hamilton's Zai HIGO
Kacper Hamilton's Zai HIGO




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