• Without Walls: In The Studio

    Enter the technicolor dream world of Mokuyobi Threads designer Julie Pinzur.

    They say that an adventurer always travels prepared—and the same goes for designer Julie Pinzur. As the founder and designer of Mokuyobi Threads, the Chicago-native is at the ready should inspiration strike. “I have my sketchbook and colored pencils with my everywhere I go,” she says, motioning towards a desk covered in pastel and neon-tipped tools. 

    And while Julie does regularly quench her wanderlust (she bounces between the two coasts regularly, lived in Tokyo, and is heading to Asia this January), it’s easy to imagine her never leaving her studio. That’s because her work space is so…perfect: bright, colorful, full of energy and brimming with personality. 

    In short, exactly what you expect from the brainchild behind Mokuyobi Threads, a line of hats, bags, and patches that, yes, are charmingly bold, but also highly functional. Think 5-panels that can handle a little sweat, or statement packs that have pockets to hold just about anything you could need for a day hike or bike ride. 

    “Color is a big part of my design inspiration, because that’s what you see, but really I love functionality, because that’s what is most important to me,” explains Julie, a onetime gymnast-turned-diver who also runs and bikes in her free time. “My bags have to be 100-percent functional—that’s the weird-nerdy part of what I do.” 

    You can see it firsthand in the handmade, super limited edition collection that we’re stocking for the holidays—Julie handmade six (yes, six—we told you these were super limited) one-of-a-kind packs that are as functional as they are awesome-looking. They’re perfect gifts (or get one for yourself, we won’t judge) that also perfectly reflect the space they were conceived in. 

    “I feel like I am the brand,” Julie says by way of explaining her studio, motioning at the technicolor inspiration board, cartoonish pieces of art hanging on the wall, and pop culture-referencing books jam-packed on a shelf. “This,” she says, sweeping her hand across the room, “is what I enjoy.” 

    Photos by Max Dworkin