Learned about leather and design in Italy

At age of 26 Away from Home

I traveled alone to Italy
After briefly studying Italian in Tokyo. I wanted to go to the home of leather manufacturing and design and found the opportunity to study with and become assistant to the famous handbag designer, Piero Guidi.

My unforgettable learning experience in Italy allowed me to absorb new knowledge of design, art, culture, as well as handbag manufacturing.

Learned about business in USA

At age of 28 Center of  the world 

I moved to New York to work with the Japanese wholesale handbag company, ‘Why USA’, and began my career there.

At age of 33  Turning Point

I learned jewelry, shoe, and millinery design at FIT, the best college for fashion study. And I took my technical knowledge of handbag design and applied this to more design-oriented work with companies such as Donna Karan, Robert Lee Morris, and Carlos Falchi. I played an active role as designer for these brands and also became a chief designer for Sharif brand, which became particularly famous in American department stores.

At age of 19th Dreamed to be handbag designer

I was born in a 1400 year-old Shinto shrine and often spent my childhood there surrounded by nature and the beauty of the ancient Japanese capital, Nara. In contrast to this traditional environment, my mother was a very curious person who watched a lot of foreign films and was a very good dressmaker.

At school I was the most stylish girl at my school and wore clothing that my mother designed, thinking that I wanted to become a fashion designer in the future.

By the time I graduated and thought practically about the future,

I looked at my own environment and what was available to me and at 19 decided to work in my father’s company to learn the process of handbag rendering and manufacturing.

I found a strong origin for expression in handbag design and worked there for eight years while attending design school at night. I studied specialized techniques and production control and gained knowledge of leather and how to handle it.

At the age of 40  Launched my own brand  

Shortly afterwards, with all my research in hand, I came up with a design that was very well received by a famous American department store and the design brought in tremendous sales. This success also allowed my dream of establishing my own brand and developing my own collection, KAZUYO NAKANO NEW YORK,

My dream become true.

My brand quickly became popular with young, professional New York City women and several months after starting my brand I was able to open a store and sell my designs at retail.

I was designing as well as managing production, overlooking wholesale and retail sales and generally working at a running pace.
The following year, my handbag designs were taken in by high-end department stores such as Barneys, Henri Bendel, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue. My designs were also gaining attention in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, WWD.

Through a difficult time after Sep.11

At the age of 42   Re-Start

The chaos of disrupted businesses and lifestyles brought the economy down,
I was aware I would have to start again. My response to the negative atmosphere and dark mood at the time was to produce a handbag full of life and energetic color. This was the Jenn handbag collection and its emphasis on bright color was instantly successful with New Yorkers going through such a difficult time.


At the age of 47  Contribution to the society

at a stable place with my business, I looked for ways to contribute to a good

cause. I came across the opportunity to work with women in Kenya and promote their economic potential by combining their artisanal skills with my design and marketing skills. We created very successful handbags that allowed them to benefit financially in ways they would not have had access to previously.
Another project I participated in was the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign that aimed to promote early detection and ways to fight cancer.


At age of 52 New Market

Started selling to a new fashion market. at the “Jupiter Shop Channel”, a major Japanese TV program, offering clothing and handbags with New York style’s elegance .

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Offering lecturing and Seminars in USA and Japan

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This success brought me a licensing agreement with a Japanese company and I was, after all, able to expand my business again. I had stable business partnerships and strong sales both in the U.S. as well as in Japan and I relocated my store to Soho, the popular shopping neighborhood in New York City.


Marketing, Consulting and Directing designs of Handbag company to expand their market in USA and Japan.