Circle of Objects

Photography by Gui Martinez

Light Flannel Wide Fit Checked Long Sleeve Shirt
Corduroy Regular Fit Straight Pants (Uniqlo U)

Founded in Brooklyn, today POSTALCO is based in Tokyo, where they make stationery and leather goods.
We asked Mike Abelson, designer behind the charming products of this lifestyle brand, what makes for a “simple design you want to use forever.” Touching upon the clothing of UNIQLO, he shared his thoughts about the future.

LifeWear magazine web exclusive contents

Interview with Mike Abelson

Mike Abelson
Product Designer
Born in 1974 in Los Angeles. Studied product design at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Moved to New York in 1997, founded Postalco with Yuri Abelson in Brooklyn in 2000. In 2001, the company moved to Tokyo, where they continue to design and produce stationery, leather goods, and other products with Japanese handcraft skills.
Denim Work Long Sleeve Shirt
Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt (Uniqlo U)
Corduroy Regular Fit Straight Pants (Uniqlo U)
Suede Chukka Boots
W's SUPIMA COTTON Stretch Broadcloth Striped Long Sleeve Shirt
W's Slouch Tapered Ankle Jeans
W's Comfeel Touch Round Shoes
Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt (Uniqlo U)
Straight Work Pants
Low Gauge Socks
Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Striped Long Sleeve Shirt
Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt (Uniqlo U)
Slim Fit Chino Pants
Mickey x Keith Haring Short Sleeve UT
Smart Ankle Pants
UV Protection Twill Cap
Basquiat x Warner Sweat Pullover Long Sleeve Hoodie
Smart Ankle Pants
Lightweight Fanny Bag
Low Cut Sneakers
Flannel Checked Long Sleeve Shirt
Sweat Pullover Hoodie
Jogger Pants
Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Pullover Long Sleeve Shirt
SUPIMA COTTON Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt (set of 2)
Wool Blend Flat Front Pants (UNIQLO and JW ANDERSON)
Italian Leather Narrow Belt
Double Face Duffle Coat
(UNIQLO and JW ANDERSON, pictured on hanger)

We are Coral

Our Future by Mike Abelson


Can I tell you something weird about me? I have a box of deer bones that I can’t get rid of. I want to be more minimal and cut down my things to only what I absolutely need. But I love the way they fit into the box I keep in the studio labeled “Deer Bones”.


I heard that Socrates traveled with everything he owned: a compact tied bag of possessions including a small cup. One day he went to a river to get a drink of water. There he saw a boy drinking from the river with his cupped hands. Socrates threw away his cup. I love this story.

We can survive as our naked selves with no wrapping, or tools. But we would only be a shadow of our potential. The things we carry complete our bodies. A bicycle extends our legs. A hat adds to our hair. A phone extends our voices. Even a house extends our skin. So we surround ourselves with a sphere of objects. We live in a time different from Socrates but we still have to carry things.


I used to think that swimming is the most minimal sport. All you need is a tiny swimsuit. But then I realized, you need the pool.


A pen only works if you have some paper. A phone only can be used if you have electricity. Your things are like a group of friends whose conversation gets more and more animated since they all make sense to each other.


I like yogurt. We’re told it has good bacteria. After I eat it, a silent conversation between my body and the bacteria in the yogurt begins. Bacteria plays important roles in digestion and immunity. There are a ton of different microorganisms in our bodies. All of the DNA of those microorganisms adds up to more than my own DNA. It’s a community. So inside my body is a collective. Outside is a sphere of created objects that complete my body. I’m a collage of elements working together.


In a local bakery are rows of trays bearing raisin bread, cheese bread, and egg salad sandwiches. This bakery also sells other things. Spatulas, twine, house paint, buckets, and they make keys. What if the baker started to add those things into their bread? Key bread. String bread. Paint bread. The bread is a container for things concealed inside. The line between bread and tools disappears.


What is coral? What we think of as a coral reef is mostly the accumulated skeletons of the tiny coral living on the surface. The animals that make their habitat in and around the coral are a large part of the colorful life we associate with coral. We are like coral. The things we gather around us are what allow us to live and to be complete.


We are not individuals but superorganisms, built with both human and nonhuman elements. Their interaction determines who we are. This is definitely not minimalist. Why does this matter?

The future depends on considering our complete selves. This includes the things we surround ourselves with and the elements within us. Our superorganism. I want to make my choices with this new larger idea of who and what we are in mind. We don’t just buy single things. We are creating the community of objects that completes what we are.

Interview with Mike Abelson

LifeWear magazine web exclusive contents

Postalco shop near Tokyo Station. Abelson designed the interiors of rooms 701 and 702 at Hotel Claska, which is sadly scheduled to close in December 2020. His family also participated in this shoot and chose the clothing they would wear.
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