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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread - Page 106

post #1576 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutcracker View Post

I travel back and forth from Tokyo to Taipei (will be there again in a week or two)

I've met some folks who post on the shoes forum of a Taiwanese equivalent to SF, called the Gentry. It's a relatively new site, but seems like a close knit community. I know they do occasionally peek into SF....

www.gentry.com.tw

looks fairly recent, the shoe part has 3 pages with the first post like 2 month ago, looks like no EG lovers though

edit: for one I can see "chogall" on there
post #1577 of 2955

Discovered that website from mobile01.  Newer forums like gentry or WDWV are cleaner without distributors/retailers spamming threads. 

post #1578 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Newer forums like gentry or WDWV are cleaner without distributors/retailers spamming threads. 

True that, but for how long
post #1579 of 2955
Thread Starter 
A Visit to TYE Shoemaker, Tokyo

TYE Shoemaker is among the most elusive shoemakers in Tokyo, and not much information is available except for some beautiful shoes that are periodically posted on their Facebook account. So I arranged a visit to meet shoemaker Tsuyoshi Ohno at his workshop, located in the heart of Asakusa, also known as the Northampton of Japan.

Ohno used to be one of Yamaguchi Chihiro's proteges (at Guild), and was in charge of lastmaking at their bespoke operation. I am constantly amazed at how so many talented shoemakers are able to come out from Guild (Masaru Okuyama was Ohno's colleague, to put in perspective). Despite sharing the same instructor (Yamaguchi), each of them seem to flourish in their own direction and style. Ohno is certainly one of them, and he established TYE Shoemaker in 2011 to pursue his vision of what bespoke ought to be.

*

TYE Shoemaker actually started out by making women's shoes, and perhaps as an extension for his knowledge of women's couture, I find him particularly versed in classic European styles. In fact, classic rider boots are among his specialty. He finds bootmaking to be the true test of a cordwainer's skills, and is proud to be among the very few in Japan (if not only) who readily offers bespoke riding boots, made from the beginning (last making) to the end.

AppleMark
Not many Japanese cordwainers have the courage to call themselves 'bootmakers'

AppleMark
TYE Boot trees. Not an easy task to make such pair.

Except for the few boots on display, at TYE Shoemaker, there are no sample shoes, nor examples to showcase the brand's 'house style'. Each and every order are drawn from scratch, and I found Ohno's process to be fascinating with quite a bit of psychology involved. This is not 'bring me a photograph and I'll replicate it' kind of bespoke. He encourages his client to express in any way he/she wants...no matter how vague or fantastic....their ideal image, their gut feeling, intended purpose etc... While some of his clients have a clear idea what they want (sleek oxford shoes, penny loafers), more often they don't have a concrete image of their ideal shoes yet, but nevertheless wants to order one!

Quite a few of his clients thus opt to give Ohno complete freedom in design, or "omakase" in Japanese.... no specific requirement, just something that will surprise them, something they will like 'for sure'. To constantly take such requests may be a living nightmare for some cordwainers, but Ohno seems to thrive under such opportunity for creative freedom. What he does is to carefully observe the client through their conversation and body language to understand his taste, lifestyle, personality, expectations etc... He takes those cues from the meeting, and manifest them onto the shapes and the designs from scratch.

The shoes are then presented at the trial fitting session. Ohno always prepare at least 2 variations/designs for the clients to see and choose. The lasts are also slightly different on each trial shoe. The amount of effort spent on these orders is simply mind boggling.

AppleMark
Trial shoes (in the making) for a client who requested 'omakase'. Both are based on the same sleek form that Ohno concocted for the particular client, but the design (and the last) differs. He will present these to the client, have him select one, and then fine tunes the design. If the client doesn't like either of them, he will start from scratch. Again, these two trial shoes are for a single order, not two separate orders.


The first design: A swooping brogue pattern on a sleek last. I don't mind taking this. In fact, Ohno-san told me he thought I would like it too (based on his observation of me during the visit).

AppleMark
See the stitching right along the outside of the brogues? Ohno devised this to look like micro-pinking. Superb workmanship indeed, and this is just a trial shoe.

AppleMark
Trial shoe #2 in burgundy. A similarly sleek profile, but the toe shape is slightly different.

AppleMark
This one is actually made from a single piece of leather wrapped around.

AppleMark
Plaster molds taken from the clients' feet. Ohno is a seasoned last maker, previously in charge of Guild's lastmaking operation.

*
The creative process of modelling a last. This one is meant for evening shoes.


Sleek wooden lasts line the shelves.

AppleMark
Tassel loafers in suede w/ intrecciato details. The upper is actually a single piece of leather with slits to accommodate the strips.

AppleMark
Little details that really shine.

AppleMark
Intrecciato, hand woven

some other shoes from their Facebook :
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An unusual pair of spectator shoes. The upper is actually made entirely with the same white calfskin. The wing/toes/heels are dyed to the exact shade of tan envisioned by the client.

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Bootees in Croc Nubuck and Norvegese stitching

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Tarsal straps for the Summer.

*
more of that amazing faux-micropinking stitching. In fact, the entire stitchwork in this picture is superb.


Ohno admits that expectations based on fantasy or imagination are by nature impossible to meet, but he thoroughly enjoys taking up such challenge. He also enjoys taking some extra effort to add little surprises tailored for each client (a personal detail hidden in the shoes for example). I was reminded of sushi chefs, who also observe their customers to understand their preferences, and are also known for whipping up surprises. The willingness to go an extra step, to do something beyond the expected, really speaks to the character of the artisan. When asked what his aspirations are, he said he would love to make shoes for people from different cultures. Obviously their tastes and values would be quite different from the Japanese, and he is curious what such partnerships could possibly bring out. Gentlemen, this is Bespoke in its purest form.

TYE Shoemaker by Tsuyoshi Ohno
www.tyeshoemaker.com
info@tyeshoemaker.com
Facebook
post #1580 of 2955
Love the stitching detail on the last picture, that's certainly more effort than anyone else in terms of getting the shoes clients want.

love this paragraph

Ohno admits that expectations based on fantasy or imagination are by nature impossible to meet, but he thoroughly enjoys taking up such challenge. He also enjoys taking some extra effort to add little surprises tailored for each client (a personal detail hidden in the shoes for example). I was reminded of sushi chefs, who also observe their customers to understand their preferences, and are also known for whipping up surprises. The willingness to go an extra step, to do something beyond the expected, really speaks to the character of the artisan. When asked what his aspirations are, he said he would love to make shoes for people from different cultures. Obviously their tastes and values would be quite different from the Japanese, and he is curious what such partnerships could possibly bring out. Gentlemen, this is Bespoke in its purest form.
post #1581 of 2955

These are exquisite. How many SPI does TYE strive for?

post #1582 of 2955

My god,  those are incredible.

post #1583 of 2955
amazing!! happy.gif
post #1584 of 2955
Thread Starter 
They are incredible indeed. Ohno-san was finishing up on a couple of pairs, which unfortunately couldn't be photographed.

I did manage to snap a pic of these boot lasts.

AppleMark

I understand that boot lasts are usually made in many pieces, and rarely in a whole piece like this anymore.
post #1585 of 2955
Hi NC, I suppose Ohno-san is bespoke only, right? May I ask what is his price range?
post #1586 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by barky View Post

Hi NC, I suppose Ohno-san is bespoke only, right? May I ask what is his price range?

 

It's probably a case of, 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it'!

post #1587 of 2955
According to their website:

Shoes ¥ 315,000 ~
Ankle boots ¥ 367,500 ~
Riding boots ¥ 493,500 ~
Shoe tree ¥ 29,400

Take the last two zeros off for approximate USD conversion.
post #1588 of 2955
It looks like + shoe tree price
They just increased the price effective 1 Sep.
Above quoted are after the increase.

Usually, Guild school shoes do not appeal to me, but these are beautiful.
post #1589 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

 

It's probably a case of, 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it'!


I am sure, as with many here, affordability is not really the issue smile.gif.  What I am struggling with is how much better can the fit get in comparison with a MTO from the same maker?  Does it warrant the premium especially where I come from, we don't walk that much, everyone drives.  I am happy to pay the asking price of most of the MTO's in Japan, some of which, IMO, is a steal, thanks to Abenomics.  

post #1590 of 2955

Thanks ezlau and bamboo!

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