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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread - Page 243

post #3631 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

Stefan, have you ever asked Shoji how many hours he and his crew spend on an average pair? This may explain why they look so neat all over.

Think I've asked, but don't know exactly what he said. Think he mentioned well over 100, but I guess it depends a bit on the customer. I can ask him in 3 weeks and give you a better answer.
For every pair I've had he has made two pair of trial shoes to improve the fit even further. Hopefully we'll make due with one this time.
post #3632 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan88 View Post


Think I've asked, but don't know exactly what he said. Think he mentioned well over 100, but I guess it depends a bit on the customer. I can ask him in 3 weeks and give you a better answer.
For every pair I've had he has made two pair of trial shoes to improve the fit even further. Hopefully we'll make due with one this time.

Are you going back to Tokyo in 3 weeks? :)

post #3633 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

Stefan, have you ever asked Shoji how many hours he and his crew spend on an average pair? This may explain why they look so neat all over.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan88 View Post


Think I've asked, but don't know exactly what he said. Think he mentioned well over 100, but I guess it depends a bit on the customer. I can ask him in 3 weeks and give you a better answer.
For every pair I've had he has made two pair of trial shoes to improve the fit even further. Hopefully we'll make due with one this time.

 

For the whole process I think he said something like over 100 hours to me as well. But if you talk about the making of the final pair, which I believe Ville is onto, that's a lot less.

post #3634 of 4113
Jesper, I meant the whole ordeal: measuring, lastmaking, try-on pairs, final pair, finishing, all. 100 hours seems too much for what they charge -- I just hope the company pays its workforce enough to live on and save up with.
post #3635 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacke View Post

Are you going back to Tokyo in 3 weeks? smile.gif
Yup! 😊
post #3636 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

Jesper, I meant the whole ordeal: measuring, lastmaking, try-on pairs, final pair, finishing, all. 100 hours seems too much for what they charge -- I just hope the company pays its workforce enough to live on and save up with.

 

That's the problem for many bespoke shoemakers in Japan. They put in "too much" work compared to what they can charge. So basically noone is making any money, especially not the ones who like Marquess only do full bespoke and not MTM or MTO. 

post #3637 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post

That's the problem for many bespoke shoemakers in Japan. They put in "too much" work compared to what they can charge. So basically noone is making any money......

But it's only a question of time, Japanese shoemakers will discover trunk shows and realize they can charge significantly more abroad than they can charge at home.

I'll stick my neck out: in ten years time we'll have a dozen Japanese shoemakers criss-crossing the globe and taking orders.
post #3638 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post

That's the problem for many bespoke shoemakers in Japan. They put in "too much" work compared to what they can charge. So basically noone is making any money, especially not the ones who like Marquess only do full bespoke and not MTM or MTO. 

I can't say I'm an expert on Japanese shoemakers.
But having met a few on my recent trip there.... I must say the general vibe I get is that they really seemed more concerned about making a DAMN GOOD pair of shoes, rather than making a lot of money. It almost seemed like a secondary concern.
I think it's in their DNA, their blood. Whatever they do, they just have so much pride in. None of them want to be second best.
post #3639 of 4113
ˆThat is certainly great for the craft, but cordwainers have to eat, live in some place, pay the bills, maybe raise a kid or two, have a vacation. All things we take for granted, and demand for, in the Nordics at least.

Some years ago I interviewed Chihiro Yamaguchi, the main man from Guild of Crafts, and he mentioned that work does give him lots of stress.

There really is a reason for the word 過労死, Karōshi, in the Japanese language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karōshi
post #3640 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

ˆThat is certainly great for the craft, but cordwainers have to eat, live in some place, pay the bills, maybe raise a kid or two, have a vacation. All things we take for granted, and demand for, in the Nordics at least.

Some years ago I interviewed Chihiro Yamaguchi, the main man from Guild of Crafts, and he mentioned that work does give him lots of stress.

There really is a reason for the word 過労死, Karōshi, in the Japanese language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karōshi

I suspect it's not as dire as all that...although it is a different culture. But that said, the real problem is that most Westerners have an unrealistic definition of "enough."

Enough is never enough in the West.

I also suspect that karoshi is far more likely when one is chasing the profits. Stress comes at least partially from frustration and not being able to find any satisfaction or fulfillment. Chasing profits is self-defeating...once you choose to do that, there is never enough.
post #3641 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


But it's only a question of time, Japanese shoemakers will discover trunk shows and realize they can charge significantly more abroad than they can charge at home.

I'll stick my neck out: in ten years time we'll have a dozen Japanese shoemakers criss-crossing the globe and taking orders.

 

Absolutely, and they already are. Koji Suzuki has traveled for some time now, Hiro Yanagimachi has started to do it, and several others are interested in doing trunk shows in Europe and the US in the future, for example Shoji Kawaguchi (Marquess), Yohei Fukuda and Keitaro Takano (Clematis) all told me this explicitly. It's not the next year or so, in most cases, but in the future. Also with the growing competition among bespoke makers in Japan, with already today more makers than there are customers for, makes it even more likely that we will see more travel abroad.

Also, Japan is looking into becoming more free trade friendly, which would change things a lot. I think that even without that we will also see quite a few Japanese RTW brands in the West not too far ahead in the future.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post


I can't say I'm an expert on Japanese shoemakers.
But having met a few on my recent trip there.... I must say the general vibe I get is that they really seemed more concerned about making a DAMN GOOD pair of shoes, rather than making a lot of money. It almost seemed like a secondary concern.
I think it's in their DNA, their blood. Whatever they do, they just have so much pride in. None of them want to be second best.

 

Agree, money is not the main thing for most of them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

ˆThat is certainly great for the craft, but cordwainers have to eat, live in some place, pay the bills, maybe raise a kid or two, have a vacation. All things we take for granted, and demand for, in the Nordics at least.

Some years ago I interviewed Chihiro Yamaguchi, the main man from Guild of Crafts, and he mentioned that work does give him lots of stress.

There really is a reason for the word 過労死, Karōshi, in the Japanese language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karōshi

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I suspect it's not as dire as all that...although it is a different culture. But that said, the real problem is that most Westerners have an unrealistic definition of "enough."

Enough is never enough in the West.

I also suspect that karoshi is far more likely when one is chasing the profits. Stress comes at least partially from frustration and not being able to find any satisfaction or fulfillment. Chasing profits is self-defeating...once you choose to do that, there is never enough.

 

I think DWF is right here, the fact that as we talk about above that money and profit isn't the main thing for most shoemakers means that even if they work very hard, they like doing it, at least in many cases. Take Shoji of Marquess for example, man, I've never met a person who seem to love shoes as much as him. It's his passion, and he would probably work even more with it if he could skip sleep and such nonsense. 

post #3642 of 4113

Koji Suzuki seems to do very well coming to New York...and yes he charges a premium...however, I cannot say what percentage of that is the Armory's take for profit, hosting him, etc.

post #3643 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I suspect it's not as dire as all that...although it is a different culture. But that said, the real problem is that most Westerners have an unrealistic definition of "enough."

Enough is never enough in the West.

I also suspect that karoshi is far more likely when one is chasing the profits. Stress comes at least partially from frustration and not being able to find any satisfaction or fulfillment. Chasing profits is self-defeating...once you choose to do that, there is never enough.

That's rather a very US centric view on other cultures. It's way more than just profit chasing but also their perfectionist ways of doing things and the immense social/peer pressure. Urban Japan is rather a depressing place to live especially when you don't have money.

Japan has one of the best if not the best crafts preservation cultural in the world. Even the French system is setup with Japan as an example.
post #3644 of 4113
Thread Starter 
Talking about Japanese shoemakers taking off to the world,

Our good buddy Atsushi Qnai0-san, aka IL QUADRIFOGLIO, will be having his first HONG KONG Trunk Show, along with a very very talented tailor SARTORIA KAVUTO (formerly at Liverano & Liverano)

March 11 ~ March 13

@ KOWLOON SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

By Appointment Only

I plan to be at the event to assist the two gentlemen, so I hope to see some SF members in Hong Kong!!!! smile.gif


FOR APPOINTMENT:

Email: mail@iilquadrifoglio.jp

or

Contact me (PM)



Both Qnai-san and Kabuto-san are prominently featured in the RAKE JAPAN MAGAZINE as the rising stars of Florentine-Japanese styles.

SARTORIA KAVUTO: Kabuto-san, IMO, is well worth checking out. His style is heavily rooted in the Florentine tradition (he spent 12 years in Florence, 7 yrs apprenticing at Liverano), added to the now-typical Japanese meticulousness (I read he does button holes like no one else in the world). He used to have an atelier in Florence, now moved back to Japan. Fully hand stitched at his tiny atelier at the Ishiwaka prefecture.


post #3645 of 4113
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Japan has one of the best if not the best crafts preservation cultural in the world. Even the French system is setup with Japan as an example.

 

 

I strongly disagree on this point, it's quite different. French system of "The Compagnons du Tour de France" is a French organization of craftsmen and artisans dating from the Middle Ages.

It's more like an Union of workers that share their knowledge. Masters send their apprentices to go see many different atelier for many years. Later, you can start working in a workshop.

 

In Japan, it's more a 先生/弟子 (Master/Disciple). You have to learn with a master from many years, then you keep working in the workshop. Then you take care of the business.

 

Westernization of Japan started 100 years ago, it's still the beginning of Japanese tailors, shoemakers, hatmakers... And they're already amazing work ! ; )  

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