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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by nutcracker, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your insight DW. Japan does have a sizeable RTW shoes industry, some actually make quite lovely shoes. Regal is probably the largest local maker of RTW welted shoes with about 1 mil pairs output / year.

    I really think it`s regrettable that the pictures are the only medium for most of us to see Japanese shoes, and a lot of the ornate shoes posted on the thread probably reflects my taste more than anything!
    There`s really a lot of fascinating shoemakers to meet in Japan. Perhaps one day I can host your travel here :)
     
  2. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Talking about an ornamental sole :smarmy:

    Il Quadrifoglio by Atsushi Qnai
    Burgundy Croc Tassel Loafer

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Really! I have never heard of them. Which kind of underscores my point--we seem to be comparing...here on SF--Japanese bespoke makers to European manufacturers. I admire the Japanese makers that I see here esp. because they are bespoke makers and I am a bespoke maker. I know or have intimations of what it takes to do that kind of work.

    PS: the waist work on the "gator" slip-ons above is gorgeous..and I have no real idea how they achieved that effect.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    Probably milk and ammonia, which used to be a very popular technique for a cloudy, marbled stain.
     
  5. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Well-Known Member

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    Amazing pair.
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any more details? A recipe, perchance?
     
  7. Kuro

    Kuro Well-Known Member

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    1 person likes this.
  8. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Regal has a peculiar story of how they got to be named after the famous US shoe company. This Japanese shoe manufacturer (originally called Nihon Shoes) has been around for a while (since 1870), making predominantly army boots and also shoes for export, and started making GYW shoes since 1910`s. They partnered with Regal in the 1960`s and started selling licensed Regal branded shoes in Japan. Their American `trad style` shoes became incredibly popular in Japan (along with IVY fashion) throughout the 1980`s, while I suppose the US counterpart`s business kinda faded away. In the end the Japanese bought the rights to the name from the US parent company.

    ...
    I recall Kyunai said the waist portion of the gator(!) slip-on is painted or splotched on? Not sure if its milk and ammonia (!) like bengal suggests, but interesting indeed.
     
  9. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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  10. The False Prophet

    The False Prophet Well-Known Member

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    I'm in Tokyo on Friday, for a week - anyone fancy a drink and some sartorial chat?
     
  11. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    While I can`t say much about how fast/slow European makers work, I do know a shoemaker here who spends about 160 80 hours making a pair. Thats pretty much twice as longer as most other makers spend, and its remarkable to see him put his soul into every one of them (I won't name who, but you can all probably guess). Yet obviously he can`t charge double of what others do simply because he spend more time on it, and I do feel some pain thinking that he is not necessarily rewarded financially for sticking to his principle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  12. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Well-Known Member

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    Qnai?
     
  13. Fishball

    Fishball Well-Known Member

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    Haha, yes, I agreed with you. Some of them are real craftmen, but not businessmen!
     
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  14. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    I have seen
    similar effects
    like this:

    [​IMG]

    from meccariello
    he makes it
    for some of his
    shoes in japan
     
    2 people like this.
  15. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    I believe the marbled effect is applied by brush, used more prevalent on leather accessories

    More Il Quadrifoglio`s:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Something unusual: Black & Gold
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Not him ;)
     
  17. Tony Montana

    Tony Montana Well-Known Member

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    Ryota Hayafuji? [​IMG]
     
  18. add911_11

    add911_11 Well-Known Member

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    Same here....

    Mr. Okuyama also had asked me how they did the finish...
     
  19. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Well-Known Member

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    Really, 1 million pairs a year? That's massive! But are all those Goodyear welted, decent shoes? Regal seem to be going further down the quality branch over the years, if I recall correctly. And I mean, Allen Edmonds do like 500 000 a year, and the biggest British factories (Church's, Loake..) make about 200 000 pairs a year.
    Also, how big is Central Shoes?

    I've been checking in with this thread everyone's in a while, but think I need to start read it all through from page one. It's seems to be one of the best threads on the whole SF.
     
  20. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! That is a lot of pages to scroll...

    Regal is a massive company, and the last time I checked, they have 4 main factories in Japan (one factory making 800 pairs/day). I believe their output in Japan has been decreasing significantly over the years, moving out to China and elsewhere instead. While I can`t get their exact figures now, their revenue (and output) still continues to grow. Yes, not all are GYW shoes, and frankly a lot of them (probably the majority) are cemented / or blake stitched shoes made for the mass market (priced $100 and below). Thus I won`t say they are the Japanese equivalent to AE or Church. That being said, Regal does offer high-end shoes (Bespoke, hand stitched MTO etc...). The LAST magazine from last Fall has a feature story on Regal`s Bespoke division.

    Central Shoes is relatively small factory, and they make high quality GYW shoes on OEM basis (Trading Post, World Footwear Gallery etc...), about 25 pairs / day output. Nice shoes
     

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