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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    I believe most species of seal (in particular the European ones) are listed as endangered.

    Search eBay: You'll find occasionally Church's shoes from the 50s/60s made from "Fighting Seal".
     
  2. gambit50

    gambit50 Well-Known Member

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    Seal? No. I am over myself enough to get on without it.
    Pigs are great. But you can use more than the pelts. It is not that I am some insane militant vegan or the like.I think they are idiotic, really.
    I have no issue eating pork. Dog? That is nasty. Same for cats and I do not particularly like cats.
    Human greed unrestrained is awful. There need be a limit to everything.
    Honestly, it is humans that need to be pared down. 7B+ going strong yet so many are pure misery. I prefer the average sea turtle.
    Rather observe them in the world than on some thoughtless narcissist's foot or back.
     
  3. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    With Japan's large consumption of various marine lives, why waste the potential leather byproducts.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  4. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    You served your hipster location well.

    Now you should know the best way to zero out your own carbon footprint.
     
  5. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Gambit,

    Seals are not endangered. There are (literally) millions of them. Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and Namibia allow seal hunting by quota. But the EU does not allow import of seal products, mainly due to public pressure from anti seal-hunting activists in the 80s. Most seal exports from countries where they are hunted, are to Asia and Russia. I'm not aware of any well-known tanneries producing seal leather these days, so it would be interesting to know if someone Japan is tanning them as bare hides rather than furred pelts. I don't find seals any more controversial than other plentiful animals subject to an organised cull or hunting, e.g. elk, elephant, etc.

    Turtles are all endangered. I don't think any country allows them to be hunted.

    I'm glad you're "over yourself" whatever that means. But seal meat is also eaten, so the only case for pigs being more acceptable as shoe leather than seals, is that you eat bacon. But as pigs are both significantly more intelligent and aware than seals, and intensively farmed and slaughtered, I think there's a pretty strong case for sealskin being more ethical, inherently, than pigskin (or bacon for that matter!). I don't like cats much either, I do like dogs. But that's not why I don't eat them - I just think they're too high up the brain chain. Like pigs. And dolphins.

    Chogal, I take your point, while whales are being taken there is an argument for not wasting what is there. But I'm personally opposed to whaling on both conservation and the above (brain-rating!) grounds, so I wouldn't feel honest to participate in that particular "industry".
     
  6. gambit50

    gambit50 Well-Known Member

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    Sure enough. But that avoids what is wrong with eating that meat in the first place which is convenient enough for you.

    And these days, whole animals put to use is not that common amongst the pricey, rare varieties.

    Enjoy your shark fin soup.
     
  7. gambit50

    gambit50 Well-Known Member

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    Or better yet, yours.

    Do not cast stones from your cushy little bubble, mate.
     
  8. gambit50

    gambit50 Well-Known Member

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    Whole millions, eh? You are not educating me about any of this but thanks. Seals are a slippery slope. Hunting allowances mean nothing. Some locales allow hunting of animals with low counts. Others, not.And enforcement is often :uhoh: Also, there are so many varieties and when you allow X, people slip right down and do Y and Z.Also, let us be honest, if you are the type of person who covets uber exotic, rare, endangered or whatever type of skins, you will covet the rare type of seal.They are not really commodity level. That's all.

    Look if someone wants to skin sea turtles or do this or that or whatever it is, OK, but just don't give some nonsense about how it is fine and dandy. it is just greedy and wrong. I am hardly opposed to luxury and excess but that is the point, if a bastard such as myself says,'That is too far', then it must be and to keep going and going means you are a &*()(). Just wear the badge and argument over. Note, I am not saying you are one of them, just generally.
     
  9. Fang66

    Fang66 Well-Known Member

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    What is wrong with eating whale meat, for example?
     
  10. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    I am not the type of person who "covets uber exotic, rare, endangered" skins. I expressed an interest in seal skin which is none of the above. Why? For the same reason as I have some blue shirts and some white shirts. We all crave novelty or variety in some way, but I think we also mostly refrain from trying to eradicate endangered species! Everyone has their own moral line.

    If you think seals are "too far", I respect that, but disagree, and I'd be interested to hear a more detailed case: you suggest, I think, that some seal hunts might also include rarer species than the usual harp seal, possibly even some endangered ones. I'm sure it's possible, but to say that makes harp seals unethical is like saying that nobody should eat fish until bi-catch is completely eradicated. Is it a big problem? I don't really know, to be honest, but I do accept that there might be a case to consider, just as I won't buy a certain kind of tuna.

    But using words like "nonsense" and "skinning sea turtles" is not really adding anything. If you think farming, transporting and slaughtering pigs is more morally rational than shooting a seal, then fine, I'm sure it's an argument worth considering. I'd ask you to consider the relative humanity of intensive farming and slaughter methods against licensed hunting of animals that lead an otherwise natural life. I'm sure there are points you'd make in response. But there's no need to be so rude to people who might not immediately agree with you.

    Well, it depends if you agree with the hunting of whales in principle. I don't. Chogall's "no waste" point makes sense, but I'd feel hypocritical to do that when I'm against the practice in general.
     
  11. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Anyway, here's a picture of some lovely Japanese shoes. Made of non-controversial farm animal. Because fuck cows. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. clee1982

    clee1982 Well-Known Member

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    His cream polish shine is already pretty good. As to his method on wax, well, that's how I did it when I was in the military police :slayer:
     
  13. ezlau

    ezlau Well-Known Member

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    Nutcracker,

    If one were to plan on visiting Japan from the USA, what brand of shoes would be worth splurging on? Since you mentioned that AC, EG, Vass etc that can be sourced for much cheaper in the USA without the high import tax, would spending the $ on local Japanese bespoke such as Koji Suzuki or Yohei Fukuda be more worthwhile?

    Also, any idea if there are any difference in $ between a Koji Suzuki commision in Japan vs with The Armoury guys?
     
  14. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Il Quadrifoglio Bespoke in Sealskin
    [​IMG]
    I saw these in person and I must say the leather looked and felt great. The microscopic pores makes the surface almost glitter (really). I was also shown a seal hide in black, but they looked like lava rocks (like those on the Big Island / Hawaii), and I didn't like it. The upcharge wasn't as much as I thought.....¥60,000 or so ($600), about the same as lizard. Apparently sealskins are quite available these days. This particular leather was imported from Italy, if I recall correctly. Try looking at Marmolada / F.lli.Giacometti, they offer RTW shoes in a wide range of exotics including sealskins.

    Zinryu Bespoke Boots in Whale
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Whaleskin (suede in this version) is not very pliant, and they're quite difficult to last. They do have a distinctive shimmer common to marine mammals. (the interior of this boots is lined with calfskin). Whale skins don't come by easily nowadays. Not sure if they're produced in Japan, but quite possible.

    Fishskins (such as salmon) are surprisingly strong if processed and are quite suitable for leather goods. Eel skins are probably the most resilient and are still used for goods and shoes in Japan and the rest of Asia. I believe South Korea is the world's largest producer/exporter of eel skins. I've never seen a dolphin shoe.....

    Sea turtle hides are becoming increasingly rare (because of international trade restriction), but old stocks (usually small pieces) are still available for small leather crafts (popularly used for seal/stamp cases)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  15. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    If you're coming from the states, buying imported shoes here may not be a savvy choice, even with a weak yen.

    Among the domestic RTW brands, I really like Miyagi Kogyo RTW, Corno Blu, and Central shoes. Priced in the ¥50,000 range, quality and price-wise I think they're similar to C&J Handgrade or Carmina. Also beware that most Japanese RTW brands only go up to size 9.

    I personally think Japanese MTO shoes are excellent deals, regardless of the exchange rate. Yohei Fukuda, Spigola, Clematis, Corno Blu, and Hiro Yanagimachi are among the notable Bespoke makers who offers MTO shoes without test fit session. Other makers, such as Guild or Saion, do MTO shoes but requires a test fitting.

    If you're willing to come back for test fitting, then Bespoke may be a way too. Most English trained shoemakers could accommodate you with no problem.

    For a Koji Suzuki MTO, you gotta show up at their Kobe studio, or visit one of their trunk shows in Tokyo or elsewhere. I highly doubt they do mail orders, unless they're familiar with you. Cheapest if you get it direct, and a lil more at the Trunk Shows. Price starts from ¥108,000 yen direct ($1080 USD or so). Price starts from ¥126,000 ($200 premium) at the Tokyo Trunk Show.

    Armoury's MTO price starts from 14,000 HKD ($1800 USD). Surprisingly, their Bespoke price (24,000 HKD) is similar to Japan. (from their website, you may want to ask them)

    open the link for better image
    [​IMG]
     
  16. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Military Police? geez....did you have to go through the rifle juggling at the SYS or CKS Memorial Halls?
     
  17. clee1982

    clee1982 Well-Known Member

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    Nah, that's 儀隊, we usually just guard base/garrison, though you do have to stand straight and not moving for 2 hours...
     
  18. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    no wonder I thought you had a good posture :lol:
     
  19. ezlau

    ezlau Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions nutcracker. I wear roughly a size 8.5E (asian feet) so not a problem at all :) I've been tempted to go to Japan for a sushi hunt (Jiro, and Sushisho Masa who apparently is better than Jiro). Might also go on a shopping spree while I'm there (Ring Jacket and shoes). What do you suggest is the best time to visit Japan?
     
  20. nutcracker

    nutcracker Well-Known Member

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    Sure thing!

    well..... the yen seems to get weaker each day, so thats good news for you :fonz:
    The monsoon / rainy season starts from early June and ends early July......you may want to avoid this period.
    Summer sales tend to start early July. Isetan already announced they are having theirs on July 17 this year :slayer:
     

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