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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. tokyoshoes

    tokyoshoes New Member

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    So after going all over the place, including shops like Komehyo, and checking online, I decided just to order one last pair of Allen Edmonds to be sent to a friend who is coming to visit in a couple of weeks. I can't bring myself to buy a pair of Scotch Grains for 40,000 yen, when I can get a more stylish pair of brand new AEs for $180....

    Got these guys:

    http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF8808_1_40000000001_-1_

    I haven't found a pair of shoes in Japan that looks like them... so I'm happy to know that they will be unique...

    Maybe one day I will have enough money to get a nice pair of Spigola MTOs... but until then, this poor student will have to keep wearing his good ol' american kicks.

    My next purchase, however, will be these wild boots in tan.

    http://www.scotchgrain.co.jp/spider.html
     
  2. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    An interview with the great HIRO YANAGIMACHI is up on Keikari! Kudos to our friend VRaivio!!
    Link to the Interview


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

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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    Apr 5, 2013
    Thanks Tony and NC !
    These shoes made from Du Puy baby calf.
    It looks very nice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I saw those Spider shoes at the Scotchgrain boutique at the Tokyo Sky Tree`s mall (Soramachi).... crazy looking shoes.
    btw congrats on your shoe purchase! I know Trading Post carries AE, but definitey not at that price!
     
  5. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I`ve seen Il Micio shoes made with big round toes with a Marini vibe to them. They looked very good too.

    and talking about inconspicuous and pretty shoes, I had the opportunity to visit Mr. Eiji Murata, aka Main-d`or, at his atelier.
    Beautiful, beautiful shoes. I`ll do a little writeup soon, but here is a preview...

    [​IMG]

    He also made this pair that I posted (via a link) a while ago... saw them in person. Lovely form.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
    2 people like this.
  6. tokyoshoes

    tokyoshoes New Member

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    Indeed. They offer them with "malt dressing" for an extra charge, but I prefer them without.

    Thank you very much. I figure with the money I save, I will eventually be able to get one really nice pair eventually.

    Thanks again for the help. I look forward to further developments with this thread!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Gianni Cerutti

    Gianni Cerutti Senior member

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    Very nice model
     
  8. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

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    Looking forward write-up about Mr. Murata. I read he is Mr. Mystery shoe-maker with little information available.
     
  10. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    A set of vintage Otsuka Shoes advertisement from the early 20th century (Taisho era)
    Available in Box Calf, a variety of kidskin (apparently a popular choice back then), and Willow Calf

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  11. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

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    Very interesting, specially as I'm a few months behind you in the process. My trial shoes will be with the pattern I asked for, as I want to make absolutely sure that I want to proceed with the patterning. Cutting them up will be sad, but doing so should give the real deal even better fit.


    I think your decision perfectly make sense.
    BTW, I noticed your location is very far from Tokyo. Are you frequent visitor to Japan or intend to travel for fitting?
     
  12. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

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    They are quite sleek shoes. What is the right most leather it is kid but what kind?
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    I would kill for SCs going at 70K yen, why is my trip only happening in Jul... :brick:
     
  14. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    I travel to Japan two times a year or so. I'm not very fond of Tokyo, but will go there for shoes!
     
  15. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I couldn`t figure it out either. It must be some type of kidskin. Maybe I should ask the Otsuka rep for that.

    Their flagship store has a number of old bespoke samples from ages ago (I was told some were from the Meiji era late 19th century). Here is one that I dug out from Google.
    I saw these in person, and I think they are made from kidskin (heavily waxed for display)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gianni Cerutti

    Gianni Cerutti Senior member

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    Wow...very very elegant...
     
  17. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Main-d`or by Eiji Murata

    The man with the Midas touch: His name is Eiji Murata, a son of a shoemaker, and a 100% home grown craftsman trained in Japan. He founded Main-D`or about 10 years ago, while also teaching full time at the Esperanza (a shoemaking academy in Asakusa). On the off days (from teaching), he works on commissions at his own studio in a Chiba suburb. He seems to be content in making shoes quietly in his own pace, for those who appreciates his craft, and are willing to seek him out (usually through referrals). He also seems to shun media attention, and not much information (about him) is available in print or online (up until quite recently, an interview on the LAST magazine).

    So I decided to take a pilgrimage (to Chiba, an hour ride from central Tokyo) to meet this mysterious shoemaker who is often referred to as `one of the very best` by his peers. Let`s just say that my expectations were very very high. Murata-san greeted me to enter his unassuming studio with a simple plaque that read `Bespoke Shoemaker: Main-D`or`. After serving me a fine cup of coffee, he brought out his shoes and welcomed me to handle them.

    So how were they? To be very honest, they were exactly as I imagined. First of all, the level of fit and finish were off the charts. Along with these were sample shoes, I also handled some of his (finished) commissioned works (no pictures!). Indeed they were finished to the same level of details. Then the silhouette came into view. The lasts` shapes were soft, reserved, and well thought out (something that I have started to appreciate more).

    Main-d`or shoes aren`t particularly styled in the English tradition though, a point emphasised by Murata himself. The Japanese approach to shoe design, particularly last making, has grown to be fundamentally different from the English / European counterpart, he said. While I can`t really attest about how the fit differs between English vs Japanese shoes, I did sense that locally trained Japanese shoemakers (such as himself) took pride in their Japanese shoemaking heritage. Murata said he and his circle of local shoemakers are very much into rediscovering and preserving the styles and methods used in the country`s past. A fascinating insight into the mind of a consummate artisan.

    Main-d`or Bespoke samples:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Soft lines. Impeccable craftsmanship. This must be his golden formula.

    [​IMG]
    Round Toes

    [​IMG]
    Wingtips

    [​IMG]
    The Bevelled Waist

    [​IMG]
    Japanese baby calfskin: Among the finest grained leather that I`ve seen. Only the best available specimens from Ilcea, Zonta, as well from Japanese tanneries, are stocked.

    [​IMG]
    Main-d`or provides 2 fitting sessions to ensure an optimum fit. The 2nd trial shoes are worn over a period of a month or so, and the uppers` creases, the soles` wear pattern provides cues for further optimisation.

    [​IMG]
    Wooden lasts are all carved out from rough-turns.

    [​IMG]
    Shoemaker`s tools

    [​IMG]
    The far right one is a 20 spi marking wheel. `Sure I can make you a pair (with these), although they won't be
    very practical` :D

    [​IMG]
    16 stitches per inch, the default for dress shoes.

    [​IMG]
    Mr. Eiji Murata


    My thanks to Murata-san for his hospitality!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
    16 people like this.
  18. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    It look really great!
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Senior member

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    Mexico City
    These look stuning!

    Quote:

    The round toe are gorgeous!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  20. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    Man, this is out of the world.
     

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