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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. VegTan

    VegTan Senior member

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    2 people like this.
  2. PeeCeeBee

    PeeCeeBee Well-Known Member

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    Some Otsuka and Miyogi Kgoyo i have seen and in some cases tried on during the trip:-

    Miyogi Kogyo split toe derby at World Footwear Gallery

    [​IMG]

    Otsuka RTW at Isetan Mens

    [​IMG]

    Otsuka Shoten (supposedly higher end range) button boots at Isetan Mens 66,000 yen
    [​IMG]

    Otsuka generic RTW whole cut with open channel stitching at Isetan Mens
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Ccw55

    Ccw55 Active Member

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    @PeeCeeBee Nice pictures man, these look great! I'm guessing your wallet got a little lighter after visiting these stores [​IMG]

    I'm assuming the RTW line all cost approximately 33 000 yen? Any comments on how the quality of the leather looked would be very much appreciated.
     
  4. PeeCeeBee

    PeeCeeBee Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed the wallet got thinner after the trip.

    I suspect the Otsuka RTW at 33000 yen are the imported ones (not made in Japan). Leather looks ok but would prefer those under the Otsuka Shoten range (60K to 70K range).

    There are still lots of undiscovered gems in Japan. Love this place.
     
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  5. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    Handmade by hands - Marquess samples and toe shapes.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Marquess round toes are really beauties.
     
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  7. aristoi bcn

    aristoi bcn Senior member

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    Their chiseled ones too (and I am a man of round toes...).

    Those who have handled both Marquess and let's say...Cleverley, how do you think they compare?
     
  8. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    I haven't owned any shoes from either, but seen and handled shoes from both several times. When it comes to the making, Cleverley can be really good sometimes but also, to be frank, quite bad sometimes. All Marquess pairs have been of very high standard all the way through. When it comes to the look of the lasts and design, I personally prefer Cleverley's a bit more balanced look, Marquess is extremely elegant but to me can be a bit too narrow waisted and small heeled.
     
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  9. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    The only Cleveleys I've handled has been in Marquess' showroom, and they have all looked swell. As Jesper says, I do think Shoji executes every single pair to a very high level. From what I've seen personally, I think the finishing is quite similar to Fukuda less the patina work that some may enjoy. Seeing both in a few weeks time [​IMG]
     
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  10. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    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.
     
  12. Jacke

    Jacke Well-Known Member

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    Are you going back to Tokyo in 3 weeks? [​IMG]
     
  13. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    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.
     
  14. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    Yup! [​IMG]
     
  16. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    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.
     
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  17. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
    3 people like this.
  18. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    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.
     
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  19. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    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
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     

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