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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. clee1982

    clee1982 Senior member

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    Are we complain about Alden quality in a Japanese shoe tread now :D? Made in China can be good as long as you are willing to pay for it... (and know what you're getting in the first place)
     
  2. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

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    I've been living in Japan for several years now (during the time when Japanese goods were comparatively expensive), but will probably leave for my home country (the US) in 2013. I've been thinking that I might like to have some Japan-made shoes before I go. However, I'm not sure how much the sentimentalism is worth... it seems that US or British made shoes are much better quality for the price, if they're not bought in Japan (where their prices are steeply inflated). What do you guys think? How do Japanese shoes compete in this mid-range (Alden/C&J) price point? Sorry, I can never ask this directly to a Japanese person because they either know little about shoes, or I feel like I'm disrespecting them! Perhaps I am just being too stingy and should go for it without worrying.:embar:
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  3. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    From what I have seen, Japanese shoes are not particularly low cost, but certainly worth the price.
     
  4. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I think 'stigma' is something the western world created for the asian market. WIth my studying experience oversea, I believe everywhere has their own custom, so for Japan, their custom of perfectionism shall be kept, otherwise it is not Japanese.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  5. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    :lol: yes I suppose I am :lol: but I am complementing them too!!!

    But you are very right. I`m not doubting Chinese craftsmen`s skills like folks at the Tianzi shoe shops in Shanghai, and if given a higher budget, I expect them to be able to show off more of what they got.

    I`ve seen some quite lovely shoes being made in Laos, of all places. These are sample shoes of a Taiwanese brand that is being sold in Japan, made in Laos

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    from M`s Blog
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  6. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The Japanese are very fortunate to be perceived to have this quality intrinsic to their craft culture. Whether true or not.

    I talked to a shoemaker who apprenticed both overseas and in Japan, and he said he was blown away by the obsessive nature of quality control in the Japanese factory, unseen in the Euro factory, where he says more emphasis was given to nurture the artistic sense of the apprentices.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Makoto-chan, I don't think that the elastic strap is so you can slip the shoe on and off without unbuckling the strap, as it would be very difficult for most people to do that, unless they had very small feet.

    Rather, my understanding is that the elastic strap is there to provide a bit of "give" so that the strap on the upper leather strap isn't too stressed or stretched. I've actually seen a picture of a pair of double monks where the upper strap ripped due to too much strain and clearly the elastic strap helps to avoid that (as the strain is probably greatest during the buckling and unbuckling, rather than during the actual wearing of the shoe).

    I have a pair of Santoni double monks with the same elastic attachment for the buckle, and I know that the Crockett & Jones Lowndes double monk uses an elastic strap, too.
     
  8. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Theres also an OLD HAT store in Harajuku Tokyo, that place is crazy, filled with everything UK, saw some vintage suits of 1930`s in mint? condition :lol:
    Yeah not sure where their MTO shoes are made, but maybe its Miyagi Kogyo,


    For mid-range, like ¥50K, I won`t dare say Japanese shoes are better than Alden or C&J. However, they do offer something different, in my opinion. Take Miyagi Kogyo RTW shoes for example (now available in Osaka`s Mitsukoshi Isetan!!!!). Their Dover-lookalike I posted before, looks like an English knockoff at first right? However, the last used on those shoes are quite peculiar. It is inspired by ALDEN`s dress comfort last like the Modified, and thus is banana~shaped. These may look English, but the fit may actually be closer to American shoes. Quite fascinating.
     
  9. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah, Mr.Takai, the shop keeper and repair magician, apprenticed under James Amesbury in UK. Along with all kinds of standard repair services, he can also re-welt Bespoke/handsewn welted shoes.
     
  10. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Those looks very nice, where I can get my hands on outside Japan?



    The QC factor in Japan is something good to be kept. Both world has its own strengths and weaknesses, however, from a customer point of view, Japanese bespoke shoes are a better package than the British once. I guess it is just the part of culture.

    On a side note, back in the days, japanese electronic are made in a very high standard. My home telephone is brought from Japanese after the first wave of cordless handhelds, it has been at least 15 years and we are still using it. I think our family swap televisions more frequently than home phone.
     
  11. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    What brand?
     
  12. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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  13. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

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    Quote:What brand?

    Is this the same one with the brand name with the meaning of "Godhand masterpiece" or "Divine Craftsmanship"? Is it pronounced "Shinsho"? I suspect the one what I mean here is basically the same factory as the one sold in US from one of SF sponsor.
     
  14. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

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  15. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

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    For CJ, Alden price point, Ohtsuka M-5 or Miyagi are good candidates. You can see and try Ohtsuka M-5 on at their shop in Roppongi Hills. I hear both Ohtsuka and Miyagi have various grades, so I think you should look for the better one. M-5 is not sold at department store I think.

    I love Alden. Each country has its own tradition and flavor and it is one of the reason I enjoy this hobby.
     
  16. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Bamboo, you are correct.

    The company is called Kamioka in Japanese, named after Shen-gang in Taichung city, aka the Northampton of Taiwan. It is a Taiwanese company based in Taichung, and Kamioka is their Japanese subsidiary. The bulk of their business seems to come from their OEM contracts. They have a factory in Laos, where these shoes are made. Their head shoemaker, a fellow Taiwanese, was instructed by Eric Cook (yes, that Eric Cook). While I am not certain, I think they may be the one making shoes for our fellow SF member.

    They sell the shoes under the house brand named Ingenuity, or `Shinsho`. I understand they are sold in Japan only, for now. Their standard line of shoes aren`t as nice as those samples I posted above though :lol:

    Here are the shoes sold under the Shinsho name (in Japan)
    http://www.ingenuity.co.jp/product

    Here are the OEM shoes they produce (under various brand names)
    http://www.ingenuity.co.jp/factory
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  17. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ok, Miyagi Kogyo has a very confusing company structure. Their core business is OEM (B2B). With a large selection of pre-made designs, lasts, sizes, and materials, solid goodyear welted construction, and a low starting price (¥30,000 plus), they are favored by quite a few brands and small fashion businesses looking for their private shoe collection. They also take MTO orders from individual consumers (B2C) under the alias Wasoryoka. The Alden lookalikes I posted earlier belongs to this collection.
    To avoid confusion, I call them Miyagi Kogyo MTOs.

    Then there is the MIYAGI KOGYO RTW shoes. These shoes are exclusively made for and sold at select retailers such as the World Footwear Gallery (www.wfg-net.com) in Tokyo, and Isetan Mitsukoshi in Osaka. The designs and the lasts are also exclusive, and not available in their MTO line. Material, fit, and finish are done in much higher standard (vs their MTO), hence the higher price (¥50,000 and above). While styled quite classically in the English school, their lasts (originally designed by the famed modelista Hiroshi Arai) are oblique and banana shaped, heavily influenced by American lasts (namely Alden). I say they may have wanted to combine the best of English and American qualities into one. Personally, I love the fit and shape of the last, and for those who`s size is under 9 (their largest size), definitely worth a try. Just to be sure though, not all of their lasts have the `inside straight, outside curve` shape.
    I call them Miyagi Kogyo RTW shoes.

    The RTW shoes are available in their entirety @ World Footwear Gallery, in Harajuku, or Ginza, in Tokyo. They are also available in Osaka from Mitsukoshi Isetan department store.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  18. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  19. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Bespoke Kilt Tassels by Il Quadrifoglio

    I snapped these from last week`s show, they`re someone else`s

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  20. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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    Amazing!
    I recall a decorative apron worn by a sumo wrestler [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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