• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear and fashion.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

bamboo

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
843
Reaction score
284
Interesting question. I am not really qualified to answer, but my thinking is that Europe is a mecca for shoe making and many of them trained and apprenticed in UK or Italy.
Most of them are relatively new in the trade, hence less experienced than well known houses in UK. Depending on the currency rate, for past two years, UK bespoke might be less expensive than Japanese who apprenticed (some time not so long time) there. So it can be seen "Why I pay more to the apprentice than to the master who trained him?"

I am in the process of making one at GC.
 

add911_11

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
2,995
Reaction score
274
But you can get it locally? Without a flight? Except branding, I don't see any Jap's shoes I have handle (e.g. Spigloa 9.5MTO, Saion bespoke and 10 MTO) are anyway worse than the big English names, in fact better.

I am in the market of another pair of bespoke shoe, and I will not hesitate to get one from Mr. O in Hong Kong, because they will be locally made. Rather than paying less with some of my friends in UK.

This is also the argument about supporting the local small-medium business activity.
 

add911_11

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
2,995
Reaction score
274

nutcracker

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
981

Sorry it is another un-sexy picture of GOC. RTW line. Model: Rusty Actually I would like to share the information about the repair by RESH previously mentioned. Toe part of the sole was wearing near enough to the welt, so I decided to enhance it with rubber. I did this at RESH shop in Mitsukoshi, Nihombashi. It is about JPY 2000 and it takes about 30min or so. They cut out the sole and replaced it with wedge shaped rubber and finish it to blend with remaining part. They can do this with leather, rubber or metal. Metal costs about JPY 4000.
Love the Rusty! :slayer: Great, one more fellow member who can attest to the fine job RESH does! They are located mainly in department stores of all places. Very busy during the weekends, but somehow they are able to get job done, fast! There are many repair shops in Tokyo that has the glitz and celebrity shoeshiners, but I think RESH is the hidden jewel.
 

nutcracker

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
981

Interesting question.  I am not really qualified to answer, but my thinking is that Europe is a mecca for shoe making and many of them trained and apprenticed in UK or Italy.
Most of them are relatively new in the trade, hence less experienced than well known houses in UK.   Depending on the currency rate, for past two years, UK bespoke might be less expensive than Japanese who apprenticed (some time not so long time) there.   So it can be seen "Why I pay more to the apprentice than to the master who trained him?"  

I am in the process of making one at GC. 

That is exactly what I think many Japanese are thinking, in fact that is one of the ongoing issue/topic being discussed at the Bespoke thread in the Japanese 2ch forum. "Why pay same or more for a Japanese maker?"

UK firms like Cleverley definitely has an edge in career and experience, and many Japanese still wouldn't ever consider getting a bespoke locally made.

Of course, the main advantages of ordering locally is language for one, and being able to build a lasting relationship (or a patron-like relationship) with the makers.

There are several other factors that I hear among pro-Japanese bespoke voices:
1. They understand Japanese feet/anatomy as well as living customs better
2. Perceived to be made in a higher standard of quality vs European shoes
3. Support local artisans and industry
4. Stylistically catching up (or have caught up already)

And also keep in mind of how Japanese makers think about pricing their shoes. With an output of 4 to 6 pairs a month at best, ¥300K or so per pair is reasonable, if they intend to make a living or support a family just by making shoes (in the world's most expensive country to live). Any less, I find it hard for most makers to do it full time. Many in fact run shoemaking schools, or teach at local technical colleges. I don't think shoemaking is a career that will make any of them rich, but they love what they do, so good for them.

I assume many English outworkers aren't able to support their lives by just making shoes, not sure but that is what I've heard.

Considering that the shoemaking trade, especially the hand made variety, is a traditional craft that arguably has been on an irreversible decline in Europe and elsewhere, I think it is absolutely fantastic that it is seeing a Renaissance of some sort in Japan (of all places). And the fact that these small Bespoke artisans are still running the business after some years means that there must be a steady or growing pool of patrons that support them. The week yen definitely won't hurt (unless they import their materials).
 
Last edited:

balex

New Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Welcome to the forum! Wow, guess you took a plunge with 3 pairs of Corno Blu....from Isetan? Yes they are very Italian in style, but they are all goodyear welted shoes right?.

and the rain problem you described... it happens, and I've heard it happen on JL, GG, and other nice shoe brands with closed channel. I don't think it means that the shoes are of lesser quality. I suppose you can glue it back on, or take it to a cobbler and see how he deals with it.
That's good to know -- first time it has happened to me.
Let me try to post some photos of the two I have at the moment,







 

nutcracker

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
981

That's good to know -- first time it has happened to me. Let me try to post some photos of the two I have at the moment,
I think Corno Blu lasts are among the finest looking out of Japanese RTW shoes. The lasts are very well thought out and balanced (I think they are based on Corno Blu's bespoke house last). When I saw it in Isetan a while ago, they looked good. They are definitely made, and priced, at a high end spectrum of Japanese RTW shoes, so I'm interested in how they hold up.
 
Last edited:

justsayno

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
1,936
Reaction score
164
Jalans are good value. But aren't they Good year welted, and not hand welted?

Still if I could only get a couple more pair of Jalan Sriwijawa in my size I'd be a happy man, the ones I have are about half a size to small width-wise and most of their shoes I have seen max out at a half size smaller than that. I like their styles, plus they are hand welted and use Annonay calf.
 

nutcracker

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
981

Jalans are good value. But aren't they Good year welted, and not hand welted?


Jalan shoes are handsewn welted, and machine bottomed. They call this method 'Handsewn Goodyear Method'. So no, Jalan shoes aren't goodyear welted.
 

justsayno

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
1,936
Reaction score
164
Good to know. Are all their shoes made that way? Most retailers on Rakuten and Unipair market Jalans as GYW shoes.
 

nutcracker

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
981

Good to know. Are all their shoes made that way? Most retailers on Rakuten and Unipair market Jalans as GYW shoes.

Yes you are right. Jalan also makes goodyear welted shoes, not just the Handsewn Goodyear method I wrote above (which Fortuna Shoes were originally best known for). In fact most of the stores I see online sells their GYW shoes. I stand to be corrected.
 
Last edited:

Fang66

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
1,012

Bespoke Order with Il Quadrifoglio

OK, I received my shoes yesterday from Mr.Q-nai, and I am quite ecstatic with the outcome, considering it's the first order with him.
I've documented the order process over the months, and these pics should give some idea.

I always wanted a fine pair of wingtips. Had an English style in mind, but wasn't sure if I wanted them really dressy, or something more versatile. I've never seen an Il Quadrifoglio wingtip before, so didn't know what to expect. I went I saw this one, I went bonkers..


You gotta be kiddin. In textured green? These must be the coolest wingtips I've ever seen!

"Excuse me sir? I want to take these home today....oh, these are samples? gotta order one? ok.....lets do it"


The swatch....from Ilcea...


Qnai taking Measurements


My feet are really wimpy. Short, skinny, and flat footed....

Several months later....The trial fitting session


Fit is very good. But I prefer a slightly tighter hold


Hmmmm....a lil space in here....


Knife injected....Aha! A pocket of space! lets shave off a lil more....


The toes felt too squarish, so I asked them to be slightly rounded


Should look like this right??? hmmmmm

I loved the olive green, but I found myself doubting whether these are too casual for work....so...

Change of mind!! I decided to go for a more dressy look. Yes, this will be my ultimate brown dress shoes....


Lovely Ilcea calfskin. Got a lil red in these brown, not quite burgundy....perfect!!


Order sheet. I don't understand Italian..
As you can see, I was thinking of some funky seemless heels with medalions on the heel counter.

But with further consultation with Mr.Qnai, I decided to go even more sleek and go for a WHOLE CUT with imitation brogues.
With no medalion on the butt or the toe. Classic style 6 eyelets. Always loved the look of G&G/Deco wholecuts.
My direct inspiration actually came from a picture of a Cleverley Bespoke with imitation brogue, no med, and elastic side.

What a detour....but there you go, I decided on a whole cut with imitation brogues (no elastic).
I received my shoes yesterday, and couldn't be happier. Haven't had a chance to take pictures, but will do so later...

Iinaaaa!
 

nutcracker

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
981
So here it is, after a few alterations in design....

Il Quadrifoglio by Qnai Atsushi
Wholecut Oxford with Imitation Brogues


My original inspiration was Cleverly or a G&G wholecut in mind....came out pleasantly different!!!!


Ilcea calf in reddish brown. The toes are screaming for a high polish!


The Il Quadrifoglio silhouette


The seem is almost invisible...where is it??


Fiddle waist, au naturel.

I did expect the fit to be a little off from before since I changed the design to a whole cut, but it came out quite good. I'm having the instep shaved down a bit more for my next pair. I do have a set of wimpy feet (short, skinny, and flat)

I know I was quite a headache, and I really appreciate Mr.Qnai for keeping up with my ever changing mind. He's very accommodating to requests, and above all, his passion for the craft is quite evident by his effort.

If you're reading this (are you?), thank you Qnai-san!
 
Last edited:

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Work From Home: What's Your Attire?

  • PJs & Slippers

  • Cozy loungewear

  • Casual outfit (wool cardigan, chinos, etc)

  • Suit or sport coat and dress trousers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
452,434
Messages
9,797,623
Members
204,447
Latest member
pollarddadid
Top