Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. bamboo

    bamboo Senior member

    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    124
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    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.
     


  2. iamacyborg

    iamacyborg Senior member

    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Prestige?
     


  3. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,995
    Likes Received:
    267
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    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.
     


  4. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,995
    Likes Received:
    267
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    

    Man should rely on his own prestige, not something external.

    However, I do see this a valid argument.
     


  5. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    
    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.
     


  6. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    

    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: Apr 28, 2013


  7. balex

    balex New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    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,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


  8. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    
    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: Apr 28, 2013


  9. justsayno

    justsayno Senior member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    CA
    Jalans are good value. But aren't they Good year welted, and not hand welted?

     


  10. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    


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


  11. justsayno

    justsayno Senior member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    CA
    Good to know. Are all their shoes made that way? Most retailers on Rakuten and Unipair market Jalans as GYW shoes.
     


  12. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    

    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: Apr 28, 2013


  13. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

    Messages:
    10,701
    Likes Received:
    1,011
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Nihon
    

    Iinaaaa!
     


  14. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    

    :lol: Didn't see that coming from you!
     


  15. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    881
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei
    So here it is, after a few alterations in design....

    Il Quadrifoglio by Qnai Atsushi
    Wholecut Oxford with Imitation Brogues

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

    [​IMG]
    Ilcea calf in reddish brown. The toes are screaming for a high polish!

    [​IMG]
    The Il Quadrifoglio silhouette

    [​IMG]
    The seem is almost invisible...where is it??

    [​IMG]
    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: Apr 28, 2013


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by