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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

add911_11

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After seeing the above post, I know it is time to throw away some shoes.
 

bamboo

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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!
It is quite beautiful, I have to say. I would like to hear about the fit after a couple of month.
 

Fang66

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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!

Very nice, congrats.
 

bamboo

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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.
It is indeed an interesting subject and debatable too.

Talking about travel etc, UK bespoke makers, GC,FS and GG come to Japan once or twice a year, so in a sense they are accessible locally. If you happened to be in London, they may well visit London shop rather than waiting for their next trip to Japan.

I think we should distinguish MTO from bespoke. i think most Japanese shoe lovers who adore English shoe maker put a significance on their ability to make a fine last taking the balance between fit and shape of each foot. So it is very true, Japanese MTO is one of the best value. I think it is analogous in a sense to the Japanese pianist/violinist. 10-15 years ago, it was said that Japanese players are very good at techniques but lack something which is hard to explain. It can be a tradition/legacy/heritage or ghost of it. I think the phase is coming to a new stage and I think Japan can be a mecca of shoe making in 50 years time.

I really would like to know about Masaru Okuyama in HKG. I just saw pictures on the web and those shoes are beautiful. I think he charges HKD 38K, so based on current exchange rate more expensive than GC, FS or GG?
 

nutcracker

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Wear yours in health, nutty! Strong curves, strong enough to set these apart.

Thanks! Yes, these came sharper and more curvaceous than I anticipated.

It is quite beautiful, I have to say.   I would like to hear about the fit after a couple of month.

Thanks, and yes I am very interested in that too. Supposedly the cork sheet is very thin in handmade shows, hence minimum settling....


Very nice, congrats.

Thanks Fang!!
 

bengal-stripe

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So here it is, after a few alterations in design....


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

On the lateral side (outside) the counter is faux (just perforations and two rows of stitching), on the medial side the counter overlaps. So the seam follows the outline of the counter. On the pattern the outside is about 2 1/2" longer than the central heel line and on the medial side the pattern will be about the same amount shorter (plus the required overlap of about 10 mm).

Quite a witty way of pattern-making/cutting!
 

add911_11

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Mr O does charge more than some English Shoe makers, such as the standard calf models from George Cleverley, G&G or Foster and Son. However, because I live in Hong Kong (only studying in UK and now my final year), at least I can pop into Mr. O workshop easily with Hong Kong's transportation. I am sure if people travel to UK just for bespoke shoes, living and various cost would outweigh the local price.

From the modern Japanese shoe creation, I can say it has serve the predecessor well, if not better.

My feet is not problematic, usually I get pretty good fits from RTW, it is really the ultimate finish I am looking for (best leather, blind welt...etc). So I really like the Japanese 9.5 MTO, their last will be adjusted so good enough for my size and have a finish literally the same as bespoke.

Foe me at the moment, I can't make pure bespoke as the norm of my shoe wardrobe, however, 5-6 pairs of 'bespoke' MTO will be good enough for me. Also I am looking for standard designs so bespoke novelty might not be a necessity.

Well, at least for this moment.
 
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nutcracker

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I really would like to know about Masaru Okuyama in HKG.  I just saw pictures on the web and those shoes are beautiful.  I think he charges HKD 38K, so based on current exchange rate more expensive than GC, FS or GG?

 

Here is my take on why Okuyama's shoes cost so much. As far as I know, he works alone. So we get more of the actual artist's hands on the shoes vs a line of anonymous craftsmen (regardless of skills). I imagine the same logic applies for a lot of Japanese makers who work solo or two.

Hypothetically, if I convince Tony Gaziano or Dean Girling to craft a pair of shoes, beginning to the end, all by himself for me......how much do you think they'll charge?

This logic may be flawed, but just a thought....
 

add911_11

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Not prima facie, I do know Mr. O has two apprentices working with him. I guess the two learners must progressively learn by engaging the making procedures.

But I totally see your point, if I ask a well known master to make the shoe purely by themselves, presumed one last marker and shoe marker, it is going to cost a lot of money.

Also, the master may sometimes not be the best to do the little details.
 
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nutcracker

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On the lateral side (outside) the counter is faux (just perforations and two rows of stitching), on the medial side the counter overlaps. So the seam follows the outline of the counter. On the pattern the outside is about 2 1/2" longer than the central heel line and on the medial side the pattern will be about the same amount shorter (plus the required overlap of about 10 mm).

Quite a witty way of pattern-making/cutting!

Yes! in the photo they do seem camouflaged by following the counter outlines. I'm sure the method is used on non-whotecuts too, but very neat IMO.
 

nutcracker

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Not prima facie, I do know Mr. O has two apprentices working with him. I guess the two learners must progressively learn by engaging the making procedures.

But I totally see your point, if I ask a well known master to make the shoe purely by themselves, presumed one last marker and shoe marker, it is going to cost a lot of money.

Also, the master may sometimes not be the best to do the little details.

Oh, I see! Are the apprentices locals from HK?
 

chogall

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I wonder why Japanese clients still come to UK for bespoke shoe order? Most things I have seen here are above the typical London bespoke shoemarker's capacity.

If you count the number of makers that has apprenticed under Paul Wilson, Ugolini, Cleverley, etc, its not that hard to understand the teachers of these Japanese makers are held at a higher regard.

Besides, didn't Gomez told Hayafuji that he needs a few more years before he can truly be good at the craft?
 

chogall

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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!

Awesome whole cut imitation brogue. Are the heel stiffeners extend to waist to waist?
 

add911_11

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Oh, I see! Are the apprentices locals from HK?

I am not sure from that point, I have only been told about this.

If you count the number of makers that has apprenticed under Paul Wilson, Ugolini, Cleverley, etc, its not that hard to understand the teachers of these Japanese makers are held at a higher regard.

Besides, didn't Gomez told Hayafuji that he needs a few more years before he can truly be good at the craft?

I haven't touch many bespoke shoes from the Europe so I am not sure how good are they.
 

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