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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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As far as know, in fact pretty sure, as I have a pair of Bespoke shoe works (the name of Yuigo Hayano`s brand), he does bespoke only, and is around Yen 330,000 and would take a year or more with multiple fittings.

The advantage with Yohei Fukuda, Yanagimachi and Seiji McCarthy is that they all have fitting shoes - quite important at that price point you are looking to spend, but all these might be above the $2000 mark. Fiorinne (I cant get the spelling correct) is below $2000 I believe. The World Footwear Gallery, especially in Ginza Six, used to stock his MTM, and I believe he now shares a place with a cobbler in Naka Meguro. Ando and Barbavitra might be worth asking if they can turn around a MTM, take a look at their websites or Instagram. There is a rumor Seiji has already moved to his own place, and is no longer at the World Footwear Gallery in Jingumae, but thats not on his Instagram, so unsure of his whereabouts. He used to be under $2000 fr a MTM, but had heard he hiked prices.
Well there goes the Yuigo Hayano suggestion haha.

Seiji Mccarthy is almost $3000 these days for even MTO.

Pretty much anyone of international fame will be in the +$2000 range. More than likely, everyone is hovering at the $2300 mark for MTO.
 

Texasmade

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Well there goes the Yuigo Hayano suggestion haha.

Seiji Mccarthy is almost $3000 these days for even MTO.

Pretty much anyone of international fame will be in the +$2000 range. More than likely, everyone is hovering at the $2300 mark for MTO.
Looks like the only choice then is to stretch the budget and go bespoke! I hope the OP makes the correct choice and posts pictures of his commission.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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Looks like the only choice then is to stretch the budget and go bespoke! I hope the OP makes the correct choice and posts pictures of his commission.
😂. That's a substantial stretch. To double the budget!
Probably best to either try his luck with Atsushi, or head on over to the WFG as mentioned.

Can probably expand the search and go outside of Tokyo, but then you are burdened with traveling (possibly multiple times) which would increase costs. On a positive note, it is relatively inexpensive to travel around Japan 👍🏻.
 

daizawaguy

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Ah, in that case better order a Wataru Shimamoto (Orma Shoemaker) before he becomes Japan`s most expensive shoemaker! Its better to have one great pair than two mediocre!
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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Ah, in that case better order a Wataru Shimamoto (Orma Shoemaker) before he becomes Japan`s most expensive shoemaker! Its better to have one great pair than two mediocre!
Il Micio's student? If it is, I only heard of him. Don't know much about his shoes or his prices.
 

j ingevaldsson

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^^^ If one like the style of Il Micio one should definitely look into order from Wataru. Similar for obvious reasons, but just as good make and much lower prices (don't know exact price point, but since Hidetaka is one of the most expensive it's easy to be well below...).

Had planned to pay him a visit this autumn but have to wait until corona calm down and I can visit Tokyo again, easier for me when he has moved back home than when he was in Florence though 😊

To really break I think he needs to solve better photography. Both on his Instagram and website the pics don't really do the shoes justice, IMO, and in this day and age this part is really important if you don't have any other super spectacular USPs that can set you apart either way.
 

daizawaguy

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j ingevaldsson

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https://orma-shoemaker.com

I believe he starts at Y430,000. 4th place in the 2018 World shoe championship.

Quite high price for a new Japanese brand then, even if he is not new in the shoe game. Which is good, many are priced too low IMO.
 
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BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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https://orma-shoemaker.com

I believe he starts at Y430,000. 4th place in the 2018 World shoe championship.

Quite high price for a new Japanese brand then, even if he is not new in the shoe game.
I have to agree with J here. I would have assumed a much lower starting price due to exposure or lack there of.

Seems that the options at the OP's budget leaves him quite limited. As already mentioned, Atsushi is the most viable choice here given location, price, and craftsmanship.
 

Stefan88

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Japan has almost an unhealthy low price for bespoke. I don't think 430 000 is all that much for the amount of work put into a pair. Good for him!
 

j ingevaldsson

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Japan has almost an unhealthy low price for bespoke. I don't think 430 000 is all that much for the amount of work put into a pair. Good for him!
Exactly. The overall bespoke pricing, and RTW as well for that matter, in Japan would do good with an increase in price. Too low margins in many cases now to be healthy in the long run.

And they need to adjust it now, cause when the customs on European shoes have come down more in a few years and removed fully in 9 they have to have customer expectations set right to manage a reasonable economy. I've tried to convince both makers and factories of this, but they all look at each other and don't want to be "the one that stands out". Pricing has been more or less the same now, especially for RTW, for many, many years, without following inflation at all (maybe we discussed it here before, but anyway).
 
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daizawaguy

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There is and has been a disinflation phenomenon for many years in Japan - I think this is different to deflation, but is a very particular phenomenon that is driven my a unique psychology - and you hit the nail on the head - that is no one wants to be the first one to raise prices - but the issue is that in the bespoke shoe business there is a huge amount of competition - like I would say over 100 or more bespoke shoe makers, and I can understand their thoughts too - some have tried, like Seiji McCarthy, but I do wonder how the elasticity curve is with so many makers you can fall back on at prices below this. A lot has to do with differentiation and branding, and here Orma is being brave and putting his prices 20-30 percent above where very respectable makers price theirs - this is the issue really - if you start out high, you tend to get buyers who equate price with quality (think Fukuda) - but the problem is if you have prices at Yen 300,000 its difficult to increase without possibly losing some customers - and this is where the Japanese modestly comes in. Branding and marketing is what's missing in the bespoke business to a large extent - as this will allow the makers to push prices higher and create demand at a higher price. But then again, you need the demand - I do wonder how many bespoke clients there really are - or maybe the market is big enough to create demand as the business grows - any thoughts?
 

Stefan88

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There is and has been a disinflation phenomenon for many years in Japan - I think this is different to deflation, but is a very particular phenomenon that is driven my a unique psychology - and you hit the nail on the head - that is no one wants to be the first one to raise prices - but the issue is that in the bespoke shoe business there is a huge amount of competition - like I would say over 100 or more bespoke shoe makers, and I can understand their thoughts too - some have tried, like Seiji McCarthy, but I do wonder how the elasticity curve is with so many makers you can fall back on at prices below this. A lot has to do with differentiation and branding, and here Orma is being brave and putting his prices 20-30 percent above where very respectable makers price theirs - this is the issue really - if you start out high, you tend to get buyers who equate price with quality (think Fukuda) - but the problem is if you have prices at Yen 300,000 its difficult to increase without possibly losing some customers - and this is where the Japanese modestly comes in. Branding and marketing is what's missing in the bespoke business to a large extent - as this will allow the makers to push prices higher and create demand at a higher price. But then again, you need the demand - I do wonder how many bespoke clients there really are - or maybe the market is big enough to create demand as the business grows - any thoughts?
I agree with your assessment. As you say there will always be someone willing to charge less in Japan.

Customers from abroad seem to be increasing, so there is a market. Enough to feed ~100 makers? I'm not sure. Some seem to be better than others at establishing an own identity with a following.
 

j ingevaldsson

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There is and has been a disinflation phenomenon for many years in Japan - I think this is different to deflation, but is a very particular phenomenon that is driven my a unique psychology - and you hit the nail on the head - that is no one wants to be the first one to raise prices - but the issue is that in the bespoke shoe business there is a huge amount of competition - like I would say over 100 or more bespoke shoe makers, and I can understand their thoughts too - some have tried, like Seiji McCarthy, but I do wonder how the elasticity curve is with so many makers you can fall back on at prices below this. A lot has to do with differentiation and branding, and here Orma is being brave and putting his prices 20-30 percent above where very respectable makers price theirs - this is the issue really - if you start out high, you tend to get buyers who equate price with quality (think Fukuda) - but the problem is if you have prices at Yen 300,000 its difficult to increase without possibly losing some customers - and this is where the Japanese modestly comes in. Branding and marketing is what's missing in the bespoke business to a large extent - as this will allow the makers to push prices higher and create demand at a higher price. But then again, you need the demand - I do wonder how many bespoke clients there really are - or maybe the market is big enough to create demand as the business grows - any thoughts?
Yeah, competition is definitely the reason prices are hold back, both for bespoke (mainly domestic competition, but also from makers travelling in from Europe) and RTW (mainly from European and American brands, but also domestic). Still think they need to up prices to survive, in general, since most won't sell more, they must at least make reasonable on what they sell. Regarding the bespoke business and bespoke clients, it's definitely saturated, and all won't survive (it's been the case for a number of years, makers come and go, some manage to keep business going some have to give up and do something else). But as Stefan mentions, more customers from abroad will help out, and more will need to trunk shows in other countries in Asia, Europe and the US.

Marketing is something that definitely needs to be improved, for both Japanese bespoke and RTW in general. Talked with Yohei Fukuda on the topic in this Shoegazing Podcast episode.

Speaking of economy. Has anyone any news on the status of the Japanese tailoring/shoes bussiness during these trying times? I for example noticed Kamakura shirts closing down their NY shop.
It's the same as for brands in Europe in the US, very challening, even the big names have much less sales. They manage to survive for now, problem for some at least is if this continues for a long time.
 
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