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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Senior member

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    I had a truly dreadful experience with Guild of Crafts MTO (semi-bespoke)

    They took measurements for 45 minutes (good for me, better safe than sorry) but the shoes arrived with such a huge difference comparing to my actual size (a real 0.5 size difference I'd say).

    Anyway, I wasn't going to fly back to Japan to have them corrected so I asked my shoemaker in Italy to take care of it but it was quite disappointing, especially at 1700 EUR for MTO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  2. TehBunny

    TehBunny Senior member

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    Thanks for all the help nutcracker!
     
  3. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    wow that sucks
    i know GOC has a test fitting session included for their MTO program. Even if you omitted that, 0.5 size difference sounds bad
     
  4. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You're most welcome.
    I've posted these before, but here's some pics of CENTRAL SHOES, one of the nicer RTW shoes

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    Central shoes also makes Sanyo Yamacho shoes. When it comes to goodyear welted shoes, possibly the best factory in Japan along with Miyagi Kogyo

    they've just released a lot more designs for the summer season, including couple of nice slip ons
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

    Messages:
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    nutcracker: Thanks a lot.keep up the great work!
    clee1982: Thank you very much.
    poorsod: Thank you. classic round toe & chisel squared toe
    IIovelobbs: Thank you for viewing my blog.
    :
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  6. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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    CLEMATIS Bespoke Chukka Boots, made by Keitaro Takano

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  7. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior member

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    Seattle
  8. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    I'll be back in Japan from June for 10 months so this is now my favourite thread on the forum. Thanks, nutcracker.
     
  9. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    "ISETAN JAPAN SENSES "MEN'S FESTIVAL OF JAPANESE CRAFTSMEN", Saturday April 6th, 2013

    REPORT Part2

    Marquess (Kawaguchi Shoji)

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    First Impression: understated, classic English

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    Look closely, they are finished to the nth degree

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    Full brogues. Dead stock Freudenburg calfskin

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    Workdesk on site

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    Mr.Kawaguchi's lovely wife Yuriko (also English trained, they met in England) is the other half of Marquess. She does the patterning, clicking and closing. Husband Shoji is in charge of last making and bottom making. Very charming couple

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    The silhouette is absolutely stunning. I can really tell Kawaguchi-san's soft spoken character reflected on these. He doesn't like flashy. His signature Marquess Round has a smooth silhouette, and it seemed well thought through and calculated.

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    Marquess sole. I've seen pictures of lovely fiddlebacks done by him. But personally, he much prefers this soft and lightly bevelled waist sole. Fiddle waists also tend to make the sole look bulged. With all the fiddle waists around, this almost looks fresh

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    Black diamond. Deadstock Freudenburg calf hide proudly hangs above his booth.

    Mr. and Mrs. Kawaguchi are undoubtedly skilled with solid resumes, yet I was really struck at how humble he was. A really nice fellow to chat with. He's not a kind who's eager to assert or prove a point. His works do all the talking.

    I told Mr.Kawaguchi I will post his photo here, but being a bit apprehensive, he said 'not if it looks ugly'. Unfortunately for me, his eyes were shut, so I will keep the pics to myself. Sorry Kawaguchi-san!

    Marquess bespoke starts from ¥330,000 yen. definitely a bargain. Sooner or later, I believe the price will be raised to ¥400,000. so fly to Japan and line up boys, Lead time is 1 year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    "ISETAN JAPAN SENSES "MEN'S FESTIVAL OF JAPANESE CRAFTSMEN", Saturday April 6th, 2013

    REPORT Part3

    CORNO BLU (Seikaku Yutaka)


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    Bespoke Sample. Chiselled form seem to reflect the Italian pedigree.

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    Beautiful sole.

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    Bespoke Sample.

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    These are all RTW samples. Seikaku san, aside from his bespoke practice, has branched out to create the CORNO BLU RTW line, goodyear welted, machine made shoes by Central Shoes and available at Isetan and Beams. For the RTW shoes, sizes are available at every 2.5mm pitch, or 1/4 inch. There is also a MTO program based on this RTW collection. And what is so fascinating about this MTO program is that upon 1st order, you will be given a personalised last (customized from a base last) that can be used for subsequent orders. But the catch is that shoes are all machine made (bench made), goodyear welted shoes with relatively affordable price. The program also allows you to create a pattern from scratch. Basically you can have a Bespoke like experience for a lot less (and machine made), and to come back for more with your personalised last. This is scary scary stuff.

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    Lazy-man shoes design from the RTW/MTO collection.

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    Finish and quality look top notch for a Japanese RTW shoes. Nice fiddled waist finish.

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    Seikaku-san.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  11. terrorsquad

    terrorsquad Senior member

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    Nutcracker, any idea how much do the Corno Blu RTW/MTO cost?
     
  12. Verniza

    Verniza Senior member

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    May 30, 2011
    I must say, from what I've seen so far Marquess and Emori's style are right up my alley.

    Marquess style is so understated and elegant that it is very hard to appreciate unless one looks into the details of his work/shoe.

    Beautiful!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  13. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    .......

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  14. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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  15. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    "ISETAN JAPAN SENSES "MEN'S FESTIVAL OF JAPANESE CRAFTSMEN", Saturday April 6th, 2013

    REPORT Part4

    YOHEI FUKUDA

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    Chisel toes galore. Works of Art? you bet.

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    The shapes are very assertive. Sorry, no pictures of the soles, but the fiddlebacks were absolute killers.

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    Hand painted. Amazing colors...all of them

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    bordeau...

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    antique finish...has a distinct greenish tint...possibly my favorite color

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    more!

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    Test fitting shoes are apparently made as real functional shoes. Even the leather used are the same (with the final Bespoke piece). I think they are better made than almost every shoes I own! Hurts to see them being cut open..

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    Fukuda-san. From the short conversaion we had, this man seemed like a consumate professional. He showed me a clear file folder stuffed with information on a single order, with pages of life-size photos of the client's foot, from various angles. He also pulled out a 100yrs+ old English made last and explained to me the virtues of their design vs contemporary examples. Whenever he carves out a last, he has this (or these) by his side as a model, and possibly as a physical reminder or linkage to the English shoemaking heritage which he is very much a part of.

    He is currently the undisputed king of the hill in the world of Japanese bespoke. Very much deserves so. Translate that to 14 months lead time :)

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    Marquess (Kawaguchi) and Fukuda
    2 masters, competitors, working besides each other.

    my thanks to the 3 shoemakers for the time and also for the permission (to post the pictures online)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
    4 people like this.
  16. gusvs

    gusvs Senior member

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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    

    Thanks NC for all the pictures from Isetan! Where is the Central Shoes RTW collection available for purchase? I've never seen them in any shop in Japan.
     
  17. rikod

    rikod Senior member

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    What a thread, thanks.
     
  18. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    + 1 awesome thread...
     
  19. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    His bespoke prices translate to any where near the average 14 month salary in the US [​IMG]
     
  20. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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