Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I spent quite a lot of time taking pictures there....and I found myself going back to the boots....

    The boots don't come cheap (¥200K+), but their quality is top notch, and fully handmade (except for rubber soled ones which has to be machine stitched)

    Not many Japanese bespoke makers are willing to venture into bootmaking, from what I see.

    some more dress boots by Hiro Yanagimachi
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    Jodhpurs (in 7" and 6")

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    7" Oxford half boots

    and some more rugged ones (on Ridgway soles)
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    5" Half Boots, Apron Front

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    5" Half Boots, Plain-toe, Horween Oiled Leather
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013


  2. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Shoe Shopping in Roppongi

    Roppongi is where local Tokyoites and foreign tourists alike go for a night life: at bars, clubs, eateries, gentlemen's clubs etc... and it did have a shady reputation in the past. However in this past 10 years or so, massive redevelopment projects (malls, parks, museums, 5 star hotels etc..) have propelled the area into one of the most coveted neighbourhoods to live in. Two of the most upscale malls in town: Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills, are located here, and are pretty much adjacent to each other.

    [​IMG]
    A thoroughly international town, especially at night time

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    Tokyo Midtown (left) and Roppongi Hills (right)

    Tokyo Midtown

    [​IMG]
    The Tokyo Midtown mall has some exclusive boutiques not often found elsewhere: Valextra, Slowear, Jacob Cohen, and E.Marinella. There also used to be an Arnys (sister shop to the Paris Arnys), but not anymore.

    [​IMG]
    The only E. Marinella boutique, this side of the globe.

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    BEAMS House: Upscale select store. Some of the best selection of classic menswear
    Alden
    Church's
    Crockett & Jones
    Enzo Bonafe
    F.lli Giacometti
    George Cleverly
    Marmolada
    Santoni

    [​IMG]
    Strasburgo Top-tiered select store: Opened last month.
    Edward Green
    Max Verre

    Roppongi Hills

    [​IMG]
    Roppongi Hills mall. Mostly conventional brands (Louis Vuitton etc...).

    [​IMG]
    United Arrows Men's Store Classic menswear. Spigola's Tokyo trunk shows happen here.
    Alden
    Crockett & Jones
    Paraboots
    United Arrows (house brand)
    Spigola MTO (Trunk shows are held here 4 times a year)

    [​IMG]
    Estnation: A massive store with a great menswear selection, but shoe selection is weak
    Estnation (housebrand)
    Doucals
    Ferrante
    Magnnani
    Santoni
    Yanko

    [​IMG]
    Shoe Manufactures Otsuka: The one and only flagship store of Otsuka Shoes, Japan's most venerated shoemaker.
    Otsuka RTW
    Otsuka M-5 RTW
    Otsuka MTO (Machine made and Handmade)
    Otsuka Bespoke

    I had a chance to handle some of their Bespoke samples/replicas from 100 yrs ago or so, and I was positively blown away by them. Possibly the finest I've seen in Japan. I will try to arrange a photo session with them.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013


  3. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Awesome. Would love to see some Otsuka bespokes!!' Emperor's shoemaker!!
     


  4. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Awesome. Would love to see some Otsuka bespokes!!' Emperor's shoemaker!!
     


  5. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah they actually had some bespoke replicas of the past emperors' shoes on display. They were made as sister shoes of the actual ones being worn (for safekeeping I suppose). One of them was over 100 years old, in mint display condition, they looked quite amazing. I'll try to ask for a photoshoot.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013


  6. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Thanks nc, brilliant work as usual.
     


  7. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Why is there a medium sized penis hanging in the store?
     


  8. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    update: Couldn't take pictures, so you have to see it for yourself!!

    They have some bespoke replicas (made at the time of commission) of Emperor Meiji's and Emperor Showa's oxford shoes, plus several other vintage samples.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013


  9. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    errrrr....that's medium sized?? :D
     


  10. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Quote:
    Thanks for this, as ever!

    I have to say that given the limited offerings here compared to elsewhere, I don't think I'd bother with Roppongi. It's perhaps my least favourite area of Tokyo, combining the worst aspects of the gaijin nightlife with the crushingly soulless development projects of Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, whose stores are the worst of homogenous bland 'luxe' brands and generally a long way from the artisinal (with a couple of exceptions). The only good thing about Mori Tower is the view from the top, but going inside it is like entering the Death Star, it's pure corporate intimidation... Roppongi Hills is the opposite of the little start-ups and one-off boutiques in the backstreets of Harajuku / Aoyama (although those have been going the same way over the years - and Mori's horrible Omotesando Hills with its carefully controlled light and soundscape - all white-noise hush and fake birdsong - is symbolic of that too) and Daikanyama and other more way out places.

    But that's just me (being a researcher on cities) - a lot of people seem to love it!
     


  11. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Sheesh. This is a veritable treasure trove for clothing enthusiasts cum prospective tourists who intend to call upon Japan. No way one could gain access to all this information just by scouring the net/guidebooks. Now, if only there were a Japanese clothing thread as well -- have heard that the Japanese are fastidious over details and make exceptional clothing/suits.

    What are the prices of Bonafe shoes/ Otsuka Shoes in Japan? What's the response to Bonafe like?

    The flip side to this wonderful line-up is that prices are exceptionally high in Japan. It's not uncommon to see scores of Japanese tourists snapping up Cleverly shoes, Hermes bags etc over here in London. A friend who visited Japan was astounded at the prices Cleverly shoes sell for over there.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013


  12. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Where's this 'elsewhere', this other place, that you speak of?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013


  13. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    The other Tokyo locations to which nutcracker has already provided his fantastic guides, for a start.
     


  14. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I am quite sure that Tokyo has the highest saturation of classic menswear stores in the world. It would be quite a pain to document all of them.....unless you filter the list to only high end clothings, like how I'm doing with shoes.....

    I have heard the news (on TV) mentioning how the FTA agreement may possibly get rid of the 30% import duty on shoes.....imagine that happening....

    ....
    Bonafe's are only sold at the BEAMS outposts, and priced around ¥90K yen. They seem to do quite well, especially for the coming summer. IMO Italian shoes tend to sell better than English shoes during the hot season, with all the suede, unlined, and colorful loafers and what not.

    Otsuka RTW has 3 grades: The bottom is priced around ¥30K or so, the next tier around ¥55K or so, and the high end M-5 around ¥60K.
    MTO costs a lot more, ¥84K for machine made, and ¥150K for full hand made.
    Bespoke goes for ¥315K
     


  15. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks for your kind words! So you do research on cities? Tokyo must be a fascinating place for you, I assume. While the stores I list tend to gather around commercial centers in central Tokyo, there are lots of charming neighborhoods around Tokyo that cater to every taste... Southern Tokyo (Setagaya, Komazawa/Jiyugaoka area), Western Tokyo (Nakano, Kichijoyi etc...), or the old part of the city up north in Taito-ku (aka the Brooklyn of Tokyo).
     


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