Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    It's a pretty competitive market at the west coast with marquee names such as JL St James, Cleverley, G&G, and JLP bespoke
    already traveling to SF/LA. Not to say there are still local makers at Oregon and Seattle areas...

    But then at the current Fx, Japanese bespoke is a viable alternative to some of the British makers that seems to be in a decline.
     


  2. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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

    REPORT Part1

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    a total of 20 master-craftsmen (tailors, shoemakers, accessory makers) showed up today at Isetan's event space

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    Co-sponsored by MEN'S EX, our favourite men's fashion magazine??

    On the tailors side, notable big names such as maestro Sato Hideaki (from Pecora Ginza) was there. I didnt get to see Suzuki Ichiro (Henry Pool) or Japanese pantalonaio Osaku Hayato, but their works were there for display/order

    Of course, my main objective was to see some nice shoos

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    Otsuka Shoes, with all its glorious history
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    Otsuka's top of the line full handmade RTW shoes

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    Sarto booth, the finest band of repair specialists

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    custom Edoya Shoebrushes

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    Sarto's room shoes in shell cordovan

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    "BOOTBLACK" Japan's answer to Saphir

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    Custom shoecare trunk

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    Bespoke Shoeshiner, Matsumuro. aka Maestro.

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    his shiny shoes. He only uses cream polishes. He took them off and flexed them for me. No cracking whatsoever.
    If only I knew he was there to give shoeshines, I wouldn't have worn my suede shoes......bummer

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    Bespoke leather bags by Ortus, formerly Clematis

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    Nakata Hanger: The finest hangers in the world. Shaped from a single piece of wood.

    continued to Part 2
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013


  3. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Actually I tried to use only cream pollish to get the split shine. However, it is a harder method because it is quiet easy to get the leather damped, hence hard to get a shine

    And if one only put enough hard wax on the flex, it should not flex.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013


  4. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's really hard to say. I've tried several pairs of ¥50K Miyagi Kogyo shoes, and I thought they were excellent. Shape, fit was good, and the stitchwork/soles were finished very neatly. From the MEN'S EX issue where they took a pair of Miyagi shoes apart, the 'experts' said the quality was on par with Edward Green. But of course, I can't just buy their words. They do have a bias towards Japanese shoes, partially to encourage the industry.

    But one thing is for certain. The weakening yen has made Japanese shoes a whole lot cheaper to get, than lets say half a year ago.
     


  5. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    A phenomenal welcome to the forum...good luck in your ventures....
    I took the liberty to post some of my favourites from your blog.


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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013


  6. 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


  7. TehBunny

    TehBunny Senior member

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    Thanks for all the help nutcracker!
     


  8. 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
     


  9. 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
     


  10. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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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.
    :
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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013


  11. 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


  12. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior member

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  13. 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.
     


  14. 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


  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 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


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