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The beauty of Instagram is that it is so much easier to discover new makers and since I seem to stumble upon them weekly, I thought to make a new series title ‘New Brand Alert.’ Now this does not mean that the brand is necessarily new but rather that they are new to me, and potentially new to you. Take Yuki Shirahama here. He is a bespoke shoemaker out of Kyoto, Japan who started his company in 2010 but only joined IG in 2018. Prior to IG, the prospect of finding him might have involved a trip to Japan. Thanks to IG, people like me to trip up on him and spread his wonderful work to the masses. So, let’s take a quick look.

He started his training at the Guild Welted Footwear College in Tokyo back in 2002. After 4 years of training, he landed a job at Spigola (Koji Suzuki) and worked there another 4 years. After feeling that he acquired what he could with Japanese making, he then took a nice little turn and went to France, where he worked at one of my favorite Parisian brands, Altan Bottier. After looking at his shoes, you can see some of that French inspiration, which is always a good thing 😉 . After 2 years, he felt ready to have a try at launching his own brand and did so in 2010. Twelve years on, he is still here and pumping out what looks like some very beautiful work.


What first caught my eye, was the nail work on the toes, accompanied by the crisscrossing on the forefoot of the sole. A very distinct look that I see he applies to many of his soles. Having punched nails myself in the toes of shoes, I must say to make two rows that tight together and in a good line formation is a very difficult thing to do. Most people will look at that and take it for granted, but it is anything but easy. I liked this ‘look’. And I see more and more makers distinguishing themselves by the look of the sole. It’s a good way to show your mark, so to speak.

Well, I hope that you have enjoyed what you have seen, and I will be back for more discovering new makers!

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