Orma Shoemaker, aka Wataru Shimamoto, is quickly becoming a favorite of mine in the world of bespoke shoemakers. His shoe designs coupled with his striking lasts and flawless execution remind me of my dear friend Riccardo Bestetti, which automatically makes me fond of his work. Wataru was also trained in Italy under Il Micio aka Hidetaka Fukaya, so has that Italian style ingrained in him.
Orma Shoemaker was the winner of last year’s Bespoke Shoemaking Championship and it was obvious from the second that I saw this pair that he would be the winner. See that shoe directly above. A stunning shoe to say the least and without question a well-deserved win. He is currently based out of Japan where he is continuing to make striking shoes that push the boundaries of design and detail. I love the highlight shoe with a saddle-like design that is hollowed out. This a very clever detail on the design that would appear trivial but is actually super unique.
I find myself excited to see what he posts on Instagram these days. It is always something unique and beautiful and while I would not wear every style, I sure do appreciate all of them for their creativity and execution. And lastly, it is not easy to make a derby brogue as elegant as an oxford, but he nailed it in that holy grail shoe that made him win the Championship. I expect great things will continue to come from him and if you ever find yourself in Japan, make sure you give him a look up!
Learn more: https://en.orma-shoemaker.com/