I was recently looking at holy grail of shoe magazines — a Japanese one called LAST — and realized how many Japanese shoe brands that A. I had never heard of and B. That have absolutely no presence outside of Far East. It made me sad (not really but…) to think that we out here in the West have very little access to these beauties that was I drooling over. I am not 100% sure but I know that part of the problem is the high import/export taxation on the products to and from Japan, which I am sure makes it hard for stockists to want to take the risk on an inflated priced product. It’s a shame really and I hope that one day trade between Japan and the rest of the world will become a bit more free flowing, at least for shoes. Until that day, we can only hope that the internet will make it easier to get them.
One brand however, has somewhat made it and that is Spigola by Koji Suzuki. Having been in collaboration with The Armoury now for awhile within their HK presense, they are now able to at least been seen at their new NYC store. While not actually sold there, Mr. Suzuki does come a few times a year for trunk shows where one can at least be exposed to the man and the brand. And they have samples for those that wish to at least look at them if they were thinking of trying something new. As you can see, Mr. Suzuki does great stuff, in both his Spigola brand and in bespoke. If you are in NYC and happen to be around The Armoury, pop in to see the small selection of greatness!