I love the internet!!! When using it, you constantly have informational gold just at the end of your fingertips, so long as you know how to capitalize on it. That being, I was able to discover this Japanese bespoke shoe maker (or more he discovered me), Imai Hiroki, who makes some of the most incredible shoes that I have ever seen and has some of the most beautiful pictures of Japan on his site.
After punching through each link on his website (which is completely in Japanese) I came across this lovely collection of amazing house slippers. In reality, there are no words to describe just how cool these are and I guess that if you are not a shoe freak — like me — you may not even understand where I am coming from, but man, do I wish that I owned one, if not 5, of these! I mean, really…..how often do you see the insole of a shoe (or slipper) with a hand-patina finish? My guess would be…..NEVER! And that is what is amazing about this guy and most Japanese makers for that matter. They are so insanely obsessed with shoes, that they will take every detail in the shoemaking process and either spend 3 times the amount doing it (to make sure that it is perfect) or create new, little details that you would never have thought about, such as hand-finishing the insole.
Even though I can make my own shoes, when I come across a unique maker such as this, I still say to myself, “I would want a shoe made by this guy!”