I find it absolutely amazing how many Japanese shoemakers today, were once just a person with a dream of starting their own bespoke shoe shop. None of them just become so by chance. They all created their future with a goal to become one, a determination to study under the best and the perseverance to learn as much as they could, all the while perfecting their skill. And the fact that there are so many of them out there, and famous ones too, just goes to show that anyone with a dream can make it happen with a lot of hard work and a strong will to do so. Such is the story of Mr. Yohei Fukada, who like many young Japanese individuals, have gone to Europe in order to learn the ancient art of bespoke shoemaking, to then one day return to Japan and open up their own shop.
It is clearly evident that Mr. Fukada has taken great influence from his English teachers, with the sharp chisel toe that is ever-so prevalent in his shoes. This may come from his time with George Cleverley, although it was with Lobb that he apprenticed with, but nevertheless he has done a brilliant job of adding a dash of Japanese perfection to it. Every shoe looks so amazingly clean, not in an actual cleanliness manner, but in the way that each line is shaped on his last….the edges being simply and utterly defined without question. This for me, is the beauty of Japanese dress shoes. They definitely make you look twice, if it was for only a split second that you saw it…..
I certainly hope to one day get a pair of bespoke shoes from one of the great Japanese shoemakers. Of which maker however, I cannot say, not yet at least….Maybe by the time that I am actually able to afford one, there will be 5 new greats shining in the industry. Until that day, I will continue to admire the ones that are shining today……
Some Photos Courtesy Of: Claymoor (of which he does a great interview with Mr. Fukada)
|Courtesy Of: No Polish! No Life!|
Oh you beautiful Japanese man! Just lovely!
Wow, that is some really nice work. The shape of the lasts is outstanding, and the actual making looks great. I’m not quite so enamored of the prevalence of the balmoral style, but the shoes certainly are eye candy.
As George Bernard Shaw said (Back to Methuselah) :-
You see things
and you say “why?”
But I dream things that never were
and I say “why not?”
Justin FitzPatrick, "The Shoe Snob"
OwenB – Indeed….
Alex B – 🙂 Very lovely…
Shoefan – Very clean making indeed, that’s one thing I love about Japanese makers….
Snapper – I always love your comments…well said.