Are the World's Best Men's Shoes Now Being Made in Japan?

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Flanderian, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Dhaller

    Dhaller Super Member

    United States
    Georgia
    Atlanta
    It's not uncommon to be refused a sale in Japan because "you are not the right person".

    I was in a shop near Gifu, shopping for tea bowls, and I caught sight of one across the room which arrested me at once. ¥1.5 million ($15,000 at the time), confirming my suspicion that it was something special. The shop owner congratulated me on my eye (the bowl had been made by one of Japan's "national living treasures", a very famous potter), and apologized that he could not possibly sell it to me, since I was not Japanese, and therefore could never truly appreciate it.

    Still, we chatted about tea bowls, and he wound up inviting me to his house, where he showed me his amazing private collection of Muromachi period antiques, served me lunch, had his wife prepare very correct macha for me (served in a beautiful, ancient bowl), taught me how to select the place settings for a kaiseke meal ("the eras must match")... one of my best "Japan experiences". He still wouldn't sell me the bowl.

    I have to try out this shoe shop, though, next time I'm in Tokyo!

    DH
     
  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast Connoisseur

    United States
    New York
    NY
    Holy Cow, that's a great true story and I just made up my silly story, but it was closer to the truth than I knew: http://askandyaboutclothes.com/foru...ing-made-in-japan.237880/page-13#post-1854215
     
  3. Flanderian

    Flanderian Connoisseur

    United States
    New Jersey
    Flanders
    I'm sure Master Fukuda would be pleased to assist you with your own bespoke creation given enough time and a very happy wallet! :D

    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    That's a charming anecdote, thank you! I've learned several interesting things of which I was unaware. While not specifically a Nipponophile, I've long enjoyed what I know of the Japanese aesthetic tradition.

    Should you visit Master Fukuda, I would anticipate a delay typical of bespoke, and his prices have been described as in keeping with its quality and the demand for his work.

    Recently, he has offered RTW via select retailers. And while not made at his small shop, I've read credible information that he personally researched and selected the actual makers, and the designs are exclusively his. They certainly pass the eyeball test in all regards. I've found a Swedish retailer of them at the link below. If I've worked the currency conversion properly, they're around $2,400, which while a lot, is no doubt substantially less than his bespoke work.

    https://www.thesabot.com/collections/yohei-fukuda
     
  4. Hebrew Barrister

    Hebrew Barrister Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    339
    United States
    texas
    yourmomtown
    At that price for a single pair, might as well just spend the extra to get full bespoke.

    This is similar to my thoughts on things like Brioni suits.
     
  5. Hebrew Barrister

    Hebrew Barrister Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    339
    United States
    texas
    yourmomtown
    I once had a fun little daydream that I had won the Powerball and cost was no longer a concern for anything. In my dream, I planned a sartorial tour starting in Japan to commission a few pairs of Fukadas, continuing on to Saville Row commission fall, winter, and spring clothing, and then heading to Milan to commission summer clothing.

    Not needing to work anymore, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my splendid new wardrobe, but I didn't much care...
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  6. momsdoc

    momsdoc Connoisseur

    United States
    New Jersey
    Ocean
    You would need the clothing for all the charitable balls, political fundraising events, and at the board meetings of all the corporate and philanthropic organizations you would be invited to join. With a big enough Powerball win, many hands will be attempting to reach into your pockets.

    While there may be a term “idle rich”, most truly wealthy individuals understand that with great wealth comes great responsibilities. Ever heard of a truly retired Octogenarian billionaire? Too many peoples lives and well being depends on them to not stay involved in how their money is put to use, and too many are ready to abscond with what they can if one turns a blind eye.
     
  7. Flanderian

    Flanderian Connoisseur

    United States
    New Jersey
    Flanders
    It's entirely comparative; while I may be misremembering, the number I have stuck in my head for his bespoke is closer to $6K.

    Very, very true!
     
  8. mfreeman73

    mfreeman73 Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    107
    United States
    New York
    Farmingdale
    I couldn't imagine something like that happening in the U.S. It seems if you go into any store, as long as you have money, they're going to sell it to you. The only way I can see something like this happening is if you were selling something personal to you and wanted to make sure it went to a good home.
     
  9. Flanderian

    Flanderian Connoisseur

    United States
    New Jersey
    Flanders
    No shirt for you!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast Connoisseur

    United States
    New York
    NY
    Having worked in Private Banking for many years, I can concur that as a client, at minimum, you will be taken to many fine restaurants and events - and invited to many high-end speeches and meeting with financial professionals - that require a very nice wardrobe.

    The "who dresses nicest" hierarchy on Wall Street goes something like this: retail financial advisors < traders < investment bankers <<< private bankers. It was about twenty years into my career when I was hired to start up a trading department at a Private Bank. I remember being stunned at how incredibly well-dressed Private Bankers (for the most part) are. They are one of the groups that buys all these insanely priced clothes - the top OTR and custom - we chat about here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018

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