Clematis Ginza (Part I)

August 25, 2017

Clematis Ginza (Part I)

In the quest for finding your “perfect suit” or “perfect shoes”, we have found in our experience that you will typically have already tried a handful of other artisans whose work has not fulfilled your expectations before you eventually find something that is to your liking. This does not mark the end of your journey however, as finding something you like always leaves you wondering if that is actually the best out there or merely just the best you’ve experienced. According to Socrates, finding love is like walking forward into a wheat field without turning back to pick the most magnificent stalk – one has to simply stop and believe that the stalk they happened upon is more beautiful than the stalks they passed over and those that lay further afield. Fortunately we do not have to exercise the same level of restraint when it comes to personal adornment and can enjoy the journey of finding objects that bring beauty into our lives.

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Takano-San serving a customer

The world of bespoke shoemaking is a relatively complicated one, with each shoemaker employing his or her own aesthetic and pair of hands in the creating what they consider beautiful. Among shoemakers, I particularly admire the Japanese artisans who travel the world to pick up the technical craft and to develop their own aesthetic, along with their trademark fastidious attention to detail. This spirit and determination is manifested in their work, bringing beauty to life on the feet of their customers.

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Bespoke Samples at Clematis Ginza

Of particular note is legendary shoemaker Mr. Nobuyoshi Seki who is considered by many to be “Japan’s Pinnacle Bootmaker”. Rising out of the heyday of Western goodyear-welted shoes in Japan, Seki-San was among the first Japanese bespoke shoemakers to fully handcraft shoes of the finest quality. His contributions to Japanese shoemaking are significant beyond bespoke shoemaking. Not only is he a reference point for budding Japanese bespoke shoemakers, but he is also closely linked to several important Japanese ready-to-wear shoemakers.






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