Unlike suits, shirts and hair, men’s dress-shoe styles have had far less adventurous evolutions over the years. And that’s simply because no other item in a gentleman’s wardrobe needs to walk as fine a line between comfort and design. You can cover up a bad shirt, but you won’t be able to get out the door in poorly made shoes.
So go bespoke. Of all the things you can have made to your exact measurements, your shoes should be the first in line, and few shoemakers understand fit and finesse as well as Yohei Fukuda. Having trained and worked in England’s top outfits like Bespoke, Cleverley and Edward Green before opening an atelier in Tokyo, Fukuda’s wares blend English expertise with Japanese flair for handcrafts.
Fukuda’s shoes are mostly made by hand, with the exception of parts like the upper, which is better done by a sewing machine. To produce one pair of bespoke shoes takes about 150 hours of work and months of consultation. “It might take longer than other workshops and our production volume is low, but we believe that each and every process is important,” he says. This is because Fukuda wants to make shoes that fit your personality as well. “The first step is to have an in-depth conversation with the client. We actually spend more time talking about his lifestyle and interests than the shoes, because the style of the shoe will be like a partner you will never tire of five, even 10 years from now.”
Until he decides to have a trunk show here, interested parties may place orders at his store in Kita-Aoyama.