There has been a running dichotomy between sportswear and luxury for ages now and it seems like Japan wants more in on the action. Ryo Kashiwazaki of the Tokyo-based, genderless footwear brand, Hender Scheme, launched his label of luxurious, one-of-kind leather sneakers in 2010 with a brilliant, artisanal take on familiar silhouettes. There are premium riffs on Air Force 1s, Air Jordan 4s, Air Prestos, you name it but with exceptional handmade craftsmanship and supple textiles in goatskin, pigskin, and suede that naturally ages with time. Leather laces, a hand-stamped logo and soles that you can replace are added bonuses to a design aesthetic that focuses on timelessness. “Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean the leather is good quality,” Kashiwazaki explains. “My personal affection goes to the design.” And for the cult following it doesn’t stop there. Hender Scheme also makes many lifestyle pieces for virtually anything you can think of as the designer wanted to “make something that we need as well.” His latest collection for Spring/Summer 2016, titled “Post-Modern”, furthers his exploration of mixing the street and classic silhouettes in an effort to push the boundaries of unique modernity.
Text by Irene Ojo-Felix
Photos by Stephan Moskovic
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