CLAD IN H?KATSUKAWA words_marquita harris photo_wakabayashi kuniharu
“I’d really like to see Stevie Wonder wearing my shoes.”
It’s a rare thing indeed to create something “new” in fashion, especially when it comes to shoes, and even more so when it comes to men’s shoes. But “something new” is just what Eiichi Katsukawa, the man behind Tokyo-based label H?Katsukawa, did. “My design influences are inspired by the traditional British gentleman and street fashion,” he says. This collision of traditional and nontraditional street style is most candidly seen in the H?Derby Sandal. The design takes a classic brogue – think tough leather, wing-tipped shape—then does the unthinkable: turns it into an open-toed sandal, with a gladiator-like influence. What’s even crazier is…they work. Really, really well in fact. Katsukawa’s label, which has been running for 3 years now, is full of surprises. For starters, his dyeing techniques are amongst those commonly used for Kendo (a popular Japanese martial art) uniforms. Although the results of his ideas are avant-garde, his traditional hand-made craftsmanship is evident in every design. This technique more than likely originates from his working with the much-esteemed Paul Harnden. His popularity is also steady on the rise. Recently, he had the pleasure of famous Japanese actress Yu Aoi sporting his duds. To put it plainly, she is to Japan what Chloe Sevigny is to the United States. But this is only the beginning, Katsukawa has big plans. This September his shoes will be on display at the MICAM trade show in Milan, then after that who knows? “I’d really like to see Stevie Wonder wearing my shoes” he says. Check out H?Katsukawa online at hkatsukawafromtokyo.net his line is also available at United Arrows in Japan.