Toru Saito (II)

October 8, 2017

How creative can you be in shoemaking? How hard is to find a good balance between tradition and innovation?

I try my very best to show deference to shoemaking tradition, while at the same time, as a person living in the 21st century, I also try to create shoes that reflect our ‘current generation’.

How many artisans do you currently have at your shop?

Just myself.

In bespoke shoemaking is the customer always right?

I ‘speak’ with the customer to make it that way.DSC_0790

What’s the scariest man shoe trend that you see today and what is the trends that you like/dislike most?

Regarding the scariest man shoe trend, ‘elegant’ shoes; or if I were to use a more critical term, I would say the trend of ‘dainty/feebly’ or ‘delicate’ men’s shoes. I particularly dislike trends that focus purely on design, and in the process ignore comfort and fit.

What golden advice you  have for an apprentice dreaming of becoming a bespoke shoemaker?

I don’t believe I am in a position or have the authority to give such advice yet.DSC_0635

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?


What’s the most difficult part of your job?

Last Making

What was the most challenging project so far?

Launching my businessDSC_0983

What shoe would you like to make in the future that you have not yet made?

I would like to create a masterpiece that will be synonymous with a ‘Japanese style’ of shoe, just as distinctive as British and Italian shoes.

What shoe style do you prefer the most?

I prefer shoes that are ‘manly’.17523438_1931353237101686_113039371276495905_n

What are your favorite places to spend your evenings?

In my living room at home.

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?

This is enough, or this will do

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

The four seasons of Japan.

What turns you off?

When I see someone saying something thoughtless or acting inconsideratelyIMG_0055

What is your favorite curse word?

I like adding the phrase ‘baka-yarou’ (lit. you idiot) to the end of sentences just as Japanese film director Takeshi Kitano is known to use to hide embarrassment. I like the connotation of this phrase as Director Takeshi Kitano uses it in ‘Kikujiro’.

What sound or a noise do you love?

Jazz music.

What profession would you not like to do?

Machinery based work.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Nothing in particular.15326524_1867247786845565_3969638782395742592_n

Toru Saito interview (I)