Japanese fashion designer Mihara Yasuhiro created his first shoe collection while he was still studying at Tama Art University in 1994. He later branched out into menswear and has been receiving critical acclaim ever since. He collaborated with JOYCE two months ago on a capsule collection exclusive to JOYCE.com, and visited JOYCE Central last week to unveil a new collaboration.
This time round he went back to his roots by creating a special customisable shoe project for JOYCE. Customers visited the Miharayasuhiro pop up store in JOYCE Central to meet with the designer and create their own pair of bespoke half-dress shoes or calf boots, choosing details down to the colour and finishing. Mihara Yasuhiro sat down with JOYCE.com and explained the idea behind the project and how it has helped his team recover from Japan’s tragic earthquake in March.
“Hong Kong is the first city outside of Tokyo to offer this service and unfortunately we could not arrange for Hong Kong customers to come to Tokyo. Therefore we have provided more colour and finishing options for JOYCE customers to keep the project just as special. ”
J: So much had happened in the past few months, yet you still managed to collaborate with us on two projects. How did you manage?
MY: I believe the only way to get over such a disastrous time is to get on with life. The earthquake did affect our product delivery so the launch of the capsule collection for JOYCE.com was delayed. But being a fashion person, I must carry on with what I do best and try to spread a positive message through fashion. As much as we are now aware of environmental protection, fashion still needs to go on. I tried to deal with the imminent challenges one-by-one, without worrying too much and trying to keep my head down with a positive attitude.
J: Did the recent events in Japan make it harder for you to continue with the custom shoe project?
MY: We’ve been providing this service to our customers in Tokyo for a while and they even come to the factory with us and discuss all the details so we can create a completely personalised pair of bespoke shoes. Hong Kong is the first city outside of Tokyo to offer this service and unfortunately we could not arrange for Hong Kong customers to come to Tokyo. Therefore we have provided more colour and finishing options for JOYCE customers to keep the project just as special. There are only three people in the company, including myself, who have the skills and knowledge to work on these shoes. I really enjoy and treasure the process of designing and making these special shoes with my colleagues.
J: So would you say it’s been more of a challenge?
MY: Yes, it is a challenge but I like challenges. Besides, I find pleasure in creating something special for my customers that encompasses great sincerity from my team.
J: Why is customization so important?
MY: When I designed dark colour shoes, I realised that some customers would request colourful ones and vice versa. I like to give my customers, who are from different countries with different tastes, the freedom to choose. And now that there are so many options in the luxury leather goods sector it’s important to provide something with craftsmanship, well-thought out design and a personal message.