Even though it was founded in Tokyo in 2010, Hender Scheme has the feel of a company that has been around a lot longer. Noted for its footwear, which are handmade with phenomenal skill, it was set up as a counterpoint to the mass-produced wares typically churned out by the fashion industry. For creative director Mr Ryo Kashiwazaki, this attention to detail can come at a cost. “I think there is a difficult side to any artisan,” he once said, rather tellingly, of dealing with his craftsmen, but as with his customers, he gets what he pays for, and then some.
As impressive as they are, hawking the goods is, however, only part of the business. Before setting up the brand, Mr Kashiwazaki worked as a cobbler, and brings that patch-up-and-mend mentality to Hender Scheme. So, not only are these products built to last, they can be repaired on the original lasts at the label’s shop in Tokyo.
If all of this sounds like a company out of sync with the world, pause and note the list of brands clambering to collaborate with Mr Kashiwazaki. Hender Scheme has an ongoing relationship with German giant adidas, while Mr Kashiwazaki’s take on Nike’s fourth generation Air Jordan has attained iconic status on par with the original shoe. The leatherworker has also paired up with clients ranging from compatriots Sacai and to Casio’s G-SHOCK line. And as for its own range, its rugged take on the Teva-style sandal has elevated this adventurous open-toed silhouette to an entirely higher level. In truth, this footwear manufacturer is always a step ahead.