It's A Shared Language That Defies Communication Barriers
Esquire Singapore|November 2021
The latest instalment of the Tod’s Factory project is a conversation of ingenuity and craft legacy between a Japanese and an Italian brand both founded in shoemaking. As Hender Scheme’s Ryo Kashiwazaki tells us, it’s a shared language that defies communication barriers.
Asri Jasman

The collaboration between Tod’s Factory and Japanese brand Hender Scheme wasn’t borne out of the blue, but rather, according to Hender Scheme’s founder Ryo Kashiwazaki, it was a natural progression in the relationship between the two brands since they first connected several years ago. “We started more concrete conversations around the autumn of 2019,” Kashiwazaki elaborates. “We met Mr Della Valle [Tod’s chief executive] when he came to Japan, and we were invited to the Tod’s factory in the region of Le Marche, Italy and the head office in Milan.” It was then that Kashiwazaki had the opportunity to interact with the craftsmen behind the Italian brand and its creative director Walter Chiapponi.

The result of that meeting was Hender Scheme x Tod’s, and what Kashiwazaki refers to as TOD’S ⇄ DOT’S—a literal flip of the brand name that’s also translated conceptually. It’s this idea of ‘flip’ that has gained Hender Scheme quite a cult following since it was founded in 2010.

Fans would know Hender Scheme for its unrelenting focus on Japanese leather craft, working directly with its skilled artisans based in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, while others would be more familiar with the brand’s singular Hommage project that undoubtedly catapulted it to international recognition. Using time-honored techniques in shoemaking, Hender Scheme regularly reimagines some of the world’s most iconic sneaker silhouettes, from Air Jordans to Chucks, each handcrafted in leather as a way of showing how mass-produced footwear can also be done (and ‘flipped’) in more traditional formats, albeit in a different expression.

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