Japanese designer Takafumi Arai has launched his handmade 'With Love' shoe collection at the YKK Showroom, showing from 9th October to 30th November.
The theme of the shoe collection is the art of handcrafted pieces, with the collection including a range of footwear, each with intricate designs, embracing different materials. Arai's creative process and inspiration stems from his mother repairing family clothes by hand stitching without using sewing machines.
Following in his mother's footsteps, Arai is now passionate about highlighting the power of love through his handmade pieces, he says: “Through my shoe techniques I might be able to move someone's heart. This is the feeling I always keep when creating.”
After breaking his arm when starting to make the pieces, Arai compensated for the physical limitations by developing a new method where he did not need to be able to spread his arm widely to stitch the materials. This allowed him to combine one material with the other in a completely different way, enabling new details and designs.
After studying textiles at the Kuwasawa Design School, Arai never formally studied the technique of shoe making, instead refining his techniques through self-education. He visited shoe factories around the world, learning how to make pieces with the right techniques and skills. His craftsmanship is now built on using a wide range of materials, making it by hand and ensuring all pieces have character. He is also committed to sustainable designs with unconventional ideas, using this process in all new brand design and collections. Arai has showcased his work worldwide at exhibitions including Denim Première Vision in Barcelona, 2014, Zetsumei Ten Exhibition at the Parco Museum in Tokyo, 2015, and at the PARK・ING GINZA concept shop in Tokyo in 2016.
Arai has also been a finalist at several industry awards, winning the YKK Special Award in the International Talent Support 2014 competition, calling it his “greatest achievement.”
Most recently, Arai was a finalist in the 2018 Bilbao International Art & Fashion Awards.
For additional information on Takafumi Arai please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @takafumi_arai on Instagram.
YKK London Showroom is a resource for designers, students and customers, based in the heart of Shoreditch at 154 Commercial Street, for more information about the showroom, visit: ykklondonshowroom.com
Posted: 6 November 2018