Essentials: Koji Suzuki of Antica Bottega della Spigola
Our latest Essentials features Koji Suzuki - a Japanese cobbler famed for his exquisite deliverance in shoe making. Suzuki provides bespoke tailoring for a unique demographic of clients. Having undergone training from shoe artisan Roberto Ugolini in Florence — a reference seen here via copies of vintage Italian shoe guides — Suzuki now works from his intimate workshop “Antica Bottega della Spigola” in Kobe, Japan. The brick and mortar outpost prides itself on manufacturing vintage silhouettes such as the brogue, loafer, and the archetypical cap-toe which is seen here as an essential along with the dapper slip-on model. Delivering his rendition of classic designs with premium material — ranging from peccary, crocodile, calf and lizard skin, seen here in two batches — each shoe undergoes a bespoke process from start to finish, crafted with a sincere hand-sewn and welting method.
Known to get the right balance between tradition and innovation, Suzuki often pushes boundaries with traditional prototypes, reworking a double monk strap or buckle without taking designs too far from their origins. These ideas are captured on pad and paper that fits comfortably in his briefcase temple bag displayed here. We also see an abundance of entities such as the shoe brush, classic ballpoint pen and workshop tools, in addition to the obligatory work apron. Through his Essentials we get an inside view of the necessities that make Suzuki one of Japan’s most prominent new wave cordwainers.