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Inventory: Q&A with Yuki Matsuda of Yuketen

Meet the man who keeps the signature American outdoor while keeping traditional skills alive. Since

Meet the man who keeps the signature American outdoor while keeping traditional skills alive. Since moving to California, Yuki Matsuda has been inspired by traditional American crafts that embody a rugged yet very refined approach to shoemaking. As links between Matsuda and California run deep, it’s no surprise that since 1995 all eyes have been on Yukuten, a footwear company founded by Matsuda. Stroll through the complete interview through Inventory Magazine as Yuki Matsuda walked us through the concepts that lead to release of Yukuten’s Fall/Winter 2011. A selection of answers are seen below.

Was there any source of inspiration behind the FW11 collection that differed from previous seasons?
For FW11 I wanted to maintain the overall Yuketen aesthetic of classic American outdoor sporting lifestyle in addition to classic town and country American lifestyles. Of course there are some new style additions for FW11 but overall the feeling is the same as with past seasons.

Does working in Maine feel it has influenced the direction of your brand? We know the region holds a special place in your heart.
I love Maine and I always enjoy spending time there. Maine living is like being transported back in time 40 – 50 years because there is an overcoming feeling of freedom which cannot be experienced in a metropolitan area. Maine is removed from the influences of modern city life and there are less people so I feel great freedom when I am in Maine. I love all countryside areas throughout the World. I think I am more at peace when surrounded by nature.
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What sorts of challenges arise from collection to collection? Were there any hurdles that you felt you had to overcome for this Fall/Winter collection?
Quality control is always a top priority for Yuketen and we continue to strive for the best quality every season. Also, it is very difficult to get leather on time and very difficult to recruit people that can produce Yuketen quality products.

When working on a new collection, do you feel there are boundaries when it comes to your designs?
Not really. I have a great team and everybody helps me so I can concentrate on new ideas and have freedom of design.

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