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Unique in the world of Japanese bespoke shoemaking, Keitaro Takano-san of Clematis Ginza did not travel to Italy or England to learn his art, but rather found a mentor in one of Japan’s foremost shoemakers, Nobuyoshi Seki-san, considered by many to be “Japan’s Pinnacle Bootmaker”.


Despite his quiet disposition, Takano-san’s work is anything but reserved with aggressive shaping, sleek lasts, creative designs and the trademark Japanese attention to detail. His shoes are painstakingly handcrafted in his Ginza workshop with the help of one assistant to the highest standards, with fine upper work and insistence on hand welting his shoes to trim his outsoles as closely to the uppers as possible. He specialises in delicately balancing angular contours with sensual curves that afford his creations harmony and a certain timeless quality that he hopes will serve his customers for a lifetime.


Takano-san’s distinctive style is characterised by his offering of a sense of the unexpected on classic shapes with the addition of innovative details and construction methods. Not one to turn away unconventional ideas, Takano-san enjoys the challenge of finding new ways of putting together and decorating his uppers and outsoles. Prime examples of his signature designs can be found in his ‘Red Line’ that are some of his proudest achievements as a shoemaker. Ever the pioneer, Takano-san has expanded the Clematis offering to include a small made-to-measure collection that will be available to order alongside bespoke commissions during trunk shows. Takano-san comes to Hong Kong and Shanghai multiple times a year to take orders and conduct fittings.

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