May 2014

Milan preview issue

Featuring a limited-edition
cover by Jaime Hayon

Style File Atelier

Wallpaper* Tudor Style File is back for another year-long season. This time around, the focus is on vocation, workspace and artisanal craft, with our team seeking out talented people whose quest for carefully considered design, immaculate engineering and slow creativity dovetails neatly with the meticulous Tudor watches aesthetic. Offering an insiders' view on the inspiration behind each featured person's work, the Wallpaper* Tudor Style File Atelier series is a bonafide work-in-progress

MASARU OKUYAMA

There were two defining moments in the young life of Hong Kong-based shoemaker Masaru Okuyama. The first occurred when he was a boy, attending a festival in Japan to celebrate young children growing up healthy. ‘I was just three years old and it was the first time I ever wore proper, leather-soled shoes,’ he says. ‘In the photos taken that day, you can see by the look on my face how proud I was of those shoes.’ The second? Seeing a car commercial on TV. A wind tunnel blew coloured smoke across a vehicle’s profile, demonstrating its aerodynamics. ‘This was amazing for me. Now, when I draw the curves of a shoe, I imagine that smoke moving around the edges of the design.’ A graduate of the Nihon University College of Art, and a protégé of Japanese shoemaker Chihiro Yamaguchi, Okuyama works from his garage atelier. He measures clients’ feet meticulously, fashions a wooden last by hand and cuts several pairs of trial shoes, fettling and finessing until the fit is just so. This can take up to six months. ‘No two people’s feet are exactly alike,’ he says. ‘Even our own two feet are not identical in length and width. When shoes are made to the exact measurements of each individual foot, there is no need to compromise on the comfort of one foot over the other. After all, your foot is as unique as your fingerprints.’