The Shoe Snob Blog

November 2, 2012

Written by , Posted in News

Shoes Of The Week – Clematis

With as many Japanese shoemakers that I discover month after month, I really get the feeling that Japan is just a haystack full of needles waiting to be discovered. There is never a time that I find a new maker that is disappointing and Clematis is no exception. Having no idea their history, all I know is that I discovered them by chance and fell in love with the a lot of their models. What I constantly love about the Japanese, is their affinity to make traditional looking shoes but do so with flair and a unique Japanese touch that is so clearly evident, but also so amazing subtle….You may be lost with that statement, as it is almost a contradiction, but something about them (and maybe you have to be as crazy as me to see it) explicitly shows, but elegantly hides their “Japanese-ness.” It’s a wonderful look nonetheless that I one day hope to grace on my own feet…..

  • Anonymous

    the link I see in Japanese design here is an innate sparse ‘hipness’ –

  • Alex B

    Dear Justin,

    1. It was a great pleasure to drop in on you last week. I’m glad I was not put off by your online waspishness and awful grammar. You are far more engaging and erudite in person. It was also fascinating to hear how your new venture is being underwritten by the Albanian mafia, and the selection of useful blackmail material on prominent English shoemakers.

    2. This is the second time in a couple of weeks that you’ve promoted this maker, despite his not having a website. I do hope that at least he’s sent you a pair of shoes. However, that’s no good to us however nice these pictures are. If he can’t be bothered to sell to us over the net, stuff him.

    3. Please do another piece on your coming collection. We want more proper pictures of the actual collection, and the opportunity to pre-order please. And a discount if we made really good suggestions at some point. And I really want some balmoral boots. And spectators. And some other things. OK?

    4. That’s all for now. Say hello to your father for me. And the mafia dudes too.

    5. Thank you very much.

  • Anon – I think that you are on to something there…..

    Alex B – You are too funny!! Albanian mafia? HA! Anyway, it was a pleasure to finally meet you too!! Always love a good chat about shoes. Will get another post up about my shoes soon….just need the professional pics and I will release a post of the entire collection it all of it’s glory.

    Have another ten of your comments to answer know 😉


  • Dear Justin san

    As one of a Japanese fans of your blog, even taken the fact that I am leaning bag making at Clematis with a grain of salt (actually the bag division is now separated from Clematis as Ortus), it is very glad and honorable to see your posts about Japanese shoe manufactures. As you may have known already, there are many Japanese shoe manufactures in Japan now who completed their ascetic trainings in Europe and started their own brands after their repatriation. Please let me know when you visit Japan and, hopefully visit Clematis, other manufacturers soon.

    Arkey (tweet name “Comsaru”)
    (who posted “cordovan shoes” in my humble blog at

  • Comsaru – The Japanese make very fine shoemakers so it is my pleasure to put them up on the blog! I thank you for reading and sharing this comment and wish you the best of luck in your bag-making apprenticeship!!