On the 11-16th of September the famous department store Isetan Men’s in Tokyo are hosting the first Shoe Expo, with lots of shoe happenings during several days. I’m pleased to have worked together with them on three parts, the premiere of the Shoe Shining Champions of Champions contest, where the three world champions and one Japanese champion, Swedish champion and Russian champion will battle it out in a huge competition, a seminar with the top trio in the World Championships in Shoemaking, and an exhibition with their shoes plus the world champs patina winner.
The shoe shining contests which I started with at the Stockholm edition of the super trunk show six year’s ago, organising the first Swedish Championships in Shoe Shining, has been spreading and becoming immensely popular. Apart from the Swedish and World Championships in Shoe Shining we also have a Russian championship (Shoesing Awards) and Japanese championships, all based on the same foundation as the first one in Sweden. Now I’ve been working with the department store Isetan Men’s for a special shoe shining event, called Shoe Shining Champion of Champions. It will for sure be spectacular!
Part of a big shoe event at Isetan, called Isetan Shoe Expo 2019, where shoe brands will exhibit, shoe shiners and patina artists will offer their services, seminars and stage happenings will take place, there will also be this new glacage contest. Participating are all the world champions, Yuya Hasegawa (2017), John Chung (2018) and Yuta Sugimura (2019), plus one invited Japanese champion, Go Ishimi, Swedish champion, Michael Håkansson (2018), and Russian champion Anton Tsypin (2018).
The contest will take place on Saturday September 14 at a venue space in Isetan’s main building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. There the six contestants will be thoroughly challenged. They will polish no less than three pairs of shoes, one black smooth leather oxford, one embossed grain leather pair, and one pair in shell cordovan leather. They will have only 15 minutes per pair, a short break, and then onto the next pair. They get to choose products from the wide range offered at Isetan Men’s, more details about this will be announced closer to date.
The shoes will then be reviewed by a jury, which I’m one of the members of, who will judge the technique and overall beauty of the shine jobs, and the expression and balance of the work, the jury score will stand for 50% of the points. Then the audience will get to vote as well on their favourite shiners, and 50% of the points will be given here. I’m not going into detail on how this will work, there will be info for those who attend. Think it will be quite a spectacular happening! Our hope is to continue with this every third year or so, and gather the shining champions around the world for a champion of champions battle.
Another session I’m part of is a sort of seminar/talk about the World Championships in Shoemaking, with me and the top trio from this year’s competition: Daniel Wegan, Christophe Corthay and Eiji Murata. We will talk about what this type of contests means for the bespoke business, what it means for the makers personally, about their contest shoes, and so on. This takes place on the opening day of the Shoe Expo in the evening of September 11th.
The top three shoes in the shoemaking champs will then also be exhibited during the event from 11-16th, together with the winning pair in the World Championships in Shoe Patina, which was painted by Stephane Villette.
Any shoe interested person being in or around Tokyo at this time should definitely make their way to the first Isetan Shoe Expo, will be lots of treats.