I recently came across an article on a Tokyo shoemaker, Yohei Fukuda, who creates some of the nicest men’s shoes I’ve seen. What struck me about his story was how Yohei created a style that is a mixture of his own roots as well as the source of his training in England. I love that in today’s leatherworking world, more and more people have access to training and are also able to grow and adapt it to their own needs and aesthetics. While it can still be difficult to find resources on leatherworking, Yohei’s story shows that it can be done and the uniquely modern way it is blended of many traditions. And people have noticed his talents.
Modern leatherworking isn’t isolated to one tradition which can lead to different and sometimes seemingly opposite ways to do similar techniques. But I think the craft benefits from the mix of old and new as well as multiple traditions to create new and innovative ways to make fine leather goods.