From 1603 until 1868, Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate during a period associated with stable social order and economic growth. The Edo era was also characterized by a flourishing of culture and arts - and the art of beautiful presentation.
Like the distinctive tightly-woven string made of either cotton or silk that was named for the famous samurai family Sanada. Used to tie weapons and armor, it was later incorporated into the tea ceremony and to wrap gifts with flair. “Sanada Himo was used as string for wooden boxes such as for tea ceremony utensils, but as time has gone by, its usage has dramatically declined,” notes Taro Sumiya, the CEO of the single remaining company that produces Sanada Himo, Orimoto Sumiya. "However, we are striving to continue making it in the spirit of keeping the tradition going and also for our customers who even today buy it. But it’s very tough to do this so we are hoping to develop new uses for it.”
So the company teamed up with the London College of Fashion and let some of the brightest young design minds attempt to solve the problem.
“My immediate impression of the product was to do do with its quality — the extremely dense weave and fine thread make the ribbon both beautiful and highly durable. This is why it is so interesting for footwear and accessories; it looks great and can take a beating,” explains Jack McNamara, a student in LCF's Cordwainers Footwear program who designed these sandals around Sanada Himo. “I wanted to understand the origins of the textile to get a sense of its traditional application, but then take it in a direction that was not explicitly Japanese.”
- Lesley Scott
The aggressive and warlike origins and feel of this endeavor are a signature of the Apocalytical fashion tribe. For more of my posts about the Apocalytical tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.